Walsh Student Collects 700 Books for Detroit School

TROY, Mich., May 20, 2019 — Walsh student Marissa Campo has been named a Literacy Heroine by the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Detroit Chapter for launching a book drive that collected more than 700 books for Westside Christian Academy in Detroit. Recognition is given to AWC members who have contributed to the success of the chapter’s Driving Literacy in the D initiative. Awards will be presented at an AWC networking celebration in June.

Campo launched the book drive at Walsh during National Reading Month in March and was overwhelmed by the response from Walsh students and staff and employees from area businesses including Alps Electric, Inc., Level One Bank and Materialise.

“Driving Literacy in the D was a great way for Walsh students to get involved with and give back to our community,” said Campo. “I hope our donation inspires students to foster a love of reading and dream big dreams for their future.”

“Marissa’s enthusiasm for this project was contagious and it was evident very early that she was going to exceed her original goal,” said Julie Battani, Student Life Coordinator at Walsh. “It was fulfilling to deliver the books to Westside Christian Academy and see Marissa interact with students who will benefit from her partnership with AWC’s Driving Literacy in the D.”

Campo is pursuing a bachelor of business administration in marketing, works as an intern in Walsh’s marketing department and serves as president of the Walsh Marketing Association student organization.

For information about Walsh programs, visit www.walshcollege.edu/future-students.


Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

Walsh to Host Corporate Social Responsibility Panel Discussion

TROY, Mich., March 26, 2019 — Walsh will welcome four business leaders for a panel discussion about corporate social responsibility (CSR) on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at their main location at 3838 Livernois in Troy, MI. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary buffet lunch. Advanced registration is required.

Panelists include:

David Girodat, Regional President, Fifth Third Bank – Eastern Michigan

Nicole Kiefer, President, CredentialCheck

Jeffrey Littmann, Life Trustee, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; former Director and CFO, Buffalo Bills, Inc.

Daniel Oginsky, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer, ITC Holdings Corp.

Philip Fioravante, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Marketing at Walsh, will moderate a discussion about the importance of corporate social responsibility in the modern business world.

“The intersection of doing business and doing good for the community is no longer an option, it’s imperative,” said Fioravante. “Companies must look to innovative approaches to moving beyond normal business exchanges and offer their customers a greater sense of corporate social responsibility.”

Hosted by the Walsh Marketing Association, the program will include a Q&A session and time for networking.

To register for Beyond Business: Corporate Social Responsibility, please visit www.walshcollege.edu/marketing-association.


Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

MCCI Adds Talent to Fuel Growth

MCCI Adds Talent to Fuel Growth

DETROIT, Feb. 19, 2018 —MCCI (Mort Crim Communications, Inc.), an award-winning Detroit-based integrated marketing agency, has added five professionals to serve its expanding and growing range of global, national and regional clientele. The new employees have a wide range of skills from communications, public relations, marketing, digital targeting to accounting.

“As our corporate, government, education and not-for-profit segments continue to grow, we’re accelerating our talent investments to attract top-notch leadership, in line with what our clients have grown to expect from our firm,” said Terry Oprea, MCCI president and CEO. “Our portfolio has recently expanded with dynamic new clients including the law firm Honigman, the National Speakers Association (NSA), ZF North America and the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS).

“The new hires will benefit our new client partners and also deliver added expertise to more than 40 other world-class MCCI clients, while further positioning MCCI for more growth in 2019.”

MCCI’s newest hires include:
Carolyn Artman, APR, account director
Michelle Franzen Martin, account director
Ryan Torresan, account director
Paige Blessman, communications executive
Hailey McCartney, business manager

A native Detroiter and Wayne State University public relations alum, MCCI Account Director Carolyn Artman, APR, has more than 20 years of PR experience. She was formerly senior communications manager at Detroit-based Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures. She also marketed the region as media relations manager at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau during Super Bowl XL and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. She previously did PR for Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and Mackinac State Historic Parks on Mackinac Island, Mich. Most recently, Artman led PR and community relations for the University of Michigan Credit Union in Ann Arbor, Mich.

MCCI Account Director Michelle Franzen Martin has more than 20 years of experience in advertising, PR, content strategy and news media. Her most recent role was director of marketing and communications at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. She previously spent 10 years at Wayne State University as the senior communications officer for alumni relations and editor of the university’s magazine. Martin also worked at Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Franco Public Relations Group and two daily newspapers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in English from Oakland University.

Ryan Torresan, MCCI account director, has 18 years of marketing experience. He was formerly vice president of marketing and public relations at Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC), one of the largest dental service organizations in the United States. Prior to GEDC, he worked for more than a decade in marketing management and professional roles within OnStar (GM/Aquent), Kelly Services, Entertainment Publications and J. Walter Thompson. Torresan earned an MBA in management and international business and a bachelor of arts in advertising and marketing communications from Wayne State University.

MCCI Communications Executive and Detroit native Paige Blessman joined MCCI from the Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC), where she worked as engagement coordinator and implemented a retention process for 800-plus member accounts. She was previously the DRC’s digital communications intern and also interned with Sachse Construction through the City of Detroit’s “Grow Detroit’s Young Talent” program. Blessman owns, writes and manages a wellness and positivity blog called The Paige. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and has three years of experience in online content development and digital marketing.

Hailey McCartney, who has more than five years of accounting experience, joined MCCI as business manager from Crivella & Associates, a CPA firm in Shelby Township, Mich., where she was a staff accountant. She was previously a bookkeeper at MGR Mold in Sterling Heights, Mich., and worked in restaurant management and sales for six years while earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Walsh College. McCartney will support complete performance and business transparency with MCCI clients.

About MCCI
Founded 25 years ago, MCCI is one of the fastest-growing integrated marketing agencies based in Detroit, with global, national and regional clients covering energy, education, supply chain, manufacturing, automotive, health care, technology, government, and not-for-profit segments. MCCI specializes in brand marketing and marketing services; public and media relations; video production; advertising and creative services; web design and development; digital, social and content marketing; coaching and training; and event services. MCCI has won more than 60 awards for excellence.

For more information, visit www.mccicorp.com

Follow MCCI on Twitter @MCCICorp
Follow MCCI on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/mort-crim-communications/
‘Like’ MCCI on Facebook at facebook.com/MCCICorp

Clayton & McKervey Director of Marketing named to new Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Marketing List

Southfield, Mich.—Oct. 8, 2018—Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, is pleased to announce that Denise Asker, Director of Marketing, has been selected for inclusion in the Crain’s Detroit Business inaugural Notable Women in Marketing list, featuring acclaimed women marketing professionals from throughout Michigan working in the private and public sector, including professional service firms, non-profits, academia and utilities.

The women marketing professionals were selected based on their career accomplishments, involvement in civic and non-profit activities and mentorship of others in the field. Crain Content Studio worked with advisors in the marketing field to review nominations and select the final honorees. Asker’s profile on the list can be viewed here.

At Clayton & McKervey, Asker is responsible for ensuring that the firm’s leadership teams and their staff achieve their marketing goals. Since joining the firm in 2015, she has introduced multiple new marketing programs, including extensive use of video, social media, thought leadership PR and recruitment-focused marketing. She also leads the firm’s professional development efforts as it relates to marketing training, ranging from a progressively challenging curriculum for staff and formal sales training for the management team. She coordinates the efforts of multiple external marketing agencies on behalf of the firm, including a PR agency, graphics and social media agency, a website development agency and video studio; all but one of these relationships began under Asker’s direction. She also retained and manages the firm’s outside sales coach. Prior to joining Clayton & McKervey, Asker was the Director of the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce, which was named Michigan Outstanding Chamber of the Year in 2015 under Asker’s leadership.

Asker is active in civic and professional activities, including the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), where she serves on the strategic communications committee and on the planning committee for AAM’s Winning is Everything conference. She is also a member of PrimeGlobal’s marketing industry group. Asker holds a Master of Management from Walsh College and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Wayne State University. She is a resident of Grosse Pointe.

Asker joins Clayton & McKervey colleague Margaret Amsden CPA, on the Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women lists. In May 2018, Amsden was named to the Notable Women in Finance list. Her profile can be viewed here.

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a full-service certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com.


The JRT Agency Continues Growth with Addition of Veteran Writer and Brand Strategist

The JRT Agency today announced the addition of Loretta Martinez, seasoned writer and brand strategist, to its team.

Martinez brings a multi-faceted scope of journalistic integrity into the areas of marketing, advertising, CRM, SEO, technical, conversational and instructional design. Her 20-year career showcases extensive work developed for the major agencies of Campbell-Ewald, Wunderman Cato Johnson, BBDO, and also client brands including automotive OEMs, Whirlpool, Century 21 and Pizza Hut. Martinez is also a respected brand strategist in the Metro-Detroit advertising community.

“Loretta is one of those versatile players you can put anywhere,” said JRT Chief Creative Officer Terry Ayrault. “Her superior writing skills and strategic thinking bring added value to our team.”

Martinez is the recipient of several industry awards including Detroit Creative Directors Council CADDY Awards, Direct Marketing Association DMAD Awards and TARGET Awards. She is a graduate of the University of Detroit-Mercy.

The JRT Agency is a marketing communications firm that is pioneering an industry revolution as Creative Scientists. Driven by the power of everyday invention, this unique group of talented individuals is known for its strategic, cost-effective solutions to tough client challenges. JRT’s client base ranges across multiple verticals encompassing both B2B and B2C communications. These include, but are not limited to: automotive, energy, food and beverage, historical organizations, and consumer goods.

For more information visit: www.thejrtagency.com.

Digital Marketing Experts: It’s Time to Rethink How You Connect with Your Audience

By Daniel Lai

For many companies struggling to find their place in today’s digitally-driven world, lack of a clear marketing plan and failure to adapt to new platforms means getting left behind and losing business.

That was a key message marketing experts laid out to more than 200 attendees during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s first Digital Marketing Boot Camp last week at the College for Creative Studies. The event was sponsored by MLive and Motown Digital.

Sola Obayan, principal consultant at BTO Solutions and founder of the Social Media Association of Michigan, said at the heart of any good digital marketing strategy is understanding what a target audience wants and crafting that message to draw in potential customers to a company’s website.

“Oftentimes we get caught up in the ‘what’ or ‘how’ message when really we should start with the ‘why,’” she said, drawing on examples from companies like Hallmark.

The greeting card company reaps millions of dollars every year by playing off of customers’ emotional response.

“Think about how you want your audience to feel when they engage with your brand,” Obayan said. “By building that bond with your audience, you can drive action.”

Don’t Build Your House on Sand

Before a company jumps on the latest social media platforms, it must first take the time to invest in a user-friendly website. Two of the biggest “no-no’s” Obayan often sees from small and medium-sized businesses are confusing websites and stretching resources and messages across too many social media platforms, a phenomenon she called “shiny object syndrome.”

“Don’t build your house on sand,” Obayan said.

Michael Taylor II, creative partner for SS Digital Media, agreed that a company’s website is key.

“You have to do a good job of providing the customer with the content promised,” he said. “If you send someone to your website via social media, they shouldn’t have to spend time searching.”

Taylor was part of a panel of experts led by Eric Hultgren, director of marketing at MLive Media Group, that also included Lynn Haliburton, senior account executive at Marx Layne & Co., and Dan Fuoco, interactive marketing manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Hultgren said businesses must invest in websites that are mobile-friendly.

“If your brand is not here, you do not exist to the customer,” he told attendees, holding up his smartphone.

Fuoco said platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also good to promote a company’s news coverage, or “earned media” in order to increase brand awareness. However, he stressed that the platform a company chooses to use should correlate to its message goals and target audience.

“If you aren’t posting minute-by-minute updates than perhaps Twitter is not the space for you to play in,” he said.

Drawing on examples from her client, McDonald’s, and its use of social media to promote the limited release of its signature Big Mac sauce in certain stores across the country, Haliburton said social media can be a good tool to “shock and delight” loyal customers.

Putting Humans Back in the Social Media Driver’s Seat

The most important advice of the day came from Marcus Burrell and Eric Thomas, senior partners at Saga MKTG.

Thomas said too many businesses forget to talk like humans when engaging with customers online, a phenomenon that can have dire consequences for brand positioning.

“People often forget the ‘social’ part of social media. Don’t be afraid to engage and start a story with your followers. What do you want people to know about you or your brand?” Thomas said. “The most important thing we can do as digital marketers is speak to and with people, not as a robot.”

