Friday, December 5, 2008

God help radio and God help radio's customers

So I was traveling this week and got a free copy of USA TODAY on my hotel room doorknob (does anybody actually buy this paper?) Inside was a nice, colorful insert, urging me to give “the gift that fits.” (Here’s a link to the insert:

The piece says I should give an HD Radio to someone special this Christmas, not a gift card, a necktie, or a “re-gift.” It claims there are 100 different HD Radios and gives me a long list of manufacturers and retail stores. There is even a bullet-point list of various types of HD Radios that exist: alarm clock, table top, and portables, to name a few.

If I look hard enough, I finally see a few reasons listed for WHY I should give someone an HD Radio for a gift: more local stations, higher quality sound, and no subscription fee. That's it. Still, it seems the main reason is because 29 manufacturers make HD Radios and eleven retailers sell them.

I can’t help but ask several questions”

· What am I missing here? Why is the fact that people make and sell a product a reason why I should give it as a gift?
· Are the three value propositions offered on this piece enough to make that lucky giftee squeal with delight on Christmas morning? I’m trying to think who on my gift list is looking for “more local stations” or, for that matter, “higher quality sound” than they are getting already. Gosh, yes. My wife, my boss, my brother have all been telling me how much they would like more local radio stations! Thank you, broadcasters, for providing me the perfect gift!
· OK, so they want me to find “just the right HD Radio for your special someone” (honest, that’s what the copy says!). What is the point of this expensive print insert piece? Are they trying to drive me to a store or to a web site? It can't be that they want to give me any reasons why the HD Radio is such a spectacular gift. If they want to push me to the web site, they only list the URL once that I can find, and it is in a font and color I can hardly make out. And I don't see a compelling reason for me to "visit." How many people will actually go there to “print out a customized shopping list?”
· And finally, who are these guys trying to reach with this piece? Why USA TODAY? Of all possible placement or media, why USA TODAY?

Radio tells its customers that they are “marketing experts” who will help them sell their product or service. God help the radio industry and God help its customers!


Anonymous said...

Don- I met you on 20 meters this past weekend. I always appreciate meeting nice people like yourself and have ejoyed reading your blog. I hope to work you again sometime....nice blog and nice eham article. I am going to check your books out for some vacation reading material....take care.

Kyle N9NJM

Anonymous said...

PS - Sorry Alabama lost to Florida. I was rooting for Bama!


Don Keith N4KC said...

Hi, Kyle. Good to talk with you again, this time on the keyboard instead of 20M...which is, of course, dead by now.

Bama played a very good game, and there is no shame in losing when they give their all. Tim Tebow may well be the best college football player ever! If Florida had had even a very good QB, Alabama would probably have won the game.
I'll look for you again on the bands. And thanks for stopping by.

Don N4KC