How the New Business Landscape Is Challenging Tradition and Igniting Radio Advertising Sales

How long before the rest of the matches in this photo will ignite? It’s a good way to think about an emerging trend in business, including radio advertising sales.

A recent article in INSIDE RADIO talked about new and emerging prospect categories for radio.

There’s no question that the business landscape is shifting under our feet. We’ve been feeling its rumbles for years, and they’re becoming more pronounced.

Consider the “insane, retailer-wrecking” growth of Amazon.  Time reports that Amazon now has more than 80 million Prime subscribers, consumers who shell out a hundred bucks a year for a combination of entertainment (videos, music, e-books, and audio books) and shopping (2-day free shipping).

According to Jeffery Eisenberg* in a recent American Small Business Institute weekly video, Amazon is the fastest company in history to ever hit $100 billion in sales.

Of particular interest: they close an astounding 74% of their web traffic! (How’s that compare to your close ratio?) People go to Amazon prepared to spend money.

Consumers love Amazon because Amazon loves them.

“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Recently Amazon announced the hiring of 100,000 new employees. Meanwhile, venerable stores like Macy’s, Kmart, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Target, Sears, and others are closing by the thousands in 2017 alone.

Depending on the size of your market, these changes may or may not be affecting your business today. But they will have a domino-effect (or matchbook-effect, to return to the photo illustration above) that will eventually impact all of us: consumers, retailers, and advertising companies.

Small business owners need to be keenly aware of the shopping experience they’re providing their customers. Surprise and delight must be their (and our) mantra. As Roy H. Williams, the Wizard of Ads, has been telling us, we must focus less on branding and more on bonding with our customers.

Those of us in radio advertising sales would do well to challenge our current clients (and ourselves) to ask: what are we doing to love our customers like Amazon loves theirs?

As advertising professionals, we must carve out time regularly to identify, research, and understand new and emerging trends and prospect categories. But just as importantly, we need to be bringing our existing advertisers a regular stream of new ideas to invigorate their advertising with more customer-centric messages.

It’s a practice that can only enhance our client relationships.

*Eisenberg and Williams have co-authored a new book, Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It (serialized in recent Monday Morning Memos), filled with insights gleaned from a careful study of Amazon and others, that can be applied to any business, yours included.


Radio folk: are you incorporating pro-radio messages into your social media? Here’s an example of a Facebook cover photo/meme we’re using at Grace Broadcast Sales and Radio Sales Cafe to remind our followers of the unique power of speech-driven advertising. Feel free to copy/adapt for your own use.

God's Gift to Radio Advertising: Humans Don't Have Earlids



About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He joined the Pullman (Wash.) Radio Group in 1979, where he worked until his retirement at the end of 2022. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales (, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. Rod also operates an independent advertising, marketing, and communications consultancy for small business owners and professionals, An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at and on his Viewbug gallery.
This entry was posted in Advertising (General), Branding, Business, Communication, Consistency, Consumer behavior, Copy, Grace Broadcast Sales, Internet, Positioning, Productivity, Promotions, Radio Advertising, Radio Commercials, Radio Copywriting, Radio Production, Radio Sales Cafe, Sales, Sales & Marketing, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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