What Are You Doing With Your Time?


Take a moment today and reflect on how fleeting our time can be.Greg Chirrick passed away last evening.  If you didn’t know Greg, you certainly passed his businesses every day.  Greg was very involved in our community. He coached at his son’s baseball games and one of the local all star teams.  I understand he may have been at a game last night. My prayers for the family as they try and make some sense of this.  His co-workers and employees at Taco John’s of the area have lost a great leader and man.After writing the paragraph about Greg, it is hard to write the rest of the content today.

There are countless stories from Boston this week about people who were saved through the heroic efforts of others.  Stories of how people suffered horrific injuries and are persevering.  Those are just words or images on TV.  Reality is what happens close to home.  Reality hit with a vicious punch last night.

May 23 is the date of the KGHL Anniversary Party

Mark May 23rd on your calendar right NOW!  Its the KGHL 85th anniversary party at our studios at 600 First Avenue North.  Last year we had a blast talking about the history of Billings oldest continuously operating commercial radio station.  This year, we’re gonna party like its a few years past 1999. Formal invitations along with countless e-mails cluttering your inbox are coming soon.

Do you remember when producers of the movie, Nebraska, came to shoot a few scenes in Billings last fall?  I was sitting in Don Luis Mexican Restaurant when the snow put an end to their shooting for the day.  The cool part?  I got a call from the show’s producers this week.  Apparently, they want a little authentic Montana radio audio for use in the show.  Their only call (at least they told me) was to Montana’s Mighty 790.  When the movie comes out, you may hear KGHL blaring in the background of a scene or two. If we stay off the cutting room floor.

This week in Mighty Marketing, SMB owners struggling with social media, a Fool dumps on cable companies (not the product, the companies), ancient advertising wisdom, the greatest thing ever written, and a definitive reason why Duck Dynasty works and how you can benefit.

61% of Small Business Owners See NO RETURN in Social Mediaby Anita Campbell, Small Business TrendsThirty-nine percent (39%) of small business owners are seeing a return on investment from social media.  That is according to a recent survey by Manta, released just last week.

Manta, an online small business community, surveyed more than 1,200 of its members to generate its quarterly Small Business Wellness Index, where these findings are from.

If 61% of small business owners aren’t seeing a return on their investment, why do so many agencies continue to pound the drum and promote social media and “counting the likes?”

Threats to Cable Getting More Real By The Day

The KGHL listener research study of more than 1700 people showed use of cable by our listeners was very low–only 21% were Optimum subscribers.  Now comes a presentation by the Motley Fool that really shows the challenges for cable.  The following showed up in my inbox this week.

Click on the photo to watch the presentation

Cable challenges from Motley Fool

Cable Challenges from Motley Fool

Ancient Advertising Wisdom
by Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads

Ancient Ad WisdomI’ve never seen a business fail due to “reaching the wrong people.” So why does every business owner instinctively believe that “reaching the right people” is the key to successful advertising?

Who, exactly, do you not want to know about you? Who isn’t qualified to repeat the good things they’ve heard about you? And when is the best time to advertise?

Solomon wrote about these things in the 11th chapter of Ecclesiastes:

“If you wait for perfect weather, you will never plant your seeds. If you are afraid that every cloud will bring rain, you will never harvest your crops… So begin planting early in the morning, and don’t stop working until evening. You don’t know what might make you rich. Maybe everything you do will be successful.”

Advertising is a seed that grows in the soil of the customer’s heart. If you will allow this metaphor, it would appear that Solomon advises, “Don’t overthink it. Just tell your story every day in every circumstance. You never know who might be listening.”

I know it’s counterintuitive, but if you look at all the offers from all the sellers of mass media and then accept the offer that allows you to reach the largest number of people each week, 52 weeks a year, for the fewest dollars per week, it’s hard to make a mistake.

An impressive, memorable message is what matters most. How you deliver that message – and who hears it – is far less important than you have been led to believe.

It is your choice of message that targets the customer, not your choice of media.

How to Conquer the World (in Only One Page!)

