That’s the hard part. Doing the homework. At The MBMI Companies, we do our homework for every product and service we are engaged to develop. We make every effort to learn from the bad experiences of others to ensure that you don’t. That’s why we’ve created a list that you can use to grade your own homework. Allow us to demonstrate to you Branding Made Difficult in 10 Steps.Read more
Far from the violence we saw last week, recently one of our teams watched a petty office issue between two employees gather steam until the boiler was about to burst. Just then, the owner of the business overheard the shouting and stepped into the discussion. He asked both parties to join us in his office.
He looked at the men and said, “Guys, what I just saw was unnecessary and unprofessional. It could ruin one of your careers, and I like both of you, so please let me share a story while you guys cool down a bit.” He gave them bottled water from his office fridge, handing both bottles to the man closest to him, to force him to offer the remaining bottle to his co-worker. (more…)Read more
It might seem that branding would be a first nature function of hospitality management, but all too often MBMI Maximized Brand Marketing consultants find the exact opposite to be true. If you manage any business that serves the hospitality sector, we offer these simple Core Branding Qualities for your review. Feel free to put them to work or pass them along to someone who needs them. (more…)Read more
We seek great leaders. Citizens demand bold leadership. Many companies track their sales executives on Leader Boards. CEOs impart their wisdom at leadership conferences, which, we can only imagine, means that only the crème de la crème of the company may attend and benefit. Oddly, that seems the antithesis of what great leaders would want for their companies.
Some say convincingly that leaders are born, not made.
At The MBMI Companies, we disagree.
Not only can leaders be made, they must be made.
After over a century of combined years of managing businesses of all sizes, and even a few seasons at quarterback, the MBMI “leadership” has developed our list of qualities that make a noteworthy leader (more…)
Current PPM wisdom may dictate that your time and efforts should be spent elsewhere, and while drives are beneficial in your quest for ranking position, the drives aren’t the only dayparts that move the needle.
When you next meet with your on-air, marketing or imaging teams, remember why middays still matter; there are huge and frequently mobile audiences available to listen with focus and attention.
I used to be an iPhone guy. I had the original iPhone and I fed my habit over and over, all the way through the 4S series (Siris?).
Then I wasn’t an iPhone guy anymore. I have stayed true to all my other Apple products because of their design, functionality and, yes, “cool” factor. The iPhone 5 and 5C in their rainbow colors, though? I said keep ‘em, even as my then eleven year-old begged for a 5C.
My wife gave in to his big eyes and “I need a smartphone so you can text me at school, Mom” argument. He got his coveted iPhone 5C and I bailed for the comfort, connectivity and customization of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Game on, Grasshopper.
His first 5C failure came in the form of a faulty screen. Apple Care to the rescue. Replaced. Next, two non-functioning Home Buttons on consecutive units. Ta DAAAA. “Thanks for making me get Apple Care, Dad.” Then came the overheating and, now, back to the Home Button issue, but this time on the 5S he chose after he reached his melting point. In all, five…count them…four 5C’s and a 5S.Read more
But what if that earthquake had happened in the center of San Francisco during the middle of the day? Would the broadcasters have been ready? Would retailers have had a plan to sustain business in the aftermath?
If your business does not have a disaster plan in place, it is time for you to formulate one. If you have put one together, there is no time like the present to call the staff together for a review.
To help you along, our team has created a short checklist of items worth discussing when you draw up or revise your plan. (more…)Read more
A century and a half ago or more in the American west, droughts could come over the land that were so lengthy that lakes turned into deserts, booming riverfront bars became just more abandoned buildings in once bustling ghost towns, and the settlers…well, the settlers would become very superstitious. They’d do anything, pay anything, to bring them life-giving rain. Roving rainmakers, charlatans all, came out of the woodwork to provide relief and relieve the affected townspeople of their savings.
Even native American tribes had a long history of petitioning their gods for relief through the custom of the rain dance.
That’s why what you do when your brand experiences a drought is so important.
The broadcast pioneers of old knew how to deal with audience drought, and it had nothing to do with magic. Reversing down trending audience numbers is a matter of executing detailed analysis of available information and then using elbow grease to provide consumers with what they really want.
This article details everything that you should do, from the moment you receive ratings or brand information until the point that you act upon that knowledge. (more…)Read more
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to another candidate for MBMI’s Career Rehab program. The program is more of a study course, really, than it is anything else. Participants learn how to evaluate themselves, play to their strengths and weaknesses, interview, and apply skills they may not even have known they possessed, to new or better positions.
Unfortunately, regardless of all the stories of sunshine and roses that we hear each month from the government, radio and television broadcast jobs are becoming increasingly more difficult to acquire and maintain. Long time veterans, people with marquis names, are being put out to pasture. Often these are people for whom broadcasting was a lifelong career. Now, at ages that apparently exceed the tolerance threshold of some Boards of Directors, these pros are, as Joel Denver used to say, “On the Loose.”
A situation that borders on age discrimination.
But NOT the insurmountable and paralyzing event that some newly unemployed victims make it out to be.
We have discussed this topic in the past, but the relevancy of it makes it another discussion worthwhile.
So, if you fall into this category, or any other in which you recently have found yourself without benefit of employment, or if you think that you can hear the train coming around the bend but you can’t quite yet see the headlight, MBMI offers you
As we broke out into meetings, and I was with all of the Promotion Directors and Marketing Directors, I suggested that really nothing great has ever been achieved in a conference room and since it was the middle of Winter and we were at the Ritz in LA, why not take it to the pool and do it in the sun.
You would have thought that I’d suggesting putting puppies in a blender.
The majority of our promo meeting, after we labored through some lame mission statement, was to try and create a form (they so loved their forms) that we could use to grade our promotions and events.
My thought, which was totally lost on the sheep, was that Promotions serves so many masters and that “success” or “failure” is really subjective based on what department you come from, that this seemed like kind of a waste. They looked at me like I had eels crawling from my ears.
I get that a lot. (more…)Read more
You remember Cult Branding; Entice your consumer to love you so much that they and others would buy the product or service, fanatically endorse it to friends and family, and become followers.
Cult Branding was treated as the Holy Grail of marketing.
Gradually, new fads and fashions came and went, and the venerable cult branding became only one facet of larger and, forgive the intended pun, more communal marketing plans. During that time, the marketers who were, themselves, fanatical about this approach to their products have seemingly faded away, now espousing the benefits of Google advertising or product placement in the latest shoot ‘em up video game.
So why bring up Cult Branding in a 2014 blog? (more…)Read more
I work with one of the finest five-star hotel groups in the world. I deal regularly with people for whom guest service is a way of life, but it took a concierge onboard a cruise ship to demonstrate how one man, and one man alone, can make or break your company or mine.
His name is Francis. He is a native of a Pacific Rim nation, who came to the United States to work at sea, serving well-heeled customers in hopes of contributing to his family’s future. He spends as many as six consecutive months at sea, living in shared quarters like a college student, using Skype as his only lifeline to his wife and darling daughter. That doesn’t make him special, though, because many immigrants, legal and otherwise, come to the United States to work and benefit from our generosity.
What makes Francis different from the rest is that he singlehandedly changed my mind about an entire company. (more…)Read more
I’m an old jingle guy. During my years as a radio and television programmer and talent, I used and/or created at least twenty different jingle packages. I also spent five years of my career creating jingle packages and programming for a large Dallas-based jingle company. Later, I worked closely with the King Of Jingles, the late Tom Merriman (the TM of TM Productions) and his court jester, my good friend, Tony Griffin. The lessons I learned are exceeded only by the tall tales they would tell over a good, stiff adult beverage at the end of the day. The drinks aside, I recall that they taught me four secrets of creating a custom jingle package. I’d like to share them with you. (more…)Read more
For decades, the majority of American radio programmers have followed one consistent rule when programming music: Play the hits! Why not? After all, in the past, most listeners used radio as their primary source for discovering and enjoying the most current songs in every format genre. There were few other choices besides MTV or a friend’s mix tape. For the most part, radio was king. Record labels and radio enjoyed a love-hate relationship that further established radio as the authority on what was, and wasn’t, worth their audiences’ listening time and money.
As radio and records’ music taste and fashion monopoly/axis became more powerful, American radio programmers tightened down libraries and playlists proportionately in the quest for more and more listeners. In general, the old rules still apply to most North American playlists and so do the consequences of it.