Understanding your audience and pushing out messages that connect with them is critical, Thomas said, pointing to the success of President Trump’s Twitter growth during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“He speaks in a way that makes people want to listen. He has mastered his digital messages for his demographic,” he said.

Finally, Thomas said when communicating with customers on any digital platform, “don’t tell stories you wouldn’t want to hear.”

To read more digital marketing tips, check out the Digital Marketing Boot Camp blog page.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Digital Marketing Boot Camp: Lessons Learned to Connect with Your Online Audience

By Nick Mattar

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s inaugural Digital Marketing Boot Camp, held on Feb. 15 at the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, brought together more than 200 attendees for a half-day of dialogue on improving the digital marketing footprint of their businesses.

Keynote speakers and panelists provided attendees with recommendations and to-dos that could be implemented immediately.

View key takeaways from the event below and check out the Chamber’s recap of the day.

The Evolving Social Media Landscape and What It Means for Your Business

  • Before embarking on a major social media campaign, consider the overarching “why” as much as the tactical “what” and “how.”
  • Don’t fall for “shiny object syndrome,” which is the desire to have the latest and greatest tech or social media capabilities (i.e. don’t rush your company onto Snapchat if you cannot answer the “why.”)
  • Your company’s website is its home – it must facilitate the campaign’s end goals, so it needs to be user-friendly and mobile responsive.
  • Instagram is the social media platform with the highest engagement rate, whereas Facebook reaches the lowest percentage of followers.
  • Email marketing is the digital marketing platform with the highest conversion rate, such as sales, event registrations or anything else that involves turning a lead into a customer.

Trends and Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Your company’s message should be adjusted to resonate with the audience that is being targeted.
  • When it comes to social publishing tools, do not “set and forget” but instead keep an eye on your posts at all times to monitor conversations and remain authentic.
  • Data and research are necessary to evaluate user behavior; your (the employee’s) experience is not the same as the user’s experience.
  • “Dark social” media is the social media conversation occurring without a hashtag or is otherwise difficult to find – more than 70 percent of your brand’s discussion could occur in this space.
  • If you are targeting millennials, you should probably be on Snapchat.
  • To combat Facebook’s decreasing engagement, set a budget for your Facebook page rather than depending solely on organic engagement.

Putting the Human Touch Back Into Your Online Presence

  • A brand’s online presence is a reflection of the brand’s story, thus it should not be solely focused on selling products and making money.
  • Successful online brands and names are rooted in the ability of viewers and customers to relate to the brand.
  • Your social media posts should not always focus on selling products, but rather writing materials that your audience wants to read.
  • Social media is the essence of speaking – use your voice and don’t try to “deliver” the information.

Looking for more facts and analytics to bolster your digital marketing strategy? Check out MLive’s Digital Marketing eBook, produced exclusively for the Digital Marketing Boot Camp.

Plus, learn more tips and read a full recap of the Chamber’s Digital Marketing Boot Camp here.

Nick Mattar is the director of marketing at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Can You Feel the Love? 5 Ways to Get Your Business Out of the Friend Zone.

By Sammie Schneider
Social Media Marketing Coordinator
AGA Productions

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day is here, seeking to remind us all to love each other. Some are already in relationships, expecting cheap boxes of those Russell Stover assorted chocolates. Others are not quite there and depend on this day to push past the Friend Zone.

emoji faces - Digital Marketing Boot CampBut what does this have to do with digital media and business? Well, it turns out brands experience the same effects of Valentine’s Day. Brands are constantly in the Friend Zone with potential consumers until a contract is signed. Every company wants to share the sweet, cream-filled delight of loyalty with their consumers, but doesn’t want to take the cheap Russell Stover route.

Social media platforms are the key to being the Lady Godiva of your streets. To be bold, modest, and leave a legacy. I’m not suggesting you ride horseback and naked through your town to prove your allegiance to the people of your community. Just be authentic and stand by what you claim. After all, a brand is a promise to a consumer. Make sure your social media reflects and enhances that promise.

MORE: Learn more about improving your relationship with clients at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15

That being said, here are the five steps to help you move toward a relationship with a client.