I just read an article in a professional publication that promised “How to Build a Marketing Empire.”  Hyperbole

It was eight paragraphs long.

If there were truth in titling, the writer of this article would be doing life in prison.

You can get a good idea or two in eight paragraphs. You can expand you knowledge in that much space.

What you can’t do is learn anything substantive enough to help you build a tiny hut much less an empire.

Customers, readers, followers and most people in general are tired of hyperbole and exaggeration. You have to be clever to get attention, but don’t stoop to arousing needs you can’t fulfill.

It goes back to the familiar but often unpracticed adage: Say what you’ll do and do what you’ll say.

Even if you only have eight paragraphs to do it.

Jase Robertson of Duck Dynasty Coming to Billings

Jase and Missy Robertson of Duck DynastyJase and Missy Robertson are coming to Metra Park in a fund raiser for the Big Sky Youth Education Foundation May 4.  I hope you have your tickets or table.  There are a lot of reasons why this show works.

I thought I’d let the Salt Lake Tribune explain why the show is so popular.

With their long, bushy beards, the camouflage-wearing, self-described “rednecks” of “Duck Dynasty” look more like a ZZ Top tribute band than reality-TV darlings. But they’re generating the kind of ratings and social media chatter that blow away many of their prime-time counterparts.

“Duck Dynasty” is a warm and amusing saga about the Robertson family of Louisiana. It shattered A&E viewing records when it attracted 8.6 million viewers to its Season 3 opener a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the show’s Facebook page has more than 4.2 million fans.

How did this happen? Why has a seemingly simple show about humble Southern folks who built their fortune on handmade duck calls resonated with so many people? Let us count the ways:

1. Family comes first

“Duck Dynasty” follows Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson; his wife, Korie; his parents, Phil and Miss Kay; his brothers Jase and Jep; and Phil’s weird brother, Uncle Si. They aren’t exactly the Waltons, but they’re an affectionate, devout brood that works, plays and prays together.

2. A down-to-basics simplicity

Amid the nation’s economic downturn, “Duck Dynasty” has touched a nerve with viewers who have become turned off by the gaudy, materialistic shenanigans of the “Real Housewives,” the Kardashians, et al.

3. It transcends its genre

On one hand, “Duck Dynasty” is riding the popular wave of so-called Southern-fried “redneck” shows that includes fare such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Swamp Pawn” and “Buckwild.” Then again, it really belongs in a category all its own.

4. Endearing characters

“Duck Dynasty” episodes generally have a sitcom structure and, like the best scripted sitcoms, it contains a collection of interesting, diverse personalities.

5. G-rated laughs

Susan Farrell, a fan who lives in Walnut Creek, calls “Duck Dynasty” a “modern-day ‘Brady Bunch.’ ” She appreciates the show largely because it’s one that she and her husband and three kids — ages 10 through 15 — can all enjoy.

More of the story is available by clicking on the title above.

Save the Date KGHL Anniversary Party


Explaining Boston

Explain Boston to your kids or your grandkids.  There are some things that just don’t make sense.  I was so proud of Ed McIntosh who was on the air at KGHL Monday afternoon.  Ed worked hard to get phone calls to Billings residents (like James Berve and Rocky coach Alan King) who ran in the marathon. He didn’t just write a story–he got them on the air to find out what happened and were they OK.  KGHL was online yes, but on air is where Ed and KGHL really shined.  I am proud to be at a place that does local radio and does it right.

How strongly do your employees believe in what they are selling?

It was a question that immediately set my mind to racing this morning when I heard it.  You’ve been around people who didn’t believe.  You know, the kind of employee who mumbles when you ask a question.  Or doesn’t follow up your request with a coherent answer.  It’s a great question to ask yourself in your business this morning.

Mark May 23rd on your calendar right NOW!  Its the KGHL 85th anniversary party at our studios at 600 First Avenue North.  Last year we had a blast talking about the history of Billings oldest continuously operating commercial radio station.  This year, we’re gonna party like its a few years past 1999. You’ll get an invitation for the event soon.