The theory is simple but somewhat counterintuitive: Play hits over and over because people want to hear those songs. Repetition creates more opportunities for listeners to hear those familiar favorites, creating more listening opportunities that equate to more overall time spent listening. According to the theory, more cume will drive through the radio station to hear the big songs. Large TSL and cume drive up share, and share drives revenue. When revenue is up, everyone is happy, so repetition is a good thing.
Or, it isn’t. (more…)Read more
Just words on a page for the sake of meeting a deadline.
It happened to me this week and it made me ill. At first, I thought I had become one of “those” writers, who self-gratifies himself with the worst kind of B.S.: Reading his own words and agreeing with them. Maybe that is true to a certain extent, but that wasn’t why my stomach felt like I had just ingested the El Grande Breakfast Burrito at Taco Bell.
It suddenly dawned on me that I am sick and tired of the B.S. that I read, hear, view and otherwise absorb. Lately, B.S. seemingly is everywhere and painfully obvious in the broadcasting trade. (more…)Read more
In Europe we have different opinions regarding analogue switch off and going all digital. The radio markets in the different European countries are structured sometimes very different and have different histories and backgrounds. My home country is Finland. We are an European country and one of the Scandinavian countries. There is one main difference: Finlands private radio market is doing very much better than our Scandinavian neighbours.
In Norway, Sweden and Denmark the public broadcasting sector is very strong and the commercially funded private radio industry has a market share of the listeners representing something between 25 – 35%. They also have much weaker FM networks for private radios compared to the public broadcaster. In Finland commercial radio and public broadcasting have divided the audience 50/50 for many years. Commercial radio has a much bigger share for audiences under 55 and in the older demographics public broadcasting is the leader.
This market situation explains a lot why Sweden, Norway and Denmark are pro digital and keen on announcing switch off dates for FM. Norway was the first country to announce that in 2017 FM will be switched off. But there are conditions involved. 90% of the population needs to have access to digital broadcasing and over 50% of all listening needs to be digital before a switch off can be made. What will happen to the other 50% at that point? I do not think they will automatically go digital just because FM will be switched off. (more…)Read more
The portion of the argument that stands out to us, but has been missing from the discourse until today, is that radio operators do so in the public interest and as expected by the public. While radio companies generate advertising profits from the overall benefit of their licenses, those profits, if any, are invested in providing a unique and free service to the people who actually own the airwaves: We the People. (more…)Read more
This client stands out for another, less favorable, reason: Its employees don’t feel important. That is where we encountered the problem and where your organization can benefit from what we observed.
We frequently have pointed out in our blog posts that employees need to possess a clear understanding of the objectives of any mission. They need to hear and believe that their contributions are necessary and appreciated. In the case of this particular organization, though, the employees suffer from what they think is a lack of appreciation. It isn’t. The employees are greatly appreciated and, for the most part, compensated according to skill levels. These employees suffer from a lack of communication. The inability of this company’s senior staff to communicate to frontline supervisors is as startling as it is remarkable. What makes this situation sadder and more serious is that that senior management doesn’t even communicate within its own ranks. The vacuum of meaningful manager-to-subordinate feedback is obvious, and we have raised warning flags about this issue at every level of the company in the hope of correcting the problem before it is too late.
“Too late?” you ask. Yes. We have seen this movie before and the ending always makes us cry. (more…)Read more
Actually, the history books place the blame, er, credit, for Father’s Day squarely at the feet of one Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. In 1910, Ms. Dodd joined forces with a local YMCA to celebrate fatherhood. It was a complement to Mother’s Day, which was already a resounding success. Father’s Day took a bit longer to get off the ground. Although a couple of presidents stood fast on the topic, it wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson declared the third Sunday of June to be Dad’s Day.
The rest is history.
Now, hold onto those polka dot ties and Norelco electric shavers, because this week’s blog recalls those priceless words of wisdom shared by dads everywhere to their children, in the hopes of teaching right from wrong, good from evil, fat from thin, and generally go back to watching their baseball.
Thus, MBMI presents the top ten “Dad-isms” and their translations. Remember their effect on you, consider how you use them today, and delight in how your kids will remember you by them long after you are no longer around to barbeque your own Father’s Day dinner:Read more