Sell What They’re Buying

Content from BPR

In 1974 a young Kodak engineer named Steven Sasson was assigned a seemingly low-stakes task: to see if there was any practical use for a recent invention capable of turning light into data. He built a device that could capture images and digitally display them on a screen, and eagerly presented it to his bosses.

But Steven made a tactical blunder: He billed the new technology as “filmless photography”. That positioning clashed with the very raison d’être of his audience – executives whose careers depended on the sale and processing of film. The response from his board of directors was stunned silence.

Why did he make such a deeply flawed pitch? Steven, in his own words, said he was carried away by his enthusiasm for his invention. He later said: “It never occurred to me that I was at odds with the fundamental mission of the company for the last 100 years……to sell film and process it.”

In other words, the board wasn’t buying what he was selling.

Anyone involved in sales knows that it’s easier to close the deal when the buyer has already identified a need for the product you are trying to sell.

The same applies to programming a radio station.

There’s no use being the station that is best known for playing country music in a market that has little or no appetite for that genre.

Find out what the audience wants in terms of programming elements and music eras & genres BEFORE your next strategy and planning meeting. The things they REALLY want or love.

Don’t rely on gut feel/comments from colleagues/friends.

Rely on the listeners’ opinions.

Once you know what they want, design the format to THEIR specifications…… not something that resembles what they want or your interpretation of what they want.

Strategy is just one part of successful programming.

The other is EXECUTION of that strategy.

Once you have created the product, TELL the listeners about it.

Be creative yet simple in your messages to ensure maximum cut through.

SELL it to them……. because you know they WANT it!

By David Kidd, BPR

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