KGHL just completed the biggest audience research project I’ve ever been part of launching.  Over 1700 KGHL listeners had a chance to tell us what they thought, what they do, and what they like and don’t like about the Mighty 790.  The results were stunning.  I think it will change the way you look at KGHL.

This week in Mighty Marketing, the only way social media works, an infographic on social media use, the scariest part of being a print advertiser today, Google dumps another product, and the top line data on our innovative market study.

I hope you find this week’s issue useful.  Each week, I skim and review a ton of marketing ideas and blogs so you don’t have to spend your time. Thanks for reading.

Ray Massie  General Manager KGHL  406-850-4659  406-252-6661

Ray Massie, General Manager KGHL

Attention, Interest, Desire, Actionby USA TodayFinally, an example of how social media can actually grab attention.Sophomoric? Silly? Or a smart strategic move?

Ship My PantsThe jury is out on a new Kmart ad that uses sleight of mouth to promote a free shipping service. The online video shows customers who exclaim that they are going to “ship their pants” through a Kmart delivery program — but it sounds as if they are using a vulgar word that sounds very much like ship.

Some social media users deemed the commercial, created by ad agency Draftfcb Chicago, “gross” and “vulgar,” while many gave kudos to Kmart for having an edgy sense of humor.

But even with the negative comments, Kmart got what it wanted: Millions of potential shoppers now know that it offers free shipping for members of its “Shop Your Way” program when the product they want isn’t in the store.

News networks such as CNN’s HLN reported on the controversial ad, while the official YouTube video from Kmart had nearly 10 million views as of late Tuesday afternoon.

OK, its not the first time social media stuff made an impact.  The biggest single problem with social media is its general lack of ability to get Attention.  Using digital products like Adwords, Facebook, etc, are great once you have grabbed a consumers attention.

All of us wish we could do viral work like this.  Remember, the God Made A Farmer video from Ram Trucks that spawned a 100 or more mimics online.  Note the part traditional media played in bringing the controversy to the masses.

If it doesn’t get attention, it doesn’t matter.

This is the Scariest Statistic About the Newspaper Business Today
by Derek Thompson

Scary newspaper wasteHere it is: In 2012, newspapers lost $16 in print ads for every $1 earned in digital ads. And it’s getting worse, according to a new report by Pew. In 2011, the ratio was just 10-to-1.

The digital ad revolution, always “just around the corner”, remains tantalizingly out of reach for most newspapers, which explains why some stalwarts like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have moved to subscription models for their websites to bolster digital ad growth. Just today, the Washington Post announced a paywall.

Here’s the ten year picture of print vs. digital ads for newspapers:

Since 2003, print ads have fallen from $45 billion to $19 billion. Online ads have only grown from $1.2 to $3.3 billion. Stop and think about that gap. The total ten-year increase in digital advertising isn’t even enough to overcome the average single-year decline in print ads since 2003. Ugh.

Google Shuts Down Its Google Affiliate NetworkGoogle logoGoogle constantly is tinker with and making changes in its company.  If you were a user of the RSS feed reader, Google Reader, the company announced its shut down earlier in the month.  Additionally, Google announced this week it will shut down the Google Affiliate Network. Google pledged to continue to support customers as the network winds down “over the next few months.”The closing was announced by J.J. Hirschle, head of Google Affiliate Network, on its official blog.  Hirschle said the program originally was created to help advertisers drive conversions (sales) via cost-per-action advertising.  He said Google re-evaluated the service in light of recent developments in the marketplace.“We’re constantly evaluating our products to ensure that we’re focused on the services that will have the biggest impact for our advertisers and publishers,” Hirschle wrote. “To that end, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.”

The Biggest Radio Research Project Ever Done in Billings

Unlike virtually every single “research” project ever done for the Billings market, KGHL wanted to focus on the listeners and what they do and use.  You can find agencies and reps who will quote “the numbers” without much understanding what those numbers mean.  I have never seen a ‘number'” buy anything.

This was a consumer study of more than 1700 members of the KGHL audience.  The compares with the current market rating service which surveys 1200 PER YEAR. If you have ever put credibility in ratings, the KGHL study group was nearly 50% higher and responded in a four day time span.  Its a real accurate picture of the audience who listens to KGHL.

Highlights from the results:

32% of the KGHL listener group works in Agriculture.  That’s a huge number and probably not found anywhere else unless you look at the MATE Show for example.  The second highest work group was construction.

50% of KGHL’s audience is 45-64.  That is right on par with the Billings market.

Only 21% of KGHL’s audience uses Optimum cable.  You certainly can’t reach the KGHL person by using cable TV advertising.  Print isn’t any higher.  31% of the KGHL group subscribes to the Gazette.

Couple of more interesting items from the study, Twitter use is non existent (2%)Facebook use is at (47%). Men listen to KGHL much more than women (58/42).

There’s more to the study to share.  The idea here was to have a real complete view of our audience so we can do a better job of helping you with your business.  KGHL is not the product for every business.  But we know better than anyone who we reach, what they think, and the products they need from you.

March 28 Easter Weekend

Happy Easter! If you are traveling for the holiday weekend, please be safe.ChurchIt’s interesting to see the ads for churches looking to bring people into their services.  I can’t think of a another organization in need of a way to differentiate itself than a church.  Best selling author Scott McKain wrote a book I love about that exact idea.  It’s called Create Distinction.  Check out Scott’s information when you have a moment.   There are a lot of distinct ideas in the book.KGHL is in the middle of some great distinctive events right now.The amount of interest in multiple bluegrass award performer Rhonda Vincent is staggering.  KGHL is welcoming Rhonda and her band the Rage to Alberta Bair June 11.  Tickets go on sale Friday.  The average age of contestants to try and win tickets on mighty790.com?  43.Next week is the state FFA convention at the Holiday Inn here in Billings.  Think of it like a big Salesperson’s breakfast–only better behaved.  Billings Chamber Ag Committee is out cooking and serving breakfast for around 900 people next Friday morning.  PBR gets rolling at Metra Park Friday too!  You can tell the weather is starting to turn.

This week in Mighty Marketing, I’ll take you through a real Advantage program for your business that won’t cost you.  Plus 5 questions that will rock your business,  progress and change, social media plans, 36% of TV suffers this fate, and a piece I call “In Their Own Words.”

I hope you find this week’s issue useful.  Each week, I skim and review a ton of marketing ideas and blogs so you don’t have to spend your time. Thanks for reading.

Ray Massie  General Manager KGHL  406-850-4659  406-252-6661

Ray Massie, General Manager KGHL

The REAL ADVANTAGE Plan–Free!Daily deals are just getting dumber and dumber.  I read an article this week titled “Who will save Groupon from itself?”  When I see the offers I get it becomes clear Groupon, Living Social, and deal programs of that ilk are just spammers.GrouponMy offers this week included:   photography certification, a 6 day rafting trip on the Salmon River, a resume service, 67% off Zazzle custom photo invites, and personal trainer certification.  Maybe there are age 50+ personal trainers, but I can’t remember any.  This is the definition of “if a tree fell in the woods and no one heard it” kind of marketing.Knowing your market is the best medicine for making your marketing work.My oldest son is in the middle of starting a new business aimed at truck drivers serving the Bakken oil rigs. (It’s an app that accurately maps the locations of oil wells and provides turn by turn direction to your smartphone. I mean there aren’t many street signs in the Bakken fields.)

Now you and I may think we have a tough job finding our clients.  We have nothing on this.

Here’s a business who’s prime prospect is:

  • likely a loner
  • isn’t from the Bakken area
  • doesn’t watch local TV
  • has a smartphone with full internet
  • is on Facebook
  • makes $80,000 or more a year
  • doesn’t go to restaurants
  • certainly doesn’t ever read the paper
  • cable is a non starter
  • doesn’t have a mailbox for direct mail

Talk about a marketing challenge.  How would you attack this one?

