This relates to radio, I promise. My wife and I took our kids out for ice cream the other night. Sometimes we take the kids to Dairy Queen or 31 Flavors, and every now and then we visit a more premium shop with even better ice cream. At this place cones can be $3-$5 and my wife and I ALWAYS get their peanut butter chocolate. It’s fantastic.
On this night, we get the peanut butter chocolate and there’s literally ZERO peanut butter in it. Now if it was a $.99 McDonald’s cone I would have let it go…so I politely mentioned to the guy who gave it to me that there was no peanut butter in it.
He said, “That IS peanut butter chocolate!”, as though I was accusing him of scooping from the wrong bucket. With that, he tossed it and scooped another cone from the “peanut butter chocolate” bucket. Guess what? There was no peanut butter in there either. None. Zip. Not a shred. Not a hint. You could take a hundred bites and never taste peanut butter.
My wife just continued on and ate her faux peanut butter chocolate ice cream…but not me. I can’t let stuff like this go. I don’t want to frankly. So long story short, I bring the cone up for the 2nd time. I politely ask the manager for some peanut butter chocolate ice cream, with peanut butter in it. He proceeds to tell me IT IS PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE. I smile and showed him the hunk of chocolate ice cream. I pulled it apart and showed him there wasn’t a trace. It was like a blue berry muffin with no blueberries in it. Do you remember that scene from Casino?
The point is, you have to deliver the peanut butter every time! Cause if you don’t the people who come in for the peanut butter will stop coming in. If for some reason you are not delivering the peanut butter, and a listener calls you on it you need to listen! Don’t call them a liar and make them feel stupid for letting you know. Reward the interaction. Embrace the interaction and use it to get them to try something else.
The peanut butter in your case is the promise your station or show makes to your listener. It’s the promise your clients make. Sales reps and sales managers need to be in tune with this too otherwise the advertising isn’t going to do the client any darn good! Imagine running an excellent on air campaign that works and drives traffic to a place that doesn’t make good on their promise! All the ads in the world won’t keep that business afloat.
The other thing to note is, the guy scooping the ice cream thought he did his job because he scooped from the bin marked “peanut butter chocolate” even though there was no peanut butter. It didn’t occur to him that his job is to deliver the promise, not just go through the motions.
I have a tendency to use food analogies a lot. I think they make sense to the most amount of people. My morning show meetings with the morning team at 9 FM in Chicago (Steve Fisher and Joey Fortman were the hosts) often consisted of me imploring them to “spread out the cookie dough”. That’s a post for another time.