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Just as Britain’s retailers recover from being told what they already knew – that the economy is in double dip recession – another prospect looms this summer; the curse of the major sporting event.
In the past, some of national teams’ exploits have been known to clear the High Streets of everyone other than those hunting for cheap booze and barbecues. And this year has the potential to be even worse with the prospect of England in the Euro 2012 and the Olympics on home soil.
Our answer? Embrace the events and use them to draw customers in. Let’s face it, there’s always a reason for people not to spend money, whether it be the economy, taxes, petrol prices or the weather. So why not give your customers the perfect opportunity to engage with their favourite sport AND spend some money?
Themed events, competitions, and promotions can all create the right environment to remind people that the world doesn’t stop when the football starts. And the Olympics will undoubtedly give the UK a feel good factor that’s been sorely missed over the last few years.
With email, text and social media it’s never been easier to invite your customers to your ‘Olympic Discount Event’. And if your core target market is sportphobic, invite them to a Footy-Free Zone and offer special discounts to people who hate Football.
Blueye Media can help you organise your event and provide the collateral to make it work with everything from invitations, posters and adverts to website updates, social media training and press releases.
Businesses concerned about the downturn are missing a trick by failing to utilise the increasing power of radio, which continues to buck the trend in the offline media world.
Radio advertising, often maligned in the past as scattergun and unquantifiable in terms of response, invariably suffers from the same peaks and troughs as most other media channels during recession. But the consistent rise in listening numbers across most commercial stations in the UK means there’s a growing pool of potential customers offering rich pickings for those bold enough to advertise the right offer at the right time with the right creative message.
Far from being overshadowed by the internet like some other media, radio has positively embraced the web, with digital stations popping up and multiplying over the last 10 years.
There are a host of positive reasons for using radio advertising during a downturn, one of them being the ability to get your message to potential customers even when they’re not looking for your business. Directories, classified press ads and, most notably, the internet rely on people proactively searching for products or services. This ‘search’ activity naturally reduces during a recession. With radio however, it’s different. People don’t stop listening because times are hard or money’s tight, in fact they’re likely have more time to listen.
Rather like TV advertising, people react to radio commercials but they don’t ‘search’ for them. Unlike TV though, listeners don’t have the option to fast forward or skip through commercial breaks, making radio a ‘low-ad-avoidance’ medium. Listeners are also far less likely to change stations, tending to be much more loyal to just one or two channels.
Radio advertising is unashamedly subliminal and relies on the listeners’ awareness and consciousness, but whilst some think this is a drawback when it comes to recognition of advertising, it’s actually an advantage. Radio advertising is one of the few media that can reach your audience when they’re doing something else, such as driving, working or gardening; times when most other media can’t reach them.
It’s also the medium that ‘pushes’ breaking news to the masses quickest and often gives the most in depth coverage and gets people responding with phone-ins, texts and social media. The way radio interacts with these other media is the secret to its success.
Making radio advertising work is an art as well as a science, but one that has a few golden rules that, when followed, make success highly likely. You can find out what those rules are by clicking here to download our free pdf; 21 ways to make radio really work for your business.
Another year, another X-Factor winner. We all love it/hate it but what we can’t escape is the fact that we all watch it, talk about it, have an opinion on it and, for some of us, spend money on it.
So what is it about X-Factor that makes the last four months of our year so involved?
We all love to see the contestants’ auditions – they’re funny, irritating and make for great TV, and let’s be honest, we all love laughing at someone else’s expense. The new judging panel was awaited with immense anticipation and received favourably – just as Mr. Cowell knew it would be (clever, clever guy, although just a little too smug to be completely likeable). Tulisa, Kelly, Gary and Louis – all becoming more ‘glam’ as the show unfolds – even Louis with his new teeth, hair and Botox. Love him or hate Louis Walsh, if he wasn’t there, we’d miss him. (Simon also knows this or he’d have been wheeled away in his bath chair years ago – clever, clever guy).
And then there’s the phone-in, text-in, vote with your red button-in – how much money!!!? Clever Guy! Mix this all up with the controversy, the ‘go out and get more hammered than Oliver Read in a distillery’ Frankie Cocoza and the sheer brilliance of Caroline Flack and Olly Murs presenting the Xtra Factor and you’ve got the Nation eating out of your hand. Or in Cowell’s case crossing his palms with gold.
All this in a recession? Clever, clever guy! Let me put this into context – how many ads do we see on TV these days pleading with us to donate just £2 to save a snow leopard, a child in Africa, to help the NSPCC? My guess is that not enough people pick up the phone. But show us Johnny Robinson and we’ll spend a ridiculous amount of money to keep him wailing for another week.
So what’s my point?
Well, I’m not saying it’s difficult for Simon Cowell to spend money (although he did hold back on the Finalists’ duets this year) but his strategy is as faultless as a Leona Lewis top C. He spends money in a recession and gets people spending and buying into the whole X-Factor machine. And he doesn’t stop. The advertising for X-Factor Live hit our screens weeks before the show finished. And the Xtra Factor continues until Christmas. And what is astonishing, Goldie (Chinese mental woman – remember her, she made another appearance on Final night) was Number 1 trending topic – Worldwide – on Twitter. So you see, he even makes money out of complete rubbish – so we’re all in with a shout!
Everything is planned beautifully beforehand and runs smoother than Dermott O’Leary bathed in baby oil (sorry, just a fantasy). True, we may not have the bank balance of Mr. Cowell, but he wasn’t always wealthy. He uses marketing to great advantage, he knows that if no-one knew about X-Factor, then Strictly Come Dancing would walk all over it, that his blockbuster Red or Black wouldn’t have even been thought about and that X-Factor USA wouldn’t have ever made it on the plane.
In short, you need to spend as much as you can on your marketing in these hard times.
Create the hype, create the money. Create the X-Factor for your brand.
World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
On Friday 30th September the Blueye team turned Green for a few hours. We supported the Macmillan Cancer Support – World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and raised £108 which was then matched by our wonderful FD so our support raised to £216. With a plethora of cakes and biscuits we fairly much guaranteed that each and every one of us left work that day slightly larger than when we entered.