• Hugh McPherson

Covert Ops to Get New Retail Customers?

My name is Michael Westen, I used to be a spy… this line started the weekly one-hour odyssey of a burned CIA operative for 7 years on USA Network. LA Weekly described Michael as "Jim Rockford and MacGyver filtered through Carl Hiaasen." If you are a fan of the show, you saw desperate people bring the highly imaginative and resourceful former spy problems no one wanted to take or even discuss!

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen - Burn Notice 2007-2013

Michael Westen, played by actor Jeffrey Donovan, works well with his former Navy Seal buddy and washout Sam Axe played by B-Movie icon Bruce Campbell while Michael’s girlfriend Fiona Glenanne is played by actress Gabrielle Anwar. She is well known for for dancing the Tango with Al Pacino’s blind Lieutenant Colonel Slade in Scent of a Woman. The highly rated series was seen by many as great entertainment while I saw it as advanced sales training for the risk taking top-level seller!

Westen and his crew tangle with Ukraine hitmen, biker gangs, the FBI and high-level criminals in a quest to help the “little people” of Miami get justice. No matter how impossible the job they find ways to prevail with few resources and lots of imagination and ingenuity! So how does this equal high-level sales training?

Michael Westen likes to use psychological warfare through his special ops training and understanding of human behavior. Nothing creates more fear in a person's mind than the unknown or what he suggests might happen! Sales is about human behavior and getting people to do something we want them to do. However, we must understand that people LOVE to buy and HATE to be sold!

Michael Westen in Southern Nigeria - Burn Notice - Pilot Episode June 28, 2007

Most radio sellers like to throw up on their clients with long power-point presentations that tell of #1 ranked air personalities, highly affluent audiences and heritage radio stations. All the time selling and not digging for what makes the client LOVE to buy. When they do successfully get to the close today, it is often derailed by this question from the client; “how can I be sure this schedule will bring me results?”

Why are radio sellers and their managers so scared of this question? Many have a weak comeback most likely saying, “there are no guarantees” or “it takes money and time to get results with radio” and the client is left with an empty feeling. Not unlike when a desperate individual asks for Michael Westen’s help and he says; “I’ll see what I can do.”

Michael Westen as Lewis/Devil - Friendly Fire Episode - Burn Notice Season 3

The starting point is to understand what drives human behavior and why radio is the most effective way to buy mental real estate. We all know the words to 2,000+ songs, but don’t understand why. It's because our minds work through the ear. "Echoic" memory, through the ear, is more powerful than “iconic” memory through the eye.

Next you must understand that repetition is the mother of all skill. Hearing songs over and over on the radio made the Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elton John the top 5 selling artists of all time! These masters of words and music gave us commercials we LOVED to hear and records we LOVED to buy, and they did little to try and sell it to us! Combined they have sold 978 million records!

Ad buyers would like us to think the key to a great radio schedule is in the times the ads run and what stations they run on to get results. This is not only a mistake it is often believed by the radio sellers and a big reason why agency buyers win most negotiations on price. What you say, times the number of times you say it, is all that matters in radio advertising today!

A catchy slogan or jingle and frequency work on the top and bottom ranked stations with equal effectiveness. State Farm learned this when they paid Barry Manilow $500 to write; “just like a good neighbor…” in 1971. Manilow, who went on to write 47 pop tunes including 12 numbers ones and 27 top ten hits and has sold more than 80 million records to date. He later wrote "I am Stuck on Band-Aids" and this eternally catchy tune won advertising agency Young & Rubicam a CLIO Award in 1976.

Today your clients will not only ask for results right away they will demand them! You can deliver the most powerful one-two punch in all of advertising for them. Radio's ability to build “top-of-mind-awareness” combined with the measurable results of digital advertising gives every radio seller an unfair advantage over every other advertising medium!

Bruce Campbell / Jeffrey Donovan / Gabrielle Anwar - Burn Notice 2007-2013

So how do you do this for your clients effectively in an overly complicated digital world? You must think like Michael Westen. He would tell you that no plan survives contact with the enemy, or in this case the consumer! During World War II General George S. Patton famously preferred “a good plan violently executed now over the perfect plan next week!”

How do you think like Michael Westen? You use duct tape because duct tape makes you smart! We believe a simple approach is the best in today’s complicated and confusing world of digital marketing. Simple is clear, focused and clients understand it instantly, so they will LOVE to buy digital from YOU! Like covert ops, you select the asset that best gets the job done, and you execute it violently now!

The Media Store focuses on helping independent radio operators like you select the right digital assets to pair with your great brands! This gets your clients the results they want while adding NEW incremental dollars to your top line and 40% to 50% or more to your bottom line NOW, not next week or next year!

Call us today and we will show you how so your clients don't give you a Burn Notice!

Burn Notice Cast - 2007-2013

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