Pending Business: Marketing Madness

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Have you noticed the marketing driving the madness this March? The marketing machine seems to be present everywhere — especially the sports book marketing. It’s reinventing how marketers use some old school media.

Last time we noticed, our friends in the bus shelter business simply painted bus bench backs or posted large signage in the bus shelters. This static advertising supported branding, location-based ads, and in the case of the old school bus bench, catchy phrase, logo or headshot and phone number.

The bus shelter marketing in large markets is now a digital wall housing lightweight benches. This digital wall now displays everything from local time and temperature, to 3-D artwork and the over/under on your favorite games, including start times, all brought to you by…

Let’s face it, this is a cool look while waiting for the bus in all kinds of weather. Not into the bus and rather grab a cab? No problem. Those old school taxi toppers are also changing to a digital format. And guess what the messaging is about today? Right, the over/under on the two teams about to tip-off, face-off, kick-off, etc. Inside that cab is a small screen, streaming a local TV station — ads included. The days of catching a cab to LaGuardia and listening to the radio and chatting with the cabbie about what we just heard on the air is all but a memory.

So what does all this competitive progress have to do with radio sales? The takeaway here is about listening carefully to your advertisers and bringing proactive, innovative solutions that go way beyond your station rates, schedule impressions, and demographic efficiencies. Those are commodities that are often competitively driven, like it or not.

Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond.

The radio sales world is still stuck in the :60, :30, :15 and “Brought to you by…” pitch. Nothing really new, nothing cutting edge.

Let’s step out:

  • How about we let our great talk radio talents do a :90-second ad once an hour in partnership with the right sponsor? Content and daypart approved by talent, sponsor and station. Start slow and build.
  • More and more restaurants are getting back to pre-covid levels in your community. When was the last time a well-known chef or owner joined your talent for a fun meal produced into a dynamic commercial?

Radio is still and always will be a vibrant marketing force. We simply need to get our heads back into competing and innovating to win.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: