HD Radio Marketing is easy . . .

December 1, 2006

it’s just making the product live up to the marketing that’s hard.

Mark Ramsey at Hear 2.0 answers the latest report about another $250 million pledged to promote HD radio. Mark’s most excellent point –

You can’t expect to win over an audience for a new technology when the motivation for the existence of that technology is based on the needs of an industry rather than an audience.

Back in 2005, the HD people ran a $10,000 contest for radio promos selling HD Radio.

Encouraged by others to enter the contest – I asked myself – how would I promote HD on my radio station – KFOG.

I would talk to our listeners in language that speaks to THEM rather than pumping sunshine up the backsides of the HD execs and it would address how this whole new HD idea would improve our listeners FAVORITE RADIO STATION – not “radio” in general or generically.

So I made a KFOG promo and entered it in the contest. Obviously, it didn’t win or even get acknowledged.  Too local probably.  They awarded the prize to a cute promo that probably made the HD execs and radio insiders feel great about themselves – but wouldn’t sell a single radio.

At least not on KFOG.

Ok – I’m not bitter – really. 😉

Anyway – the really sad part is – I wish I could’ve run my promo on KFOG back then.

Even today, a year later I still can’t run it. Not in good conscious anyway.

I couldn’t run it then, and I can’t run it now because we can’t make the claims made in the promo true (claims that were demanded by the HD people to be included in the copy)

That’s the biggest problem with HD – it’s all marketing (mostly bad) with very little substance (even worse).

I’ve LINKED to the KFOG promo for your enjoyment.

I’m pretty sure I know how to talk about HD with our listeners more effectively than the national “discover it” stuff – but the product actually has to deliver before I do.

I believe it’s going to depend on individual radio stations to make HD relevant to their listeners.

Right now – we’re not set up to do that and another $250 million in inventory wasted on promoting “HD Radio” generically isn’t going to do that either.

This promo has been sitting on my Hard Drive, waiting to become true for over a year now.

Maybe 2007 will be the year the HD radio people will call me and scream with joy – “You can finally run the promo! It’s all true! It’s all 100% true! ”

word.


Real User Generated Content

August 18, 2006

The buzz around CGM or CGC is reaching an ever greater pitch and frankly – I’m a bit tired of it already.

Most of it is complete BS. I don’t even like the term CONSUMER generated . . . if we’re going to talk about people who use our product or service – I prefer to call them a USER. More humane.
I also don’t like user generated ADVERTISING. I find it vulgar to ask users to to create advertising messages FOR us – to use on them and others. Let’s face it – Advertising is a shit way to talk to people. It’s a great way to SHOUT and interrupt.  But a pretty awful way to engage in a conversation.

Now, I don’t mind if – on their own – users generate ad messages for products and spread them around the internet or where ever. If it happens organically, on it’s own – that’s great. We should be ready to get out of the way and not screw it up by manufacturing it ourselves or stopping it’s natural evolution.

But I’m totally opposed to companies making a “campaign” out of soliciting user generated advertising. It’s a sham. It’s a cop out. If creating advertising is the only way you can connect with your users you have a problem. If advertising (the act of INTERRUPTING complete strangers and presenting them with info about products and services they didn’t even ask for) is the only medium worthy of a users input and control – you have a problem.

Here’s a fact. PEOPLE DON’T USE OR PAY TO USE YOUR ADVERTISING – THEY USE AND PAY TO USE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE. AND THAT’S WHAT THEY REALLY WANT TO CONTROL.

If you want REAL “user generated . . . blah blah blah” give users control over what they actually come to your company FOR.

For example form the Merc– Microsoft is opening up it’s developer tools for XBOX.

… will make available a stripped-down version of its game development tools for $99. The XNA Game Studio Express software will have everything someone needs to make a working video game.

With the tools, gamers can create their own games on Windows PCs and uploaded them into Microsoft’s Xbox Live network, which could theoretically sell them to console gamers via download. Moore said that game creators could share their work with others, for free or for purchase.

They can also upload them on their own weblogs and user forums too.

Compare how much deeper a user would be connected to XBOX in this scenario than in one that had Microsoft simply asking XBOX users to create another friggin XBOX commercial.

What’s the radio lesson? We need to DEVLOP more ways to put users in control of their experience – AND not just for themselves – but be able to SHARE their “versions” with others. That’s engagement.

To steal a phrase from Fred Jacobs – that’s NEO.


My Radio RSS fantasy

July 17, 2006


I love RSS. It brings me all the parts of the web that interest ME with little effort on my part.

RSS is the broadcasting of the internet. But better because it lets the USER choose and control what content they want to receive.

Radio has a lot of opportunities to use RSS.

Here’s just a few ideas of items that should be SEPARATE RSS feeds on radio station websites.

  • MORNING SHOW TOPICS:
    example – 7am – taking calls on last night’s Tool concert.
  • MORNING SHOW GUESTS:
    example – 8am – Tommy Lee talks about Rockstar Supernova.
  • EVERY REMOTE EVENT THE STATION WILL BE AT THAT WEEK.
  • EVERY CONTEST THAT WILL BE ON THE STATION THAT WEEK.
  • EVERY ARTIST AND/OR SPECIAL MUSIC FEATURE.
    ex: debut new AudioSlave TODAY AT NOON!
  • SPECIALTY SHOW PLAYLISTS AND SHOW NOTES
  • COMPLETE STATION PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK.
  • SECRET “CLUB MEMBER” ONLY feeds that give our database or otherwise identified P1’s special “secret” info like when the “song of the day” is going to play and other “inside members only” stuff.
  • PODCASTS.
    Interviews, bits and eventually . . . if we get out act together – some of our most compelling music programming.

The benefit is that listeners can choose to subscribe to the items that INTEREST them.

Maybe they will want to know everything that’s going on at the station – so they can subscribe to ALL the feeds.

But maybe they’re only interested in the Morning Show and a few Specialty programs.

Being the station that understands our listeners means knowing not all listeners are interested in EVERYTHING we do.

RSS makes it easy for each listener to stay up to date with what THEY want out of what we’re doing.

RSS is quickly moving out of the geek fringe (almost EVERY US and International Newspaper offer content in RSS)

Radio has nothing to lose and everything to gain with this. It’s just one more way we can make our stations more relevant to listeners. No reason to wait to start doing that.

Oh yeah . . . please . . . if you do go down this road – please please please DON’T use RSS to pump commericals at people.

You will get hated and destroy the connection you’re trying to build.


You can’t manipulate WOM

July 8, 2006

Well . . . . you CAN but you will probably get the opposite of the results you expected.