Radio Evangelist

Thoughts of a Evangelist for Radio in all its forms

Posts Tagged ‘media sales’

Using a Macintosh in a Radio Station

Posted by Steve on March 21, 2009

Chris “Doc” Tarr, Director of Engineering for Entercom in Milwaukee and Madison, WI, wrote an article for RBR today about using Macs in radio stations.

As a business technology consultant for radio stations, I strongly endorse Chris’s statement.

The Mac is a terrific computer for a radio station. It is simple for even the most technophobic account exec to use and because it comes pre-installed with a ton of useful software, there’s a lot you can do with it out of the box.

For example, with the extremely powerful (and included as part of the OS!) iMovie video editing software, even a neophyte can produce compelling video presentations for your sales department or your website. GarageBand, the Mac’s audio editing system, provides many of the features of a much more sophisticated package like ProTools. Thousands of bands have produced professional recordings using GarageBand, right on the Mac. It even has features for creating podcasts – including building the RSS feeds and so on. Very powerful stuff.

For an extra $79, you can get Apple’s iWork, a suite of three applications that include a word processor (Pages), spreadsheet (Numbers) and presentation program (Keynote). In many ways, these applications are even more powerful than MS Office – and they are certainly easier to use. There’s no doubt that Keynote blows away Powerpoint as a presentation tool. Plus – you can create your presentation in Keynote and then export a perfectly compatible Powerpoint version for your less capable colleagues.

Plus, with the free OpenOffice package for OSX, you can have the complete functionality of Microsoft Office on the Mac without the cost!

I have run a virtual machine on my Mac with copies of Tapscan, Maximi$er, PD Advantage, AudioVAULT and various music scheduling packages – and they worked without a hitch. Of course, the vendors get a little “hinky” when you run on unapproved hardware, but with the right relationship with these folks, you can get them to understand.

Imagine being able to create a Tapscan report and then use it seamlessly in a powerful Mac-based presentation package to create a compelling story for a prospect. Of course, as these applications go more to the web (as Max and Tapscan are starting to now), you will be using the web browser and not a built-in application; but the principle still applies. Even more so, because the Mac will let you dress up those dull-looking web reports with some truly persuasive graphic elements – in a snap.

Back in the day, before Maximi$er, I used a Mac to suck in AID runs (remember those?) and automagically transpose them into compelling graphical presentations for my sales team. Even 20 years ago, it was a very useful tool in a radio station.

Another advantage to using a Mac on the business side of a radio station is, quite frankly, the “cool factor.” Many radio station clients are Mac users themselves – ad agencies in particular have been one of the strongest vertical markets for Macintosh for decades. If you walk into a presentation to a group including a creative director, media director and account manager and you plug in your Mac for a Keynote presentation, you will gain immediate “inside” cred. It might be that extra edge that gets you the deal.

Today, the Mac will give you an edge over the competition.

Want to know more? Please leave a comment here or email me: steve dot burgess at agencytechnet dot com.

Posted in Advertising, Macintosh, Radio, Sales, Software | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Audacity of Hopes

Posted by Steve on January 22, 2009

The well-written and to-the-point article by Jim Hopes, CEO of the Center for Sales Strategies, on the future of traditional media selling provides a cogent analysis and an audacious (in the good way) solution to a seemingly intractable problem in broadcast media sales. Here are a few lines from the article that shifted my thinking:

The first (and biggest) problem with broadcast sales departments is how they’re organized—much more as wholesale businesses than as retail businesses. Think about it:

A wholesale business is one that:
• Sells large quantities of its products to a short list of resellers.
• Deals with third-parties, with proxies and agents, not with the end-user of the product.
• Negotiates price and terms with professional specialist buyers, often defaulting to commodity
pricing levels.
• Sells about the same thing to every customer—a schedule.
• When broadcasters deal with transactional media buyers—national, regional, or local—they are
practicing the media equivalent of wholesale selling.

A retail business, by contrast:
• Sells smaller quantities to a broad range of solution-seeking end-users.
• Learns the end-user’s needs and problems and takes responsibility for finding or developing
solutions.
• Solutions are tailored. No two look alike.
• Establishes consistent pricing for all customers, negotiating only on selected high-ticket items.
• When broadcasters deal directly with the end-user advertiser—whether there’s an agencyinvolved or not—chances are their entire approach is more like retail selling.

My experience both as a broadcast salesperson and as a provider of services to broadcast sales departments has told me this – but I hadn’t put the concept into such a compelling argument.

Jim does.

Jim goes on to discuss solutions to the dichotomy of having a wholesale business with a retail customer base – I recommend that you read it carefully. You can find it here.

My contribution to this discussion is that – in many cases – this dichotomy exists not only in sales departments at radio stations, but also in the minds of salespeople. There are thousands of radio salespeople out there that know in their gut that the local media sales business is truly a retail business, yet they are forced by culture and compensation plans into selling like a wholesaler or they try to sell like a retailer to wholesale customers. These are the salespeople that you want on your team. They are probably the ones that are most likely to have the “right stuff” to succeed in this environment. And – based on my reports from the trade press, the people who remain at Clear Channel are the strong “wholesalers.” The “retailers” are on the street.

Hire one or two and you’ll get an immediate return on investment.

Posted in Advertising, Radio, Sales | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »