Friday, March 06, 2009

Microsoft Has A Future Vision...What's Yours?

While you are still working on your current vision for 2009, Microsoft is focused on their future vision for 2019. Already, it's time to think ahead.

[View video]

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year from Alicia and Geometric Media Consulting!

Here's a special New Year's message from Alicia Keys!

Click here to view]

Well said, Alicia!

From the Geometric Media Consulting Team, we hope 2009 is a year of inspiration, insights and incredible success for you and yours!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I.G.N.I.T.E. Sales Tip: 10 Ways To WinWin Selling

Sell on the basis of WinWin

Both parties must benefit from the transaction, your company and the customer. Think act and communicate on the basis of WinWin.

Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm transforms being into living and is the magic spark, which gets people’s support without your ever having to ask for it.

Be positively different

Your company competes in competitive markets and this gives us many opportunities to be different. So often the order goes to the salesperson who goes that extra bit further. It can often be as simple as:
  • Spelling the customer’s name right
  • Showing genuine interest in his or her needs
  • Giving a little extra.
To put it in a nutshell: give customers a little more than they pay for.

Be stimulating to talk to

Customers only buy from salespeople when they are motivated to do so. Salespeople who recognise the importance of phrasing their discussion in the buyer’s interest and responding in a cheerful, positive manner will succeed where many others will fail.

Show you really care

The ability to communicate a genuine “I care” attitude will never be forgotten by customers - provided they see it as sincere and not an underhanded sales technique.

Demonstrate integrity

More than any other quality, the one most appreciated by customers is integrity. If your solution will not satisfy the buyer’s need - don’t sell it. If you do, you won’t get the chance to repeat the experience.

Be an achiever

Develop a sincere desire for the things you want out of life, set your goals for today, tomorrow and the future. If you are ever lacking in enthusiasm or drive, have a look at your goals - therein lies the solution. In selling terms this means planning your work and working your plan.

Have plenty of deals operating at once

Too many salespeople depend too much on the big kill, only to be sorely disappointed when it fails to materialize. Separate the “suspects” from the “prospects” and meet as many new buyers as possible.

Use your imagination

The most influential element of success or failure is what you tell yourself. If you think you are beaten, you are. You will never succeed if you are constantly saying to yourself, “I’ll try” or “I can’t”. Train your imagination to constantly think in terms of “I will” and “I can”.

Don’t be afraid to fail

If you are afraid to fail then inevitably you will avoid success. Every failure is a learning experience and an opportunity to capitalize on your mistakes - by not repeating them.

[more at WinWin Selling]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Talent Secret

Now more than ever, the key to a successful station lies with your talent’s ability to engage the audience. And morning show consultant Steve Reynolds shares “The Secret”:

If this is what you put out there…
  • Authenticity
  • Relevance
  • Innovation
  • Humor/Emotion
…this is what you get back…


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Truth About YOU

Management guru and best-selling author Marcus Buckingham continues to expand his strengths message—that is, changing the way the world approaches life and work—with his new book, “The Truth About You: Your Secret To Success.” The book outlines five principles that Buckingham views as the best advice you’ll ever get.

  1. Performance is always the point - So don’t expect your organization ever to know you like you do.
  2. Your strengths aren’t what you’re good at, and your weaknesses aren’t what you’re bad at - So you’d better find out what your real strengths are.
  3. When it comes to your job, the “What” is always trumps the “Why” and the “Who” - So always ask: “What will be paid to do?”
  4. You’ll never find the perfect job - So every week, for the rest of your life, write your Strong Week Plan.
  5. You’ll never turn your weaknesses into strengths - So fess up to your weaknesses, then neutralize them.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I.G.N.I.T.E. Sales Tip: 15 Ideas To Modernize Your Sales Department

You can change the way advertisers and decision-makers perceive your sales department. Your reward will be a higher level of buyer confidence and that can only mean one thing...more revenue! Here are Gregg Murray’s Top 15 Ideas to Modernize Your Sales Department:

  1. Create a dedicated sales/marketing website that will help advertisers learn more about radio, advertising, and your station’s unique selling propositions.
  2. Build an eMarketing system so you can share business building etips and sales opportunities to all your clients and prospects.
  3. Distribute a monthly (print) newsletter with helpful business tips for advertisers.
    Have sellers distribute when they’re seeing clients/prospects.
  4. Contract a graphic designer to help create and maintain the most professional media kits and sales materials in your market.
  5. Be certain all your sales collateral materials maintain a consistent look.
  6. Use your invoices and statements each month to include a flyer with upcoming sales opportunities.
  7. Bring in a PowerPoint/Word sales expert to train your sales staff on how to create sales packages that are designed to sell.
  8. Develop creative promos to run on air that stress the benefits of radio and your audience to local advertising decision makers.
  9. Promote radio and your sales department through banner ads on websites of interest to the local business community – start with the Chamber of Commerce.
  10. Collect audio testimonials whenever and however you can. Then, use them on air to help create interest from new prospects.
  11. Utilize professionally printed note cards for thank you’s and special messages to prospects and clients.
  12. Make sure all sales materials that go out the door have your station’s contact information.
  13. Don't just fax or email media kits/coverage maps to out-of-market prospects. Instead, have them available online so you can build your relationship on the phone while they’re viewing and printing (and you’re discussing) what they need.
  14. Watch out for common sales package mistakes: center spacing all the text, overusing exclamation points, or using clip art and decorative/fancy fonts (stick to Arial, Tahoma, or Verdana).
  15. Try to stop using the titles “salespeople” and “sales managers” in the public domain. Consider them “advertising executives” and “advertising managers” to the business community.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Lost Benefits Of Cause Marketing

At the 2008 DNC Convention in Denver, Barack Obama officially became the Democrats’ nominee for president and he electrified an 85,000 plus crowd at Invesco Field with his acceptance speech. It was a moment of historic significance reminiscent of the precedent setting “I Have A Dream” speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall 45 years ago. That history, both past and present, was recognized by radio as 38 Clear Channel stations from multiple formats joined forces with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial for the “Build The Dream” Radiothon. It was especially symbolic, indeed significant, that Barack Obama’s historic speech coincided with the 45th anniversary Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech.” In-sync with the mood of the day, the “Build The Dream” Radiothon not only celebrated the legacy of Dr. King, but it also amplified the reflections and hopes of many leading up to Barack’s historic night.

Spearheaded by SVP of Urban Programming Doc Wynter, Clear Channel Radio had the foresight and commitment to take up the King cause creating the largest radiothon in the company’s history. At a time when the broadcasting industry as a whole is experiencing financial and competitive pressures, this cause marketing effort demonstrates one thing we tend to forget:

Radio is always at its best when it remains committed to positively impacting the communities that it serves, and supporting cause marketing campaigns, like the “Build A Dream” Radiothon, improves the station’s image in the community and creates exposure that’s more cost-effective and more memorable than advertising.

With the current negative advertising environment, station marketing and promotions budgets are becoming increasingly tighter. Every line item is under more scrutiny, including the advertising and research dollars used to attract, understand, manage and grow cume. More than ever, radio executives are seeking creative and efficient ways to reach and engage their audiences. And stepping up cause marketing efforts can help in a major way.

Before the consolidation era, the FCC required stations to do “ascertainment” studies to uncover and address issues and needs impacting their communities. As that responsibility was lifted, many stations – and I might add, to the detriment of their ratings performance, revenues and relationships in the community – no longer took their commitment to community seriously, removing their focus from the true issues and concerns of people they were licensed to serve.

If you’re broadcasting on the public airwaves, how can you gain your profits from the community, but choose not to reinvest those profits into your relationship with the people and causes in your community? While some have forgotten, stations that impact the community and win in the ratings have always known the answer:

Good business and community goodwill go hand in hand—if you resolve to make money AND make a difference.

Winning stations are all about community because they know their relationship with the community empowers their success. By continually replenishing the reservoir of goodwill they create in the community, winning stations make themselves big in the hearts and minds of consumers. In turn, that goodwill enables those difference-making stations to be sustained by their communities as the stations navigate through industry inflection points, economic downturns, increasing competition and down ratings books.

When your station is committed to making your community better, your brand will benefit because cause marketing connects you to your audience in a relevant and meaningful way. It amplifies your station’s core values and beliefs within your brand experience allowing your listeners to better relate to each other and your brand.

To further the case for cause marketing and quickly remind you of why it can be so beneficial to you and your station, here are ten reasons to get more involved and resolve to make a difference.

  1. You’re helping an organization that you truly believe in.
  2. You have a direct hand in helping others.
  3. Many times it can be fun and you learn more about your community.
  4. You strengthen in the public eye, the image of your station and employees.
  5. It is great publicity for the cause and your station, cluster or corporate organization.
  6. Cause marketing generates a feeling of goodwill towards non-profits and your station.
  7. Cause marketing often allows you to meet decision-makers, influencers and local celebrities in your community.
  8. It is a great way to encourage employees to share and give back to others.
  9. There are tax benefits of donating money, products or services.
  10. Oftentimes the exposure and feedback from alliances with community-based organizations is more cost effective and memorable than advertising.

As a part of your pre-Fall Book planning, make sure your checklist includes reevaluating or reestablishing your station’s cause marketing programs. The tremendous goodwill and exposure gained from your station participating in a good cause marketing campaign is priceless - and oftentimes free – if you’re willing to commit innovative ideas and people power to the cause.

As soon as you can, arrange an ideation session with your product and promotions teams to identify cause marketing opportunities that your station/cluster/company can link to: Opportunities that will not only increase your involvement and goodwill in the community, but also aid in the increase of your ratings and revenues this Fall.

By partnering with the right community organizations and clients to get behind the causes that are most relevant to your audience, you can extend your station’s reach into the community and ignite more intimacy and affinity between your brand and your listeners.

Back To Basics: Personality 101 Primer

If you are a good dj today and you want to break through the clutter to become a great personality tomorrow - and succeed in a digital world - it’s time to UPGRADE. You can no longer afford to think of yourself just a “dj.” YOU ARE A BRAND: a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory, multi-media personality.

Now faced with the challenges of the PPM, shifting media consumption patterns and other issues impacting your ability to capture and hold the attention of time-squeezed (and time-shifting) listeners/users, you must commit to doing whatever you can to develop yourself (with the help of your OM/PD/Consultant) into an IE: “innovative entertainer.” As an innovative entertainer you must think “live” and “on-demand” when creating your content. And you must consider how that content will delivered and exist on-air, online, on the streets and on-device. Everything you do must be creative and compelling because ENGAGEMENT=RATINGS and REVENUE.

If you’re wondering where to begin, just start at the beginning. As with anything, it’s important to get back to basics before you move forward. Make sure you’ve mastered key personality fundamentals to ensure that you are building your brand on a solid foundation for the future. To help, here’s your PERSONALITY PRIMER 101:

1. Credibility is everything…keep it real. The most important quality to cutting through the clutter and succeeding today is to develop a trusting relationship with listeners. They must perceive that you tell the truth, that you tell it like it really is. "Jocking" or announcing is formula. It is being on automatic pilot without any feeling or emotion. Feeling it involves intention and emotion. No feeling, no emotion, no intention equals no communication. Even "coming up next" can either be read or communicated with meaning.

2. Finding your voice, your ‘Comic Perspective’… (Outside of current PPM markets) Arbitron is still a game of memory and recall. Breakthrough talents combine credibility with strong characterization, which means expressing yourself with your own vision of the world around you and establishing the essence of your relatability; to people listening who either are like you or your opposite.

Some examples include:
  • Observational Everyman (normal guy/woman with wacked out people around him/her)
  • People pleaser
  • Cynic
  • Perennially single female

3. The secret to mastering any performance skill is not trying too hard. Trying too hard usually means thinking too much about what you’re doing during performance. The time to think is when you’re planning the show before you go on the air and during songs and commercials. While you’re on the air be alert and completely in the moment. Being a great listener is a major part of being aware and being focused in the present moment.

4. Prep. Prep. Prep. Highly revered basketball coach John Wooden said it best, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." Avoid reading or memorizing. Master the material with the goal being spontaneity and sincerity.

5. Pay attention to what’s important. Distractions keep talent from being in the moment and focused on the message, caller or break. Instant Messaging, request lines, sales people, and friends in the studio are just some of the distractions that will keep talent from connecting with listeners.

6. Know the selling priorities. For example with promotions, in a Lil Wayne and T-Pain contest that involved giving away their CD collaboration and a trip to see them perform together live in Miami, the trip is obviously the most enticing part of the giveaway to listeners. The following is a useful guide:

Attention: Think from the listeners perspective and lead with the biggest listener benefit, a headline or hook to get their attention. Using the example above: "Wanna fly to Miami to see Lil Wayne and T-Pain?"

Interest: Make it enticing, alluring to capture their interest…"South Beach, celebrities and the hottest performers in the game today!"

Detail: Use only bottom line, need-to-know information on live sells leaving details to produced promos. "When you hear Lil Wayne and T-Pain back-to-back call to win their new T-Wayne CD and a shot at the Miami Fly Away, we’ll tell you all about in just a few minutes on WGEO-FM.

Action: Urge them to take action…"Listen for Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s new song in the next 20 minutes to win a trip to South Beach...."

7. Sell the call letters/station name with pride and enthusiasm and say them a lot. Say the station calls/name often as you can work it in to conversation and to make it stand out. Look for new and different ways to highlight the station/name. It’s been proven in Arbitron over and over that the stations with the most name mentions tend to have higher recall and therefore cume. (This will change when your market is measured by PPM...right now---you're still in a diary-recall world!)

8. Focus on getting more TSL. The best talent are focused on ONE mission -- stretching TSL. Talent can press the flesh to build cume, but on air there is really only one thing they can do to increase ratings: convince that moment’s audience to keep listening or tune in again another time. Lead with something great that will get listener’s attention and keep them listening, or tease upcoming content to generate another listening occasion.

9. Talking in music sweeps: make a song-to-song segue by hitting the second song at full volume, let it establish for approximately one second, and then talk over the song intro. The exception to this guideline would be with cold/no intro songs, and then it is acceptable to talk on the back fade of the song quickly. Avoid ‘bridging two songs’, where the jock starts talking on the fade of one song and then starts the second song under the rap. Forward momentum and energy is increased when you hit the next song and deliver your quick message. Note: It is important to totally respect the music in some formats where its policy not to talk over the music at all. If there is any talk in music sweeps it’s done between songs.

10. Avoid letting songs fade too long. Take the song out at the point that the song starts to fade, in other words, before there is any noticeable fade on the air. Hit the next song at slightly higher volume and pull the previous song volume down. Of course you don’t want to cut the song in the middle of a word, which would make it obvious to listeners, but you can exit on the end of a refrain or phrase while the song is still hot.

11. Avoid talking over any vocals on song intros. It sounds fine to talk between any vocal intros, as long as it’s not vocal-over-vocal. And remember the cardinal rule of good delivery: just because it’s a 60 second ramp, doesn’t mean you HAVE to chat it up for 60 seconds.

12. Focus on one main thought/theme per talk break. By doing this you increase the chance of your message or content being remembered by listeners. The typical listener is listening with something less than 20% of their consciousness. To have a chance at delivering a message that gets through, it needs to be focused on one important thing they care about. Multiple thought breaks and laundry lists of upcoming content obscure the important message and detract from memorability.

13. Pot up low level intros all the way to full volume so there is no drop on the air. Keeping the audio levels consistent is good for TSL. Constantly changing audio levels is annoying and a cause of tune-out.

14. The voice-to-music ratio when talking over song intros should be similar to that of a lead singer’s voice in a song. Listeners will ideally hear the voice being slightly dominant over the music, yet both clearly audible -- you don’t want to be buried by the music nor have the voice to be so dominant that it obscures the music. The exact right place to be in the music and your distance from the microphone are two variables to play with. Listen to tapes of your show with different settings and see how it sounds without headphones on. Headphones can make things sound very different from car speakers in rush hour.

15. Make music beds repetitive and consistent without a lot of distracting musical changes. Avoid horns and vocals. The main purpose of using beds is to lift the energy level of conversations and fill in dead spaces. Listeners shouldn’t notice beds unless they’re used for staging to get listeners’ attention.

16. Be quick- but don’t hurry. There’s a difference between being efficient and succinct and rushing through conversations. If you hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes, but if you’re not quick, you won’t get things done and you will bore your listener. The bottom line is to be a good self-editor. This is particularly important for set ups. The set up to any bit, interview, feature, etc. is critical to its success.

17. Set Ups: Clearly and enthusiastically set up a feature, bit or conversation to get listeners’ attention and pique their interest. Listeners make a mental decision on whether to listen to something after the first sentence of introduction.

18. Exits: Don’t miss the exit on the freeway -- remember to get out at an impact point. Develop a sense for when to end a conversation, bit, etc. Leave the listeners on a high note with something strong and memorable.

19. Branding. Get ownership of your content by attaching the station and/or show name to all features. Creative and entertaining produced intros and outros help you brand content.

20. Teasing. Teasing upcoming content is the absolute best way to fuel TSL. This also adds to people feeling like they’re going to miss something if they don’t listen every day or listen longer. TV entertainment shows and newscasts have made an absolute science out of enticing billboarding and teasing to create momentum and build longer viewing. They devote 25% of content time to previewing! Talent who ‘get’ the art of teasing will consistently outperform talent who don’t.

(Special thanks to morning show consultant Randy Lane)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

7 Habits Of Highly Effective Email Marketers (And Programmers)

David Baker, VP of Email Solutions at Avenue A/Razorfish, applies Stephen Covey’s core principles of the “7 Habits” to create more effective email marketing – and YOU should too!

Habit 1: Be Proactive.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.
Habit 6: Synergize.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw.

Read the entire article

Geometric Insight: Is your content highly effective? Not only can Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits” core principles be applied to email marketing, as David Baker demonstrates here, but the”7 Habits” principles and process can be readily applied to content creation and delivery on-air, online, on-site and on-device.

Bonus: For more email insights, click
here to view PromoSuite’s Listener Email Study.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Theory Of Branding (And Building A Successful Radio Station)

KLM’s theory of branding is based on the same principles that apply to building a successful radio station that will stand out from the competition. If you want to win, you must:
  1. Create an identity that stands for a set of values. (What does your station stand for?)
  2. Emblazon your product(s) or service(s) (read: shows, bits and features) with it.
  3. Communicate it consistently. (Remember, frequency sells.)
  4. Grow and change with the marketplace and the consumer (user/listener).
  5. Become a way of life for a loyal franchise of customers (clients) and consumers (users/listeners).
  6. Attract new users (cume) and grow unendingly.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Engaging Emotions Through Effective Radio Ads (+ Content)

Engaging Emotions Through Effective Radio Ads is the second part of a Radio Ad Lab project originally conducted by Gallup & Robinson (G&R) in 2007 and designed to assess how well Radio ads generate emotional responses and engage with consumers, compared to television ads.

Findings from the study reveal that in effective Radio ads:

  • Strong beginnings make a difference. An involving point of entry distinguishes some of the most successful Radio ads.
  • Word selection matters. Words that are sensory-laden, emotional, or empowering have a demonstrable impact on the emotional reactions of consumers.
  • Audio can be powerful. Audio can generate stronger emotions than visuals, especially when the tonality in the ad is used effectively.
  • Brand mentions have an impact. The best Radio ads mention the advertiser’s brand multiple times, strategically placed to correlate with moments of high consumer engagement.
The highest scoring and best performing ad in the study exhibited all of the above, a strong indication that Radio commercials are highly engaging to consumers when the creative process follows these patterns.

Download the Full Study
Download the Executive Summary

Geometric Insight: The very elements that help make effective radio ads - strong beginnings, careful and contextual word selection, powerful audio and impactful brand mentions - should be applied to content breaks and imaging as well. Engaging emotions enables you to strengthen the connection and increase the level of interaction consumers (read: users/listeners) have with your brand.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Geometric Interactive Insight: How To Use Video To Generate Revenue For Radio

Did you know that VIDEO is the key to you making money EVERYWHERE on your website?


Existing Web sites that incorporate video see lower bounce rates, higher levels of engagement, and more repeat traffic. This increases the value of the non-video portion of the site, driving up eCPMs for more traditional display advertising.

And that's important because the IDC forecasts that the real market for online ads is emerging and will grow sevenfold by 2012, hitting $3.8 billion domestically. As I’ve stated many times before in articles, blog posts, presentations and meetings: The digital dollars are there. The question is…Are you getting your share? Increasingly, video will contribute to online content generation, but more importantly, REVENUE generation.

Twistage CEO David Wadler shares his insights in a good how-to article outlining points to generate dollars from video on your website at Not only does he highlight the fact that the inclusive of video on your website helps to lift the revenue you can generate from other display pages, but there are more great tips to help you generate revenue with video too, summarized as follows:
  • Sponsorship: Offering sponsorships of the player, a series of videos, or perhaps even of the entire video experience can be a compelling option for a brand advertiser.
  • Focus on the audiences your brand can pinpoint
  • Balance your zeal for monetization with the quality of the user experience
  • Create great content. The better your content and the more engaged your audience, the higher eCPMs will be for your videos.

Thanks to Mark Ramsey for sharing this article and his summary with me. Click here to see David’s full article.