Estimates for 2012 are all over the map, and most are cloaked in a waning degree of confidence. How good will your 2012 be? It’s directly related to your sales performance right now. The following is one of a series of quick posts to help local sales teams get a jumpstart on the competition … right now.
Get this. I recently read an interview with Mike Johnson, of Hickory Toyota. Mike answered questions about his media plan, which is 80%+ broadcast TV. Most of that buy is directed to a single station in each market (Charlotte and Roanoke). The article was good; it covered some of the same points Mike had shared in ESA’s automotive webinar a few months earlier. The ensuing “reader comments” however, got me thinking.
One poster cited that Johnson was incorrect in his comment about news ratings. Really? Another claimed the station was just pandering to Mike to shore up the relationship and secure the buy. Hmm. A third said his buy was all wrong; that diversification of the media buy is the way to go. Seriously?
Wow. Good thing they didn’t check how well Mike was doing! For the record, Hickory Toyota is flourishing. And they have been for years, using a steady diet of … broadcast TV.
It’s sad that the only prerequisites to post a comment today is a keyboard and an opinion (regardless of its veracity). Thank goodness the general readership knows to see through this veil of ignorance.
These comments provide a snapshot of the larger media industry: Not one of them spoke to Hickory Toyota’s continued success. Not a single comment mentioned how many vehicles they’ve sold in a challenging year for Toyota dealers, or how little Mike was spending per car to do this. It was all a bunch of media infighting, chest-thumping, myth-spreading, and not at all about the retail equation. Babies with staple guns. All of them.
So what’s the point? This attitude is rampant in media sales today. This is your competition. A modern day Tower of Babel. These same people are sharing similar opinions and myths with your clients and prospects right now. They think their information is valuable. Most of it is not.
Just within the past week, I have seen two different media presentations and the transcript from a keynote speech at a media conference that were loaded with inaccuracies and myths of competitive media. Scary.
No wonder why advertisers won’t sit down and talk today. Can’t blame them. They’ve heard already that everybody is #1. They have rep fatigue. And we wonder why there is so much confusion and waste?
Anybody else smell an opportunity?
Here’s your plan to help your clients navigate this sea of misinformation:
Start from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Meet challenges from the retail side first, not the media side.
How refreshingly different. And simple. Your uniqueness of approach will be rewarded.
The best part? Your competition probably won’t do this, because they can’t. (Just read the comments!) Even better, you — and your clients — will appreciate the results.
Not at all a bad resolution for 2012.
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.