Friday, December 23, 2005

"Technology will be the great ally and lurking enemy. For every threat it raises, it will also bring an accompanying opportunity for those who wish to see the possibilities. Skipping ads may prove to be the norm, but avoiding experiences could be the exception. Above all, content will remain king - now more than ever." Joseph Jaffe

"They (salespeople) must want to grow, learn and try new approaches. Otherwise they become good players in a game that's no longer being played." Norm Goldsmith

Joseph Jaffe's book "Life After the 30-Second Spot" deserves your attention. What makes this writing so refreshing and such important reading is Joseph's candor...

"The bottom line is that we've built an entire kingdom on old data, unchallenged theories, and faulty methodologies. We've lost track of the original meaning and purpose of advertising"

Jaffe does more than offer examples of what's not working, he suggests practical steps and solid counsel on how we can begin to "rethink advertising." Over the next few days I'll post a fuller review, my suggestion is buy the book - highly recommended. Also - check out more of the uncommon wisdom on offer at Jaffe's blog here

Terry Heaton offers his thoughts on 2006...

It's a very dangerous time for any broadcaster to be making assumptions based on history.

But the biggest problem for broadcasters is their crumbling core competency and the shrinking value propositions they offer to both viewers and advertisers. The natural ability of the Internet to distribute unbundled media is disrupting broadcasting's basic business, and that will accelerate in 2006.

Most broadcast companies have responded to the disruption by forcing their mass marketing value propositions into the situation (it's what they know), but most are finding that such a response while creating some revenue opportunities doesn't produce the kind of scale necessary to make up for the kinds of losses to their core business that they're facing.

The irony is that the same disruptions that are eating away at the business of broadcasting offer tremendous opportunities, if broadcasters could simply rise above defending their old turf and play a little offense in the new stadium.

Heaton gets it - Bravo! Read Terry's entire writing here

Terry's writing brings to mind the notions of my friend Norm Goldsmith. Norman, on the subject of sales people, often said "If they're not helping you, they're hurting you." His commentary on media sellers and sales leadership is spot on, check it out here

Lots of email regarding my posts on Infinity/CBS Radio. Some text from one such email...

"...wake up and face reality Dave, Infinity is a big failure, one stupid 'global' decision after another beginning with their failed Jack attack, continuing with pinheadeded vanity spending (the Ad Age buy) and ending with the tepid Howard replacement strategy. How can you continue to defend the gang that couldn't shoot straight?"

Serving as the CEO of a measured media firm in 2005, especially one that's public, was no day at the beach unless you were leading online properties (e.g., Google or Yahoo). My view is 2005 will be remembered as the year leadership finally heard the wake up call, the last year leadership invested precious time in the creation of graduate level dog ate my homework excuses; 2006 is full of great promise and amazing opportunity, it should be the year we let go of the assumptions that continue to hurt us, it should be the year we take bold action and stop doing what we have always done. 2006 is the year to unlearn.

With regard to my thinking on CBS Radio/Infinity. I give Joel Hollander high marks for doing something, for being decisive and taking action. To be certain the outcomes have been mixed, however, on balance, my sense is CBS Radio/Infinity is better positioned today than they were one year ago. Joel has put CBS Radio on the offensive, has encouraged measured risk taking, has put an end to the previous "business as usual attitude" at Infinity, that's all good and long overdue. Leadership is responsible for results, that's the five word job description. While the Jack approach has yet to catch on in New York and might never equal or exceed the earlier success of WCBS-FM, Jack is, in fact, an early ratings, sales and operating margin success in other CBS Radio markets. One need only compare and contrast the Dallas market where the company ended five years of poor performance in flipping to Jack. On the Howard is amazing to me how folks can have an opinion regarding shows not yet heard. The one exception being Rover. Joel has made some clearly unpopular decisions and while some of those decisions may prove to be wrong or less productive than expected there is still reason to celebrate the end of stasis. "Stasis in the arts is tantamount to death" so said Charles Marsh and for too many years Infinity leadership allowed stations to fail by doing nothing. WNEW is the poster child for what went tragically wrong at Infinity in years past - neglect, denial and a complete failure to provide leadership took a valuable company asset "off line" for years. The Ad Age insertion got agency folk talking about Infinity a not all together bad thing. Goodman and company have taken control of the agenda, another refreshing first for Infinity this year. Success in the creative arts begins with attracting and retaining the best and brightest people - the recruitment of Jhani Kaye serves as an excellent example of why 2006 will be the year Joel gets CBS Radio on the right track.