Most lay people have a very poor understanding of the craft of advertising. You only have to see the entire cottage industry of awards and certifications that exist to know that for a bunch of communications professionals, we have a really hard time communicating our value.
Another example of this is a constant march of “me too” style requests that come from clients wanting some new piece of ad tech or to buy ads on some new platform in order to be relevant.
To be clear, I’m not blaming clients for this. In the vacuum of information, the veritable island of ignorance we leave them on, this sort of response is only natural. I’m going to challenge the notion that new is inherently good, and that the latest bell or whistle is going to magically going to make your marketing click.
What I’m saying is: value can be found anywhere.
Nielsen came out with a report not too long ago saying that, I kid you not, radio is actually the most valuable advertising medium out there at this moment.
You’re probably wondering why. I mean, doesn’t radio predate just about everything? Surely it’s saturated and doesn’t offer nearly the targeting options and data insights that digital does?
All that may be true, but at the end of the day it’s all about that arbitrage.
I have a unique perspective working in a media agency as opposed to other more creative agencies. While most people think of Mad Men and Don Draper making the big pitch, we’re more like Harry and the computer in the backroom.
My job has more in common with a hedge fund manager than it does with Don Draper’s pitch meetings. For people like me, it’s all about the numbers. It’s all about finding a medium, or some platform, or a place to buy ads that’s ignored by the mass market due to human bias or just plain old missed opportunity and exploiting it to make people more money.
That’s why to guys like me radio is really exciting.
A hedge fund manager may get really fired up about a really boring business, not because they’re trying to buy sexy businesses for the sake of being cool, but because they care about acquiring assets that are undervalued and making money off them. (Gross oversimplification, I know).
Radio is just a single example of this phenomenon. There are thousands of these opportunities that exist all over the place in the modern and constantly shifting media landscape. If I can leave you with a lesson here’s what it should be; Don’t chase new for the sake of new. Chase value over whatever’s hot or sexy at the moment. If someone comes to you with an idea that seems dated or strange, consider it, but also demand a justification with hard numbers, not conjecture.
Oh and, if I were you, I’d think about buying some radio.