1. Make a confident approach

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If business with this client is your goal, then approach them confidently and be ready with reasons why it will work and why you are the best option for them. Don’t just stand by, frustrated, as you watch said client “date” another company. Think about how many relationships start on social media. Someone “likes” an Instagram post and suddenly sparks are flying. How is this any different when it comes to business profiles? Win them over through social interaction. Figure out your brand’s voice and make it personable and honest. Be inclusive and open, whether this means posting a “selfie” at an event, or reaching out to possible clients in the area by “liking” their photos or commenting on posts.

2. Evaluate perspective

Ever think about someone close to you and wonder why you’ve never dated? You start going through a mental list of pros and cons and base it off of what you want, and never look at things from their point of view? If you’re a business who is only focused on superficial commerce, the likely result is a friends-with-benefits deal. Maybe you’re into that. But chances are your customers want a real relationship. They want someone they can trust with their finances and values. Knowing what your target audience wants will lead to reliable, long-term investment. Social media acts as a great resource in finding out just what it is that your consumers want.

Host a Twitter chat answering questions, or craft regular Twitter polls to accrue valuable and instant feedback. Many media outlets allow for businesses to build a customer service program with listed hours of availability dedicated to speaking directly to people. Consumers want to be a part of the brands they value; they want to be able to shape them. It’s not just about what you want.

3. Don’t play the sex card

This isn’t just about the appeal anymore. Consumers want transparency; they want to know the inside you. They care more about the intentions of the brand than your Instagram aesthetic and wordy, fluffed up mission statement. Take this time to post behind the scenes moments of a typical work day, or post a picture of your view from the office window. You can be creative in the ways you execute your purpose and promote your products, but there’s no need to pass yourself off as something you’re not. Build your brand organically without attempting to imitate others.

4. The “C” word

Commitment. The only word that might be scarier than that “love” one that saturates all of our timelines and feeds around Valentine’s Day. So how can you reinforce the commitment between you and your consumers? It takes time to cultivate strong relationships. If they’re not ready to take the plunge after your first interaction can you really blame them? There’s no need to trick them into purchasing packages they don’t actually want, or to give false information that will lock your consumers into an unchanging contract. Sit down with your potential clients, ask them what they want out of your relationship, and provide flexibility so that your relationship can grow and evolve as the company does.

5. Be persistent

Your client may need time to process this information; no pressure, and no demands for an answer from your end. There’s a difference between persistence and pressure. Use Facebook Connections to target those who might be on the fence about an upcoming event. Send a brief, light reminder encouraging them to attend. Use Instagram Insights to learn about your followers so you can tailor your content and post at the best times. Use software such as Hootsuite to manage Twitter and Instagram profiles. With this, you can post based on analytics so that your followers have a better chance of seeing your content more frequently. You can also rotate ads every three to five days for fresh, but effective marketing. This allows for persistence on a more subtle level, without direct pressure.

They have the information needed. You’ve given your pitch. Continue fostering that relationship by keeping up the friendly social media connectivity and being genuine in your posts. If a consumer sees the true face behind a company, they will be more comfortable getting to know you better. And you will increase the possibility of a relationship.

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Read more about customer relationships:

Think Like a Customer


5 Keys to Building a Solid Digital Marketing Strategy

By Robert Courtney Collins
Robert Courtney & Associates – A Boutique Branding Agency

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Having a digital marketing strategy is paramount to survival in today’s business climate. While many people use social media platforms daily, very few understand how to leverage these platforms and reach maximum potential. Sometimes a strategy may appear to be effective, but without exercising certain building blocks you’ll likely find your strategy breaking down. Here are 5 principles every digital strategist must use to build a solid foundation and launch a successful marketing campaign.

1. Identify Key Channels

Everybody should have a primary platform and a secondary platform that’s properly maintained every day. Depending on your industry it’s very important to pick the platform that matches your audience best. If you’re in an industry that produces great visuals you will want to use Instagram. If you’re attempting to reach a younger audience, you will want to use Snapchat. Facebook should be everyone’s primary or secondary platform because of its reach and amount of active users.

