So close, and yet....

As we all know, I spend entirely too much time obsessing over my traffic stats. Not so much the number of visitors, but I like to see where people are coming from, and what attracts them to check out the Garden.

Today I got a referral from this site, which appears to be a newsletter from Clear Channel to its radio stations. It contains marketing information, and references a post that Jackie made on Church of the Customer about SoaP that also linked to a post here, which is how the visitor found me.

Here's what the newsletter had to say about how their stations could better market themselves to their listeners:

We’ve been fascinated by the viral and consumer-created marketing for SoaP, especially the Samuel L. Jackson phone call gimmick (see The New New Trends for Rock and Urban August issues in the archive for details). We especially like Ms. Huba’s comments that “When fans embrace your meme, embrace your fans,” and “Embracing citizen marketers reduces risk.” Perhaps we in radio spend too much time worrying about the people who don’t like us rather than those who do. It may be helpful to reach out (as we’ve suggested in these missives before) to the fans we have and solidify our relationships with them. That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that we limit our core definition or tighten our playlists. Rather, we must reach out in a meaningful way to our fans through special (and low-cost) marketing that can be implemented by an unpaid intern. It also means that we need to use those fans to spread the word – as a means to reduce risk. We have fans. We need to find ways to make them more vocal in our favor.

Can anyone else spot the big 'uh-oh' line in the above section?

posted by Mack Collier @ 1:21 PM,


At 3:44 PM, Blogger Nedra Weinreich said...

You can't "make" your fans do anything. You can offer a remarkable product, you can provide opportunities for fans to express their enthusiasm, you can reach out to them and solicit their input. But the kind of outpouring of excitement that happened around the marketing of SoaP can't be forced. If it were so easy that even an "unpaid intern" could do it, wouldn't everyone??

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Chris Herbert said...

Reaching out in a meaningful way to our customers through an unpaid intern! Doh.

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous CK said...

2 uh-oh's actually, the intern and making them vocal "in our favor". Yep, you need to empower them BUT...through middle and senior management getting hands-on and rolling their sleeves up to blog (not interns).

When will they learn?

Are you gonna write 'em and fill 'em in Mack? They did link to you and you are looking for work (paid of course, senior level).

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Paul McEnany said...

No, We don't need to make our shitty product any better, because, hey, look at Snakes on a Plane! That movie sucked!

We don't have to make playlists that people want to listen to, nahh, we just need to get some intern to do some of those viral programs! Suhhweet!

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

You guys have already spotted the uh-ohs....but I'll add an eyeroll to the phrasing of " may be helpful to reach out..."

Upgrade "helpful" to a "critical." (Or at least a "necessary.")

Nice post, Mackeral.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

You guys are so smart ;) Yes I also noticed how the marketing had to be SPECIAL, but also LOW-COST, and at the same time, be able to be executed by someone that's working for free.


The promotion for SoaP worked, because New Line interacted with the people that were already talking about this movie, and in doing so, converted them into empowered marketers for the film. Clear Channel could do the exact same thing, simply talk to their listeners, and show them that they respect their input enough to listen to them. That simple act alone will convert many listeners into empowered citizen markters for each station.

This isn't rocket science, respect your community, find the members that are already promoting you, and empower them to continue to do YOUR JOB FOR YOU as easily as possible.

And yes CK, I did indeed email this link to the editor of the Clear Channel newsletter. I figure if they are wanting to leave the execution of such a community-empowerment program to someone that's working for free, they could at least listen to free advice from marketers that actually know what they are talking about ;)

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Jordan said...

I had a feeling we would start to see this; the idea of reaching out to your community being bastardized and trying to fit the "old way" of doing things.

No worries, in a few years they'll realize that such initiatives are worth the efforts of their actual paid staff, and that people can't be successfully manipulated to be "vocal in our favour." I mean, they haven't even tried this stuff yet, and already we're calling "bullshit!"

Smarten up, Clear Channel.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

My first uh-oh was when I heard that it was from Clear Channel. Words cannot express the loathing that I have for this company. They are single handedly responsible for destroying and bastardizing radio, and they've put a lot of talented disc jocks out of work by replacing them with computers that can be voice tracked from anywhere. And they have absolutely no concern for art or their consumer. Just whatever will make the quickest, most generic buck.

Second uh-oh, "unpaid intern," and while I realize it's an inter-office memo, IT'S ON THE INTERNET, you Clear-Channel idiots! Way to make sure you don't look like a bunch of cheapskates.

Other than that, yeah, same thing you guys have said. They don't get it. They never will get it. And the sooner the FCC realizes that the de-regulation of radio station ownerships and monopolies have destroyed one of the last bastions of American culture, the better.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Mike Sansone said...

There's only on "uh-oh"?:-)

Ann's point on "helpful" vs "critical" is important.

The intern thing really hurts. Not because it's an intern (I love 'em - usually very hungry) but that they think so little of both the intern and the fans.

The Us vs Them mentality is what killed AOL communities (and many other businesses who rely on "fans").

Nice find, Mack. Thanks for sharing it.

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