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Thursday 27 February, 2014 at 4:14 pm / 0 comment

Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure.

Throughout history, each new media has sold unsuspecting local advertisers as they went through their "liars sure can figure" phase. Social media is in that phase right now.

(View this video on Facebook Fraud

Virtually every new media, including newspaper, radio and TV, went through the ENS Media Four

Stages of Media Evolution:

  1. the pioneer stage with the lure of shiny new technology
  2. the liars sure can figure phase
  3. fragmentation, competition and clutter
  4. learn to create competitive results

Each media evolution begins with "techie-types" selling the magic of the shiny new technology during a pioneer stage when no one yet understands how to use that technology from a marketing perspective.

When newspapers first started, for example, they had no circulation or readership data, they simply sold the magic of seeing your name and business in print, and having it in mass distribution.

In the "liars sure can figure phase", they produced "circulation" figures, claiming a circulation of X thousand, even though they knew only a small percentage of their customers actually turned to the page a particular advertiser's ad was on, and an even smaller percentage actually read it.

Many were actually caught transferring funds to their circulation department to inflate those figures.

Next there came radio! Advertisers were wooed by the magic of their name coming through the air and reverberating through a round speaker in their prospects' homes. Once the novelty of the technology faded, many radio stations entered their liar phase by touting their signal contour maps.

They'd make misleading claims like "Our signal covers a population of more than a million people", even though they knew in all probability only a fraction of that million people actually listened to that particular station.

In phase 1 and 2 of each media evolution, some early adopters did experience success simply because of the new novelty and lack of clutter and fragmentation.

But eventually every media evolves from selling the shiny technology, to the smoke and mirrors numbers phase, to fragmentation and ultimately to understanding how to harness their power and their limitations, from a marketing perspective.

When all is said and done, technology and misleading numbers can't hide the truth about sales; fragmented and cluttered media have to learn how to generate sales for their advertisers.

Today, some national advertisers might be happy with clicks and likes from around the globe.
But local advertisers soon lose their enthusiasm for technology and for global clicks, likes, followers and page views, especially when they don't translate to local sales.

With all due respect, media executives who have sold the technology or inflated numbers for their media, seldom have a grasp on how to increase sales for their clients.

The digital world has largely passed through the "sell the technology" stage of media evolution. Like you saw in the YouTube video, many are currently in the smoke and mirrors numbers stage.

So are you ready to proclaim the broadcast renaissance? The best local radio and TV marketing executives know how to create successful local campaigns in their markets.

We have long since surpassed representing our contour maps as our reach. We've learned how to create results no matter what our numbers or format are, by proving the value of targeting, creative, frequency and a long list of proven techniques to create results for local businesses.

You need to show all of your clients this Facebook smoke and mirrors video, and open a discussion about your stations in the new media landscape. Our Winning in the New Media Economy advertiser seminars are helping to generate millions of new radio and TV revenues in markets across the continent.

Followers, likes, page views and clicks are not translating to sales, and your local advertisers will welcome your stage four approach when you say "what you say in your ads is more important than the platform you say it on."

By: Wayne Ens

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