But notice something special about this story.  This business man knows who is likely to use his product.  He knows how they will use it.  It solves a problem for his customers.  He just has to bring them to trial.

How much better would your business be with that kind of clarity of your target?

KGHL is pretty clearly targeted.  If you are looking to attract traffic to your business from a mature audience (45+), with money to spend, and who may well be attached to Montana’s biggest industry–Agriculture, then our prime listener prospect may be your prime customer.

Getting a clear picture of your target?  Now that’s a real Advantage program.

5 Questions That Will Rock Your Business

by John Jantsch

5 Questions that will change your business

Your unmet needs survey questions:

  1.     What is the biggest challenge you are facing in your business?
  2.     Why is it important that you find a solution to this challenge now?
  3.     How hard have you worked to try to solve this challenge in the past?
  4.     What about this challenge makes it so hard to solve or answer?
  5.     How hard has it been to find an answer to your challenge?

Making It “Progress” Vs. “Change”

Dean LindseyDean Lindsey was the 49th Annual Billings Chamber Salesperson’s Breakfast guest speaker.  What did you get from the presentation?  My favorite was word substituion.  When you replace change with progress, somehow it just feels better doesn’t it?  LIke in this quote,

When you are through changing, you are through.”
— Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

When you call it progress, it just sounds better, doesn’t it.

Does Your Social Media Plan In Any Way Resemble This?You may have already seen the new ad by FedEx where a company executive explains to his team that in order to grow the company, they need more “social visibility.” He introduces his team to the “social strategists” that will get them “lots of likes and tweets” – those social strategists are his son and his son’s buddies.Watch here:Fed Ex Commercial Still shotAs funny as it is, most comedy is based on some element of truth. You know there are companies out there today doing the same exact thing that’s played out in this spoof.Perhaps it’s because the social space is really still in its infancy – with Twitter just turning 7 years-old and (removing the college years) Facebook is only a 7 year-old child, too.

So this space is not yet defined, nor fully understood. In order to avoid some of the more popular social misconceptions for your own brand, consider the following principles the next time you’re plotting your growth.

  • Social Media Is Not A Silver Bullet

Social in isolation will not grow your brand.

In a recent company blog, Wendy Clark, Coca Cola’s senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities, talked about how the value of marketing is about using the right combination of integrated tools.

“None of [Coke’s] plans are simply social. On the contrary, it’s the combination of owned, earned, shared and paid media connections — with social playing a crucial role at the heart of our activations — that creates marketplace impact, consumer engagement, brand love and brand value.”

  • Vanity Metrics – A Brand’s Favorite Sin

The amount of “Likes” or “followers” you accrue does not equate to brand impact nor does it measure the quality and depth of your fan relationships. Affinity trumps “likes” and tweets.

To build affinity, you must speak the language of your fans.

Not being present and connected socially, ignoring fans, and straying from what they value about you with those random posts only makes your brand forgettable in the social space. And that behavior makes it hard to pull off cool moments with fans when you need them most.

It’s about building anticipation – not a vanity metric.

  • “Social Natives” Do Not Correlate To Business Sense

Fed Ex commercial stillMany times, the people speaking for our brands socially are not required to have brand voice sophistication or even perspective on what went into building the brand in the first place.

They are speaking for brands socially because they either fall into that “native social/digital” generation or worse, they “know” social because they’ve been “doing it” for a while.

But having social media “knowledge” does not mean they have the maturity and common sense necessary to speak in a brand’s singular voice. Doing social and being social are two very different things.

It’s time to scout, train and, monitor your social team. How are they creating value for your brand? Is it a chore to respond to fans? Or are they clearly having fun?

Social is personal. Real people don’t go on these platforms with the idea of helping you make money. They are there to interact with their friends – not brands.

But they will participate with you – if you’ve built anticipation and trust.

Assess your social assets and your strategic approach. Does it look more like it’s “Brock and his whole team” from the FedEx commercial – racking up likes and tweets for the station?

Or does it look like a live and local social brand your fans are talking about?

