Year-end pundit du jour: RMB’s Karen Best

'In search of a new-media panacea, have we lost our common sense and a commitment to creative in all media?' asks the Radio Marketing Bureau's VP of business development.

Today, Karen Best, VP business development for the Radio Marketing Bureau, shares some thought-provoking look back/look forward views.

MiC: What happened in ’07 that you applaud?

‘Radio broadcasters’ investment in the 2008 launch of PPM measurement in Canada. This signals a new era of media accountability. The PPM planning process involves BBM, broadcasters, clients and agencies. It is therefore well poised to minimize hiccups in implementation and data integrity.’

MiC: What happened this year that worried you?

‘A powerful opportunity was left on the table by many of Canada’s leading marketers: ‘creative targeting’ through traditional media. The marketer’s eye is on niche channels to market, one-to-one engagement and consumer-generated media. The consumer is in control, yet for the most part, we disregard this reality in our traditional advertising. Marketing dollars are seeping through the cracks as we ignore the power-to-connect and fail to speak the target consumers’ language.

‘Radio audiences, for example, follow a particular station’s format because it fits their lifestyle. Should we not be altering our speak to align with the lifestyle of various radio station audiences? Do career women with kids and men 18-34 share much in common? Yes, they both use cell phones, but do they get turned on by the same things? Based on the fact that most traditional advertising speaks to them the same way, one would have to assume they do.

‘In search of a new-media panacea, have we lost our common sense and a commitment to creative in all media that raises brows and magnetically draws a consumer following? Many of ’07′s celebrated marketers have not, but sadly this cannot be said for the majority.’

MiC: What do you see as the next big opportunity?

‘Optimizing the return from all channels, not just new media. To quote Terry O’Reilly, of Pirate Group, ‘No one wants a typical campaign – no more than a typical book or a typical movie. The best (radio) campaigns should cause everyone around the boardroom table to gasp.

‘The proliferation of marketing channels offers significant opportunity, but the brands that get consumers talking (and buying) in ’08 will not forget the age-old concept of creativity and consumer relevance in all of their marketing. ‘

MiC: What are you spying on the horizon for ’08?

‘Continued marketing innovation in new media, supported by growing online budgets. That being said, traditional media will continue to form the foundation of most media plans, subject to increasing scrutiny for efficiencies.’