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Pending Business: What’s a Beat Book?

| September 14, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — If you have a deep background in retail, you may be familiar with the term. If not, then enjoy this story.

Chances are you’ve heard of, even shopped at a GAP store. During the early days of their nationwide retail store expansion, the focus of the ad campaign was the biggest selection of Levis sizes and styles in stock. A unique selling point as everyone was shopping in stores. Since the marketing target was young, radio was a big part of the budget. Our FM music radio station was enjoying a large share of the business when the phone rang with an inquiry. It was the leading local independent jeans retailer in competition with the GAP and it’s big marketing budget. He wanted to compete as a “superstore” for just jeans with radio as the great equalizer (remember that pitch?)

The owner requested to meet after hours in his office. During our meeting, he opened an old-fashioned composition notebook.

In simple bold letters on the cover “Beat Book.” Pages and pages of numbers, written in pencil; date, weather, numbers of jeans sold by gender, size, style, promotion, daily totals and his notations.

“Why do you call it a “Beat Book?” I asked. “Because I have one simple goal, beat my best numbers every day. I need some fresh ideas to beat these great numbers. What do you got?” WOW! Talk about opportunity! But what really floored me was the “Beat Book.” How was our radio station’s “Beat Book?” We could easily pull numbers, won/lost pitches, quarterly efficiencies even some birthdays, but his real secret was in his “notations” — those all-important notes. What notations did I have in our system that would open the door to better performance?

I started and still do my own “Beat Book,” a daily journal with all the information and notes to beat my best numbers. As my management responsibilities grew, so did the details of those now color-coded notes.

How about you?

  • Do you have details of your calls beyond the “top line” of what you enter into your CRM?
  • Do you mine the “data” in your entries beyond the numbers? Any directional improvements based on your own details?
  • What did you learn from Q4 2018, 2019, 2020 that may help get a head start for 2021?
  • What do your notes tell you that numbers cannot?

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: 

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Category: Sales