BroadcastDialogue magazine covered his speech and wrote the following article abut it:
Once upon a time, life was easy.
Radio was the theatre of the mind. Families gathered around the television set. Selling radio and television advertising happened more often on the golf course or over lunches than via phone calls or e-mails. Companies planned three, five, 10 years down the road.
Life was predictable.
Life has changed!
The tremors of tech earthquakes are felt throughout the industry. Things are faster: mobile, gathering, locating, processing. Things are getting easier: consuming, connecting, engaging, creating. Things are disintermediated: the middle disappears, the “broad” in broadcast is gone.
If you don’t like what you see or hear, you go somewhere else.
The second shift is the connected customer. Judging from conference participants’ behaviours – that’s YOU, too! Always on. Always connected and in control. Always multitasking, checking e-mails and voice-mails; always filtering – skimming and diving if you see something interesting.
Googley advertisers are confused and nervous because they are not sure how media works anymore. They are everywhere now. They experiment with social networking, try to be friends on Facebook. They want metrics, they want engagement, they want action and they want savings.
Parikhal offered five rules to manage and profit from this tectonic shift:
1. Love your customers.
2. It’s Not about you.
3. Help your advertisers and yourself.
4. Engage, engage, engage.
5. Good enough Isn’t good enough.
The BIG transformational new rule is Good enough isn’t good enough.
Back in the good old days choices were limited. Viewers and listeners were satisfied with the notion of “this is good enough”. Guess what? It’s no longer true because in this new world, people expect excellence, they have vastly more alternatives for their entertainment. The same holds true with customers – they expect excellence as well.
Parikhal’s Rule #1: Love your customers!
Love them! Make it faster. One click and they’re there without waiting. Give them control. Make it easier, don’t let them jump through hoops. Do a usability test for them. Have you tried to load your site? Have you tried to load it on your phone? If it takes more than two seconds, invest in reducing the load speed. You don’t want to lose your customers. Reward your customers, don’t disappoint them. Don’t make somebody listen to your radio station and write down a song at 1:10, 3:10 and 6:10 for a prize to win. Anyone who has the time to do that shouldn’t actually have a job. Don’t disappoint a lot of your listeners when they tried to phone you a thousand times to be the tenth caller.
Don’t block and drop connection and conversation. Let people who want to network with you do that, let them network with their friends through you, make it easy. Learn from the mistake that Michael Eisner did when the Internet first started: He lost the Mickey Mouse Fan Club when he prohibited Mickey fans to use Mickey's likeness on their fan pages online. There were hundreds of Mickey fan clubs. Eisner, said you can’t do that, Disney owns that. He crushed them, destroyed every Mickey Mouse fan club just by not letting people connect and not by facilitating the conversation.
Reward your customers with unexpected joys and hidden surprises. Parikhal mentioned the Ford Taurus into which 50 unexpected things were built without telling customers. Customers would discover these things and be absolutely delighted. “What unexpected joy and hidden surprises can you give your viewers and your listeners?” asked Parikhal.
Parikhal’s Rule #2: It’s not about you!
It’s only about your customers! Their only question is, “What’s in it for me?”. You simply cannot take anything or anyone for granted anymore. There are way too many other entertainment choices and you have to earn your customer every day.
On today’s game, there is no #2. But before puffing your chest, here is the sobering news: #1 doesn’t matter much, either.
Parikhal told the story about a station requiring imaging for a segment that dealt with children having been killed. It insisted that the imaging should deal with the concept of “We’re #1”. The voiceover talent declined and was threatened with being fired. Finally, he got his point across and the imaging said something along these lines: “When bad things happen we’re just like you, angry and confused and just like you we try to understand. That’s why the Channel x news team is working hard to get the news to you fast.”
The only big question your customer ever knows or cares about is what’s in it for me and you have to earn it everyday.
Parikhal’s Rule #3: Help your advertisers and yourself!
Parikhal suggests that this rule represents the biggest opportunity he has seen in this industry in maybe 25 years. Your advertisers need help to conquer the media jungle. They are confused and don’t really know what’s going on.
