"The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention." Kevin Kelly
"If you're not quite there, getting there takes some nerve." Tom Peters
"Execution is the job of the business leader." Larry Bossidy
Today's image: Portrait of a Superman by Thomas Hawk. Wonderful. Thank you!
(Supermen need your help)
Broadcast sales is broken. We need a new format. A reboot ain't enough. What's called for is a new OS.
Reading Tom Peters and it hit me, like the kiss on the end of a wet fist (my thanks to troupe Firesign).
Tom referenced Jeffery Tobias Halter. Selling to men - the transaction model; selling to women - the relational model. The example used is "Mission: Go to Gap, buy a pair of pants. Male, Time - 6 minutes, Cost - $33. Female, Time - 3 hours 26 minutes, Cost - $876."
The comparison we most often used in the last century was shoes. Men go out to "kill" a pair of shoes and return in minutes. Women go "shoe shopping" returning in hours and sometimes without shoes but seldom empty handed. Another typical stereotype involves how men get lunch when women discuss the options and go to lunch.
The bulk of broadcast sales remains transactional.
It's fair to ask - is transactional male in its very nature?
Does this manifest itself in attitude? Get out there and "kill" some business today. Is this exhibited in too many brute force tactics, male approaches including phone blitz fire selling and the relentless competitive offensives. The continued sanction of internecine warfare. The silo restricted battles of TV vs TV and Radio vs Radio. The accepted ritual of broadcasters getting up everyday and going to work with one game plan - to kill other broadcasters. The avail become blood sport.
The entire world of measured media and media behavior is changing around us while our sales departments (absent the obvious revolution in communication tools) continue, as a practical matter, to operate using a template, a format, first developed in the last century.
What part of the sales crisis continues, in some measure, because of male hard-wiring issues? How much of our inability to make effective corrective progress can be traced to male DNA stuff (and associated derivatives including ego)? Have the Supermen of the business already given the mission of fixing sales their best shot? Are we failing to take advantage of new opportunities because of genetic blindness? Held back by a belief system based upon the tweaking, fine-tuning and perpetuation of inherited best practice? A faith in operating traditions so strong, prejudice so deeply ingrained that it precludes any possibility of practice abandonment? Why do we continue to be obsessed with getting better at these same old approaches? In sum, we are doing basically the same things better and expecting a significantly different result.
Clearly, it's not working.
There has never been more cash pumped into the ad spend and up for grabs yet broadcast is failing to grow. Hint: the buyers are not at fault. Their failure to understand the power and value of broadcast, their lack of investment serves as perhaps the most valid of report cards, it's hard empirical evidence on the effectiveness of our selling efforts.
What should be done next?
It's time to stop playing around with the numerator and get to work on the more important strategic mission - changing the denominator.
My suggestion is we need to get different.
It's time to put more women in charge.
"Our whole story is growing revenue"
"Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource"
My thanks, again, to the great Tom Peters for inspiration. My thanks too to Dan Kelley for his kind words earlier this week. Rock on, Dan!
Catch someone doing something right today! Have a great weekend. Viva Le Beaujolais Nouveau!