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By: Dick Taylor, CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog
Radio is like the Rodney Dangerfield of media; it doesn’t get any respect. Ask any business owner what form of advertising is best and they will almost always respond “word of mouth.” Hard to argue that position. Well, radio is really word of mouth communication with a really big mouth.
Last week I wrote an article titled “Don’t Let Radio End Up Like Yahoo!” The whole point of the story was that radio has the power to make things happen; to create traffic, be it in-store or online.
Google Analytics & The Great Oz
TechCrunch published a great article on “How Google Analytics Ruined Marketing” that a good friend of mine sent to me. It’s a long, but excellent read. It left me thinking how Google is like the Wizard of Oz. The Great Oz wasn’t as great as the people in the Emerald City made him out to be. But the wizard was very good at distraction. While everyone was staring at the huge face and the smoke and flames that billowed from below it, Oz took everyone’s eye off of reality.
Google Analytics is like that. It created a whole new bunch of buckets to measure people’s online marketing effectiveness. Except it really doesn’t tell you what you really need to know and that is WHY things happened. If people began searching for your business or product on Google or clicked on your ad on Facebook, you haven’t a clue as to what caused them to do that.
Marketing Channels vs. Marketing Strategies
Radio is a marketing channel. TV is a marketing channel. Newspaper is a marketing channel. But in the digital world, those channels are called social media marketing and search marketing; only they really are not. Facebook, Google and all the rest are just another marketing channel. You need to develop a marketing strategy first and then deploy it on marketing channels.
What Google Analytics Misses
Google Analytics traps business owners and advertising agencies into thinking that it measures everything in their marketing strategy. It doesn’t. It only measures online activity. It completely misses how radio, TV or any of the mass media are having an impact.
It’s All About the Message
I’m a disciple of The Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams, who has long preached there really are no bad marketing channels, only bad messages. Roy prefers the power of radio and its ability to deliver word of mouth advertising with the longer lasting results of echoic retention. Roy uses the example of eye witnesses vs. ear witnesses. Police often find that everyone saw something different when they go around interviewing witnesses, but when it comes to what they heard, they all pretty much agree on that.
Back when gas prices were high and the great recession was beginning, a story in New Times Magazine told of how America’s love affair with the automobile was over. Car sales were in the tank and the United States had to bailout General Motors.
If you were an auto dealer advertising on the radio, you probably were telling your account executive how their radio station wasn’t working.
Fast-forward to 2015 and auto/truck sales just recorded their best year ever in a single year. Oh and it just so happens that gas prices plummeted and the great recession was mostly over.
If you were an auto dealer advertising on the radio, you probably were telling your account executive their rates were too high and you didn’t need to advertise as cars were flying off the lot.
We Buy With Our Emotions
People buy on emotion and then justify their purchase with logic. That’s never going to change. People buy stuff to make themselves feel good.
Google Analytics measures the activity in the action channel of marketing. It doesn’t measure what got people all emotionally fired up in the first place.
Google’s Getting Your Credit
When I started selling radio advertising, it was long before the internet and Google. Back then when we advertised something for a retailer on the radio, people would come in and say they read about the item in the newspaper.
History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes and so today the newspaper has been replaced by Google search. Now with the free Google Analytics tool, retailers and ad agencies can measure the power of their “digital marketing” and show you how their SEO worked magic. Except the reason anyone did the search in the first place was because they heard about it on the radio.
Radio & Rodney
Which brings me back to where I started, Radio & Rodney “don’t get no respect.”
The Question You Should Be Asking
Samuel Scott says in his TechCrunch article that the question you should be asking is this:
“How would you market yourself if the Internet didn’t exist?
Answer that, and it’ll help your online marketing too.”
Reprinted by permission.
Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.