How? Get a point person in the organization who can answer all questions about media, whether it’s traditional or new. Train and educate all your sales staff and prepare them to cut a path through the jungle. Sell all customer touch points, including streams.
Get real with metrics. Determine how much do you expect the needle to move; on how many people they expect to show up; how much they are expected to spend; and what they expect them to do.
You’ve got to get to know your customers rather than sell a spot whether it’s radio or television. Talk to them about results.
Use iPads for presentations. Parikhal suggests handing it to the customers so that they can push the buttons, so that they’re in control. On top of your advertisers getting the answers they’re looking for, it looks incredibly cool and adds to your reputation that you must be understanding something that I as the advertiser do not.
Help yourself! Measure. Work to improve measurement. Measure every stream and source. Even if it’s not 100%, keep measuring. Think brand and plan a strategy across your platforms. Improve creative. It must create “water cooler talk” - virtually or actually. If your customers don’t send it, if they don’t talk about it, it’s not very good.
Think longer and act faster. Go beyond 90 days. Try it, and if it doesn’t work, get rid of it. If it works, move on.
Parikhal’s Rule #4: Engage, engage, engage!
First thing, meet customer needs, not your needs. Next thing - tell stories. Stories are very powerful. Think Gestalt and discovery. When you leave the middle, people try to close it and other people try and close the circle. They are much more engaged. What you don’t say is more powerful than what you do say, what people discover is much more important than what you tell them.
Give the URL. Engage people and let them discover more about you online. Give them what they want. Get beyond ”the box” and form partnerships.
What it boils down to...
Understand the change: Tech earthquakes aren’t predictable. Understand the connected customers: they’re skimmers and divers, are multitasking all the time, they want to be your friend if they choose to, not because you want them to be. It’s not about you, it’s all about them. “Googley advertisers” are a really good thing because there is nothing better than a scared advertiser. Now you can be the expert, the front person.
Apply the new rules:
Love your customer. Do you really have to love them? The answer is yes. Apple loves its customers. Honda loves its customers. They don’t even need slogans.
It’s not about you. #1 doesn’t matter. It’s all about them.
There are huge opportunities. Help your advertisers and help yourself.
Engage, engage, engage.
By understanding what’s going on out there and applying the rules, you have the opportunity, you’ve got the skills, you’ve got the brains, you’ve got the power – you can profit from this change.
- reprinted with permission from Howard Christensen and Broadcast Dialogue Magazine
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, June 16, 2011,
RAMP, they did a little reading during the intermission of last night's Stanley Cup Game 7 of the new Parks Associates/ TargetSpot research study about online radio usage...and make some great points (re-published below):
The old adage says, "Fish where the fish are." Pretty self-explanatory -- if the people you want to reach are somewhere, be where they are and don't wander off in another direction. With that in mind, it's mind-boggling that radio people still aren't acknowledging the draw of Internet radio streaming and not seeing the potential to reach listeners there. In a study that Parks Associates did recently for TargetSpot called Digital Audio Usage Trends: A Highly Engaged Listenership, the research company concluded that digital audio listening has indeed reached critical mass, with 39% of all broadband-equipped American households using Internet radio... though it's important to note that Parks included online simulcasts of terrestrial stations as part of their "Internet radio" figures. Online streaming mirrors broadcast radio usage, with around 80% of respondents consuming 1-7 hours of radio -- both Internet-based and online streams of broadcast stations -- daily on their laptops, desktops and tablets; the only device where online beat transmitter was via smartphones, which topped out at 84%. One bright spot in these figures was that 66% of Internet radio users actually listened to the same amount of -- or more broadcast radio as a result of streaming.
Here's where the money kicks in, so get your salespeople to read this next part: Listeners' ad-response rate was great for Internet radio, with 52% recalling seeing or hearing an ad online, and 40% actually responded to the commercial. Plus, Parks reports that "combining Internet radio with broadcast radio advertising boosts broadcast ad recall and increases response by 3.5 times over broadcast-only rates." Translation: If you're wasting your online stopsets, you're losing valuable revenue that can be used to reinforce your over-the-air spots. It's worth your while to check out the full report and to rally your troops to fish where the fish are -- because smartphones and Internet streaming aren't disappearing.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, June 16, 2011,