2. Create Quality Content

Never shortchange your prospective audience with content that isn’t the best quality you can produce. Whether it’s photos or videos the quality of your content speaks to who you are as a brand. Content should also be informative or creative to make your brand stand above your competition.

MORE: Hear more about building up your digital marketing strategy at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.

3. Don’t Sell, Be Authentic

Traditional business practices have conditioned us to do the hard sell and pitch our product. But, with good planning, research and a service or product you believe in you can be authentic and let the selling happen naturally. Communicate your core message properly, passionately and precisely and nobody will be wondering what you’re selling or if you’re selling — they’ll be thinking about buying.

4. Establish Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is about making sure your name, logo, tag line and hashtags stay uniform across all digital platforms. Because the digital landscape is filled with different mediums, platforms, and networks bombarding millions of people every day the most effective companies know there’s an amazing power to connect consumers to a brand when marketing campaigns are easily identifiable and connectivity strategies are consistent. A digital marketing strategist would do well to examine all social platforms connected to a business to make sure brand consistency is in tack.

5. Be an Expert in Your Field

Being an expert means you not only have a deep knowledge of your own business, consumer needs and industry trends but that you are constantly analyzing your competition. When building your own marketing plan it’s essential to know what your competition is doing so you can decide exactly where to channel your digital marketing resources. The best digital strategies are often directly connected to the most well researched, and educated ideas.

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Radio Steps Up in the Digital Age

By Kevin Ketels 
Kyrris Marketing

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

domMedia fragmentation and digital distribution have dramatically changed the way consumers listen to music and talk radio.  In my interview with radio executive Dom Theodore, he addresses why these changes took place and how broadcasters are leveraging digital technology to help compete.

How has the radio media landscape evolved since you and I were kids in the 1970’s?

Radio is a much more sophisticated business than it was in the 70’s. Back then, FM was just finding its footing, and most of the revenue was made on the AM dial. As the audience migrated to FM, and the FCC changed signal-spacing requirements, more FM stations popped up creating more of a splintered audience. Then, in the mid-1990’s, the FCC changed ownership rules and essentially lifted the cap on the number of stations that can be owned by one company in the same market. This brought in tons of new Wall street investors to radio, and as traditional broadcasters sold stations to mega-companies, these new owners focused on cost efficiency and finding ways to operate with fewer people and more syndicated programming. Then came the ‘digital disruption’ that made so many new audio entertainment technologies available to consumers, and you now have a much more splintered audience than ever before.

How does radio compete in an era of consumer media fragmentation?

It starts with recognizing that radio is no longer just radio – we are in the ‘audio entertainment’ business. There are more content delivery systems than ever before, but the secret to effectively competing in this new world is to focus on the actual ‘delivery’ – the content – and take an agnostic approach to ‘delivery system.’ This means that radio personalities need to be multi-platform, and available in both real-time during their live shows, and on-demand anytime through other platforms. They also need a social media presence and content that extends far beyond their radio show. But it all starts with a great talent.

MORE: Hear more about podcasting and radio at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.

Can you give us some examples of digital tools that are now being used in the industry to better connect talent, programming and/or advertisers with your audience? 

Terrestrial radio stations absolutely must have a presence across digital platforms – and most savvy personalities are using social media – particularly Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat – to better engage with audiences. Also, the audience expects content to be available on-demand, so you’ll find podcasts from your favorite radio personalities on iTunes, Soundcloud, etc. Radio stations also typically employ online research methods to determine what songs to play – often soliciting their listener’s opinions online and using that data to determine programming decisions. And of course, we use digital advertising campaigns to drive audience back to the radio station for contesting, special programming, etc.

And there are plenty of radio station audio streams available online, in addition to internet-only channels… like my own ‘The Blaze Radio network’ – which is Glenn Beck’s single biggest affiliate – producing a bigger audience than any one of our terrestrial radio affiliates. As the ‘connected car’ becomes a reality, consumers will soon have access to every streaming radio station in their vehicle. This will be a game-changer, and will allow real-time audience analysis and audience reaction measurement… what is now the broadcast business will really become a narrowcast business with very individualized media experiences.

Kevin Ketels is President of Kyrris Marketing, a Detroit marketing and communications agency, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. 

Read more from Kevin Ketels:

Don’t be a Social Media Bore

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