In Their Own Words

TVB.orgI had a call from a client this week about a seller bad mouthing or at a minimum twisting words I said about cable TV coverage in the Billings market.  I’m not a fan of cable advertising (although I DO watch Duck Dynasty). I think its a very expensive way to reach a very small portion of the market.  That belief is more than a feeling.

Look at this from the TVB, the Television Advertising Bureau.  39.2% of Billings, according to a TVB study, gets TV from ADS (alternate delivery source)  National average is 31.

That means all sources, other than over the air TV added together are still less than 40% of the market.  With two cable companies and two satellite providers all taking a piece of the 39% you can see the point.

Study: 36% Of All Recorded TV Content Is Never Viewed

iPad Revenge
Just about one-third of all television viewing worldwide is recorded content, and 36% of all content that is recorded is never watched. That’s the word from Motorola Mobility’s new media survey, which says that U.S. viewers watch more TV than anyone else (23 hours of TV and six hours of movies each week), and also record more programming that is never watched (41%).

Globally, the average viewer watches 19 hours of TV content and six hours of movie content a week, and the primary reasons people record content is because there is other content airing at the same time that the viewer would prefer to watch live (77%), while 68% globally record programming so they can skip ads on commercial channels. (These percentages are higher in the U.S, where these factors score 75% and 74%, respectively.)

According to the study, consumers would like to be able to transfer content between devices more easily, and 76% say they would be interested in a service that automatically loaded content a user liked to their mobile phone or tablet. Tablet users are more likely than non-tablet owners to use a service provider’s TV catch-up service – 47% versus 31%.

Montana State FFA Convention is coming to Billings

Everyone Uses Radio, Including Younger AudiencesbyMarketingCharts.comThere’s a lot of conversation about what media to use to reach younger audiences.  Internet, TV, cable.  Radio finds itself a bit outside that discussion.The idea early adopters don’t use radio isn’t borne out by the facts.  Look at this article from MarketingCharts.comMedia usage among younger audiences

52% of Millennials are above-average in terms of their adoption of technology, and these early adopters are heavily reliant on their mobile devices as sources of information, communication, and entertainment. But they still keep traditional media firmly in the mix, according to an Experian Marketing Services report.

While mobile phones were used by a leading 94% in the 7 days prior to the survey, 93% watched TV, 83% listened to the radio, and 66% read a newspaper.

Interestingly, a larger proportion of respondents reported using TV and radio than their home computer (81%), a fairly curious result that could be attributable to this group relying on their mobile devices more than a computer to access the internet.

But while TV and radio have great reach among early adopter Millennials, they don’t enjoy high rates of consumption, meaning that one can’t necessarily conflate media reach with interest or attention. Compared to the average Millennial, early adopters spend 3% less time watching TV and 1% less time listening to the radio. By contrast, they spend 17% more time with tablets and 14% more time with their mobile phones. Another surprising result: of the media types listed, early adopters over-indexed the most for magazine consumption, spending 27% more time than the average Millennial on this medium.

The survey also asked respondents to rate each medium they use on a scale of importance with regards to being a source of information, communication, and entertainment. Among those media, 42% of cable TV viewers cited it as a “very important” source of entertainment. (By comparison, 36% of game console users and 36% of mobile phone users shared that sentiment about their respective devices.) The importance of cable TV as an entertainment medium speaks to the success of recent series such as The Walking Dead, which consistently sees high engagement from viewers (see the latest chart on cable TV engagement here.)

Other Findings:

  • 7 in 10 early adopter Millennials agree that they compare prices online before making a purchase. 56% agree that after researching online, they go to a physical store to purchase.
  • 38% share comments about products and services on social networking sites.
  • Compared to the average Millennial, early adopters over-index the most in the following mobile activities: IM/chat (132); reading media (126); listening to music (122); email (120); and watching downloaded/streamed video (120).

KGHL has all the Ag News you need every day.
Karen Gallagher Ray Massie  Nick Tyler   Taylor Brown Ed McIntosh KGHL Traffic  E-Mail Tradio Out and About