You may not know…but no grown male in his 30s knows more about Disney than I do. (insert your own jokes here)
With that said…
Whenever Disney introduces a new ride at WDW or DL, they take out the ride with the lowest “ridership”. Even though there is a lot of historical significance to the park, Disney is constantly evolving and creating new opportunities and excitement. This same philosophy holds true in our business.
Be honest with yourself and take 2-3 steps back from the emotional attachment of your station or your title or even your client. Are you living up to the goals you are setting for yourself and your team? Is the client you are working with staying true to the goals they have set for their business? Is the amount of energy and resources being returned in ratings, attendance or revenue? I’m not suggesting we kill heritage elements for the sake of killing them, I am just suggesting that sometimes we are attached to what is safe and known. That can be dangerous.
The phrase “because we’ve always done that” is something that we all know is not the right answer, but often it becomes the failsafe for us due to fear or sometimes laziness. This isn’t healthy. If Disney kept this philosophy, they would have 2 run down parks that fewer and fewer people would come to each summer. If we think this way we will see fewer results in ratings, listenership, attendance and profit.
I’m sure we have clients who continue to market the same way and expect new and better results each quarter. To convince them to change their message or their form of marketing is often like asking them to give us their first born. Planting the seed of change is the first step in shaking someone out of their rut/comfort zone. Just make sure you have their interest in mind and not your commission.
When it comes to promotions and benchmarks- we have ways to measure these things. We can see trends in attendance of events or ratings for features. Taking an honest look at these elements is imperative to our success. “Because we have always done it this way” or “Everyone loves it” are statements people often use when they are afraid of looking at the results. We can measure everything these days and determine if people really do “love” it. If the results say it’s not popular-there is no reason we shouldn’t reevaluate our position (low ride out). It’s fine to jump the shark on a heritage event and look for ways to make it “sexier”. It’s also healthy to let it go off to the woodshed like Old Yeller. Trust me; if interest is low…you’ll be the only person who misses it.
When I was flipping stations for Citadel I learned that people hated change. Even when the changes we were making were to benefit them, they would still try to argue that “everyone loves what we do”. Trust me, nobody loved the .8 share 80s station in Modesto California, but people fought me as if the station was on fire and it was the greatest thing in the world….they soon forgot about how “popular” that station was after we debuted as an 8 share pop station. Just remember, people hate change and sometimes you have to drag them kicking and screaming into the world of success. Jocks love their benchmarks, promotion people love their events and many clients won’t let go of how they have always done it. To this I say “people don’t know what they don’t know” (I didn’t make it up, but I use it all the time). Show them what they don’t know and then make them believe it was their idea. There is always a more popular ride waiting just around the corner.
In case you were wondering…my favorite ride is Peter Pan. It’s not the fastest or the wildest, but to me it’s the best.
Till next time…