Pending Business: Hit ‘Em Where They Ain’t - TALKERS magazine

Pending Business: Hit ‘Em Where They Ain’t

| November 8, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — “Supercharged Ad Growth” was a headline describing Google’s third quarter growth. The accompanying numbers, as in $53 billion in ad sales from Google’s Search, Maps and YouTube dwarf what the entire radio industry delivers. That’s right, 90 days of Google ad sales crushes two years of total sales from thousands of radio stations around the country. Almost makes you want to throw in the towel and start over. But wait, there is a light at the end of this daunting tunnel.

Trust me when I tell you that advertising and therefore ad sales have been part of our culture since man was able to carve into a rock. Years ago, we toured the ancient Greek ruins of Ephesus. As our group walked the ruins, I was about to step on a rock, when I spotted a carving on the rock. The guide explained it was a form of advertising. Ephesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and so that ad should live forever.

Since ancient times, creative ad people have found a way.

With more and more dollars chasing e-commerce and online marketing, where does today’s radio sales pro go where Google isn’t?

What is our new think when e-commerce and online advertising are growing at exponential rates?

  1. Sell into a trend, not against it. Your on-air talents can be an important driver in moving the e-commerce consumer needle. Success at the retail level can breed success online.
  2. Target categories that are not simple e-commerce candidates. You can’t groom your pet, swing a golf club, or do that postponed home repair online.
  3. Embrace the business categories that thrive on personal interaction. You may have to sport a facemask waiting to see the dentist, but smart marketing will keep the smiles coming.

Time to reboot your targets and priorities. The Google ad sales numbers tell us more than we want to digest. Your local advertiser may be trying to move to a trendier online marketing platform. Be smart about adjusting your category and business focus.

“Hit ‘em where they ain’t” was coined almost 100 years ago by the great Brooklyn baseball legend “Wee Willie Keeler.” Funny how in this supercharged digital age, we can still learn from the past.

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