Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

OK, it seems like the economy’s gone South, advertisers are pulling back from radio like they’ve grabbed a hot stove and things you’ve done in the past don’t work anymore.

Hold on… people are still buying, certain advertising categories are up, and throughout the country advertising success stories are being written. As with most disturbances in the status quo, there are opportunities for those willing to change.

I’m not going to list the many reasons for clients to advertise in tough times or all the marketing turnarounds that have happened because of continuing to advertise – you’ve heard them from everyone.

Advertising clients – those trusting folks who pay our bills and allow us to do what we do are in trouble, and we, the managers, sellers, creators and producers of commercials can help them, but not in the way we’ve been doing it.

We cannot just be salespeople or spot creators. We have to be true marketing partners with our clients. You can call it intelligent idea selling. By that I mean coming to our clients with ideas – ideas based on a real understanding of the market, the advertiser and the audience.

More often than not, we have to show our clients which products or services to advertise as well as how to advertise them. We need to do the research – we need to be the marketing department for each of our clients.

Every client has customers who are still buying – but it may not be who the client perceives is his best audience. Again, research… then ideas.

“Hey Jeffrey, isn’t this a lot of work? I’m paid to sell/create/produce.”

Absolutely. But it’s what we need to do to help our beloved clients survive and prosper. If we don’t, then one of two things will happen:

They’ll crash and burn – when good marketing could have saved them.

Someone else – from another station or another advertising medium, will step up to the plate, and we’ll have lost that client.

So becoming a marketer isn’t just a good idea – it’s a necessity for now, and I suspect, for the long term. That’s not a bad thing. By the way, it can be a lot of fun.

In future articles I’ll be talking about specific things you can do to help your clients succeed – many of which don’t involve radio directly, but all of which will help the radio portion of the pie grow.

Now, I know that some of you are already doing this. You’ve written, called and shared your client successes with me. It’s something we all need to do.

I want to continue this discussion, but I want it to be a dialogue. Please send me your successes, your failures, your victories, your frustrations. I’ll give you my biased take on what we can all learn from each. You can be as public or as anonymous as you want, but please respond.

© 1997-2009 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.


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