Saturday, October 30, 2004

A new book with a long name, but an important point

"Marketers are in the clutter business."

Research firm Yankelovich Partners recently debuted a new book, "Coming to Concurrence: Addressable Attitudes and the New Model for Marketing Productivity," at the DMA conference in October. The authors don't pretend to have discovered the solution to existing problems, but they put forward a number of compelling theses. Among them: Consumers' time is valuable, so in order to connect with them companies must provide some value to the customer in their communications.

Don Peppers and Martha Roger's great direct marketing (CRM) site has a thought-provoking rewiew in brief, written by contributing editor Larry Dobrow:

The idea that consumers have less patience than ever before for commercial messaging isn't exactly a novel conclusion. But there are steps that weary companies might take to reverse the trend of consumer disinterest.

Co-author and Yankelovich president J. Walker Smith paints a picture of an industry stubbornly adhering to rules and principles that no longer pass muster with today's consumers. "The kind of hard-sell marketing from 50 years ago doesn't connect very well with people today," he explains. "Now, consumers say, 'I know about your product. If you want me to pay attention to your marketing, give me something of value in return.'"

Consumers aren't exactly shy about expressing their distaste for today's marketing. A study conducted in advance of the book found that 54 percent of people claim they will refuse to buy products from companies that bombard them with marketing. Similarly, 69 percent say they want products (pop-up blockers, etc.) that will shield them from the marketing deluge.

And yet, Yankelovich argues, most marketers have been hesitant to change their strategic and tactical approach. Though consumers are better educated and more empowered by technology than ever before, companies still cram a great percentage of their communications with information about product attributes -- essentially the marketing equivalent of preaching to the choir. They rarely appeal to the lifestyles and values that are important to modern consumers.

"There's almost no connection," Smith notes. "Marketing doesn't fit the current marketplace." He blames marketers for misusing the technology that might assist them in connecting with customers in a more compelling, less intrusive way. "We can be more precise and more relevant, but all we're doing with these technologies is using them to overwhelm people with things they don't want. Marketers are in the clutter business."

-- Going beyond demographics -- To this end, Yankelovich is pushing the notion of "addressable attitudes," which the firm defines as attitudes that can be linked with individuals in company databases. Historically, marketers have produced lists and/or bought media based on demographic data. But such lists are inherently imprecise. Yankelovich proposes deploying attitudes in company databases and using them the way demographics and behaviors are currently employed.

-- Put the power in consumers' hands -- Marketers, the book stresses, must cede power to consumers and must strive to provide reciprocity. Given such broad access to product information, consumers no longer want to be told what to do. Smith notes that companies have opened their doors to consumer input about product design and distribution options, yet refuse to give them a voice in the marketing process. He points to eBay as a company that "gets it": it allows customers to control just about every aspect of their experience, from the listing of items to communication to shipping.

As for reciprocity, Smith envisions a sort of quid pro quo: consumers will part with some of their time and attention, marketers will offer something in the way of entertainment (such as the five-minute films that greet visitors to the Dr. Martens Web site). All product alerts and other notifications, whether delivered electronically or via direct mail, will have to be reinvigorated with valuable information -- a golf tip, a recipe, a link to relevant Web sites. Provide a value proposition for the customer, and she will be more apt to engage and develop a relationship with the company.

*Links:Yankelovich Partners

You can subscribe to the Peppers and Rogers e-letter at

Not as good as JibJab

But, thanks to Cary Rolfe, PD at KUPL, Portland, here's a link to a bit of last-minute, pre-election musical humor:


This is funny…check it out!

Political Bohemian Rhapsody (

Cary Rolfe,
Program Director
222 SW Columbia
Suite 350
Portland, OR 97201

Friday, October 29, 2004

Larry Rosin: What To Watch For On Election Night

It has been amazing to witness the growth of Edison Media Research, first as a radio research company and now as the provider of all exit polling for the networks at national elections.

Larry just sent out an email doing a bit of well-deserved bragging: "This year, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press selected Edison to conduct the 2004 National Election Exit Poll (you can read more about it here.) As you sit down to watch or listen to election returns roll in next Tuesday evening, we at Edison Media Research will have already been at work for many hours collecting Exit Poll information and helping all the major television networks prepare their projections of the outcome. Here are some things to keep in mind as you watch, and to help make you the smartest person in the room at your Election Night party."

Read "What to Watch for on Election Night"

Morning Show Custom Production Services

I love the work of United Stations and Premiere Radio Networks, if you don't mind giving barter units for A+ custom parody songs and workparts, intros, etc.

To get a sample, contact:

- Michael Flaherty at 212.869.1111 x246 or
- Tom Garrett at (818) 461-5178 or

Both are highly recommended. BUT, what if you don't want to barter musical creative morning fun stuff? That gets tougher.

Do YOU have any recommendations? I'd love to pass them along to all of our clients if there's someone whose work you'd recommend.


Benchmark Ideas

Bet Your Butt - Two trivia questions. The first one is easy and good for a Round Roast of meat. After the person answers the question, tell them they can keep the Round Roast or "Bet Their Butt" for a bigger prize. If they answer the second question they win tickets, cash, CD(s), etc.

