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Monday Memo: Staples’ Savvy

| March 8, 2021

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The email subject line from included one of the two magic words that I nag…er, “recommend” radio hosts use when they ask for callers: “Want Your Marketing Materials to Work Harder?”

You (the other magic word) can learn from Staples’ marketing, whether you’re on-air or podcasting asking listeners’ precious time, and especially if you write promo or commercial copy, or if you sell.

The most successful radio advertising salespeople function as marketing consultants, recommending strategies and tactics which exploit our medium’s assets.

As a Staples Rewards customer, I get marketing emails that are a clinic in this “consultant sell” method. A recent one explained that “The best brochures, postcards and banners quickly convey why someone should choose your company over the competition. Here’s how to add oomph to your outreach.”

  • “Sell the payoff, not the product. Tell would-be customers how you’ll help them solve a problem or achieve a goal. If you can help them visualize a brighter tomorrow, they’ll move one step closer to becoming a customer.”
  • “Keep things simple when you talk about the benefits of working with your business. Instead of presenting every detail about your product or service, focus on results. Include just enough info to show how you can help.”
  • “Set your business apart. Chances are, potential customers are looking at your competitors too. Make the choice easier by clearly stating why you’re a cut above. Do you offer the fastest turnaround time, the most experience or a one-of-a-kind product? Not sure what to emphasize? Think about what customers say when they rave about you.”
  • “Outline a clear path. Every promotional piece you create should have a well-thought-out ‘call to action’ that spells out the next step you’d like people to take. For example, you might ask prospects to visit your website, call for a free consultation or visit your store to claim a special offer or free gift. If you’re unsure which next step to promote, think about your current customers. How did most of them connect with your business when they first wanted to learn more?”

Doing a show or podcast? Same deal, boil it down. Assume you have 10 seconds. Don’t even say hello until you’ve explained why to keep listening.

Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice