• Hugh McPherson

We Live in a Click & Mortar World!

When I started in radio sales at WXIZ-FM in Waverly, Ohio in 1985, I quickly learned that my customer's needs were always changing! If I sold to them the same way I did just 24 months earlier, my skills were antiquated! This was true of my clients' customers too!

If they marketed to our listeners using the same tactics they used just 24 months earlier, their approach was antiquated and they lost store traffic, sales, profits and market share! Not a good thing if I wanted to get a renewal order!

I have always prided myself on being an early adopter of new ideas. Consider this, we now live in a world where your website is NOT an extension of your business, your BUSINESS is an extension of your WEBSITE!

Wow, that is a stretch for most radio and business owners to comprehend! Let's take at look at some of the retails numbers. 60% of Lowe's online sales are picked up at their stores and 40% of those customers make other purchases at the time of pick-up! 67% of consumers made a purchase online and picked the product up at the store in 2018! We live in a Click & Mortar world and the term BOPIS is vital to every business, big and small, that your sellers talk to every single day! So what is BOPIS?

BOPIS = Bought online picked up in store!

Just as Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt in the 2011 film Moneyball, said as he held up a player's stats sheet in a scouting meeting; "if he's a good hitter, why doesn't he hit good?" This scene was the tipping point as the Oakland A's set their course on finding a new way to compete against the rich teams and revolutionized how MLB teams were managed in the process! John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, an early adopter of new ideas, tried to hire Billy Beane to run his team. When Billy said no, Henry adopted the philosophies and broke the 86-year championship drought for his team! The Red Sox have won 4 World Series titles since 2004 using the Oakland A's strategy against them and the rest of baseball!

Radio is in a drought and like baseball we must think differently! Billy Beane used numbers to even the playing field with the rich teams in baseball. Then the rich teams used the numbers to tip the scales back into their favor! Radio can do the same and use the ways of the big retailers to help local businesses in their markets thrive and grow!

So why should your clients in Casper or Grants Pass or Juneau care about big retail if there are no stores in their market? Because it does not matter if a Costco is in their area because the United States Post Office will deliver the product to the consumer's door step! However, more likely is that the consumer will drive to the nearest city with a Costco, Lowe's, Home Depot or other big box store and put BOPIS into affect!

Do I have your attention now?

In their 2005 Grammy winning hit "Let's Get It Started" the Black Eyed Peas song says "we have just 5 minutes for us to disconnect from all intellect.." So are they right?

Do we have 5 minutes with our clients or with consumers? Well 5 minutes is an eternity as the average attention span is that of a goldfish, just 8 seconds! So now you have 8 seconds for your sales team and your clients to connect and there is just 8 seconds for your clients and the your listeners to connect!

Your customer's needs are changing and SO ARE their customers!

So now you are saying, that's fine for big box retailers, but smaller clients just need store traffic and that is what radio does! Or you might be thinking, our market is different here in Greenville, Mississippi and the Urban market just does not respond to these things like in the big cities so we focus on radio schedules!

What if I told you that local clients can have up to a 74% closing rate on orders? During a webinar I attended hosted by Automotive News this week they introduced us to Haley Toyota. This is a local dealer in Roanoke, Virginia who closes 74% of their online orders in a very urban market using their BDC and BOPIS! They have a marketing program but they fundamentally understand that their customers' needs are changing and they want to buy cars online and pick them up at their store!

You must address your own fears, your sellers fears and your client's fears about digital marketing and e-commerce! The goal is to get your station's listeners to do more of the buying process online and pick up your clients' products at their stores! They will have more store traffic, increased revenues, higher gross profit per sale, more happy customers and a higher rating on Yelp! You and your client will also stay ahead of John Henry and the Boston Red Sox who are looking for new ideas to steal everyone's customers!

We now live in a Click & Mortar world and BOPIS is what your listeners want from your clients! Are you afraid to tell them or will you use the ostrich approach and stick your head in the sand while your competitors are braver telling all your KEY accounts about BOPIS?

2019 Borrell Associates

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