Bounced - The correct caller will try to collect as much cash as possible before the club bouncer, bounces them out of the party. Start the game with a sound effect of a club bouncer voice which announces increasing dollar amounts every few seconds (or a personality). Start with $20 or $100 and move up from there (whatever your budget allows). You can have different dollar amounts announced each time you play and make sure the "bouncer" kicks players out at differnet intervals each round. If the bouncer kicks them out (sounder) before the listener says, "STOP", they lose the money and win a smaller prize. If they say, "STOP" before If they say stop before getting "bounced," they win the last cash amount announced.

Cable Access - Secure a show on a local cable access channel and spend half an hour each week teaching a radio class, comedy class with the morning man, etc. Go live from the station with logos everywhere and get a ton of television exposure for a few hundred dollars, which is usually the fee for cable access.

20 MORE:

1. 5 IN 10 . . . Name five things in ten seconds.

2. REVERSE TRIVIA . . . Listeners call in their trivia questions and try to stump you.

3. DEAD OR ALIVE . . . Give a celebrity name and the listener guesses "dead or alive."

4. WHO'S OLDER . . . Two well known figures. Guess which one's older.

5. TOUPEE/NO TOUPEE . . . Celebrities. Do they have a "rug" or not?

6. WHAT IS THAT?. . . Play a sound effect. Listeners guess what it is.

7. FOOL THE MORNING SHOW. . . Reverse of the above. Listeners play sound effects down the line and you must guess it.

8. TABLOID TEASERS . . . Listeners guess if it's a real or fake headline.

9. HOLE IN THE HEADLINE . . . Real headlines from tabloids. You pull a word out and listener must guess it.

10. TIME TUNNEL . . . Give events of a certain year. Listener must guess the year.

11. FACT OR FICTION . . . You provide a statement. Listeners guess if it's fact or fiction.

12. THE SLOGAN GAME . . . Advertising slogans. Listeners guess the product.

13. MORON JEOPARDY . . . Like regular Jeopardy but with really stupid questions.

14. PRICE IS RIGHT. . . Guess the price of a product. Variation: Time Tunnel Price is Right . . . Guess the price of an item from a certain year.

15. WHO'S THE MYSTERY PERSON . . . Voice clip of a famous person. Listener guesses who it is.

16. TONGUE TWISTERS . . . Listeners repeat a tongue twister a number of times in an allotted time frame.

17. WHAT'S IN THE BOTTLE . . . Place an object in a Coke bottle. Rattle it around on mic. Listeners guess what it is. Give clues if necessary.

18. WHERE IS IT. . . Hints on a local or national landmark. Listeners must guess the location.

19. MATH QUIZ HONK-OFF . . . Man on the street bit. Math problems for people in cars. They use their car horn to solve math problems.

20. RADIO PASSWORD . . . Just like the original TV game. The "bit" is you have an announcer whisper the password on air. It's amazing how many people guess wrong.

Mike McVay on "Continuing Morning News"

The concept of On-Going News is where the radio station recycles from one newscast to another. A story is rewritten to entice the listener to stay tuned for the next report.


“Yesterday we told you the story of the 3-day-old child in the Detroit hospital that was accidentally dropped down a laundry shoot. Following tests it turns out that the child has suffered some brain damage. Could such a situation happen in our area hospitals? We will look at that story and determine the safeness of our maternity wards in 30 minutes in the 8:00 o’clock report.”

The reason to present On-Going News is to create the perception that your radio station is more than rip & read in content. This is particularly important for the type of radio stations that want to bolster the news image without actually airing longer reports.

Reach Mike McVay at or at

Michael O'Malley's Lessons from Barnum

Sell the feelings not the facts;

That is, how listeners will feel after listening, participating in or attending an event or winning a contest.

A contemporary example of Barnum’s hippo hype is a state lottery where the focus is on how you’ll feel with your winnings, not the specifics of how you’ll collect.

Add components into promotions that arrest attention, surprise and amuse, cause talk. Add street elements to contests. Make promos sizzle and change them often. Consider what additional prizes could be added to escalate the impact.

If you’re giving away a truck full of items for the home, put banners on a big, rented U-Haul moving truck and drive around town and to all one-hour registration stops. Dress an off-air person up as a mover and have him show up at all stops. Have him cut the contest trigger, asking “Where do you want me to deliver all this stuff?

Similarly, for cash giveaways or secret serial numbers, dress up a staffer in a black suit and sunglasses and have him handcuffed to a large valise.

Habitually create events and treat them like they really are events – something special, something larger than life/completely out of the ordinary, something never done this way before, something that promises fun. One of the great radio examples of the past 40 years is “The Last Contest,” an amazing collection of prize offerings presented in true dramatic fashion.

Reach Michael at

Identity-Based Commununications

Must read: Roger Ailes’ (CEO of Fox News) “You Are The Message”, published in 1989 but still available on
The assessment of you that's formed in the first 7 seconds creates a lasting impression of you in another’s mind.

Morning Show Idea Exachange


Trivia: Who are the only athletes who must wear a different-colored uniform than
their teammates? (Goalies in soccer)

Trivia: What is unique about the bristlecone pine trees in California? (They are the oldest living things on earth, estimated to be over 4,000 years old, and still living.

Have your producer or other show members eat different breakfast foods all morning and listeners must guess what it is.