Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Classic Rock Still Big In Commercials

Just about every commercial break on TV seems to include another Classic Rock song from over 30 years ago.  Even though most of the 'target' audience for the product or brand wasn't even born when the songs were hits they still seem to be the norm.  

One of the most famous campaigns came around 13 years ago when Cadillac wanted to revive their brand and build a 'younger' audience.  They latched on to Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll and saw the brand build a much stronger image.  Notice that when GM had to shed a number of brands Cadillac survived.   You can relive the spot here.

Ad Age recently reported that Pete Townshend and the Who are looking into more licensing options for their songs.  Of course they already have a strong presence in the NCIS TV shows but no doubt there are a lot more opportunities.  Now they are taking the studio masters from the 60s and 70s and putting them through a number of re-mixes to make the songs sound a bit more contemporary.  You can take a listen to a bunch of Who classics and imagine them in many commercials in the Ad Age article - just scroll down on this link.

But sometimes you have to wonder about the relevance of a song that may be approaching 50 years old on a Millennial generation that was born 20 years after the song was a hit.  Take a look at the Nissan commercial here.

It's hard to imagine a group of mid 20's Millennials really 'getting down' to a song that came out in it's first version in 1968 (nearly 50 years ago).  But, at least here they picked up the 1981 version with Billy Idol (it's only 33 years old).  

No doubt these spots are effective.  Nissan surely did their homework before launching this campaign and a number of other vehicles they are marketing with Classic Rock songs.  We often see Classic Rock stations score some pretty healthy shares in 18-34 demos even though most of the Classic Rock stations have an average music year around 1978 to 1981 when you analyze their hourly era spread.  Yes, Classic Rock is great music and many titles have truly stood the test of time but as that era ages we have to wonder how long 'rummaging through mom and dad's record collection' will live on?  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Music For 'Smart People"?

Caught this the other day from a Facebook post.    Virgil Griffith, a software app writer, came up with an interesting idea.  He took a database of college student SAT scores and compared their favorite music artists from their Facebook profiles.  Take a look at what he found - (note the top scale is their SAT scores).

While it may not be real scientific and it's probably not something we need to build a new Selector rule for -- but it is pretty interesting.

You can read more here  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

U2 and Garth Brooks - The Challenge of Radio Airplay

Over the past Month we've seen 2 of the top performing acts of the past 20 years come out with new releases.  Garth Brooks makes a long awaited comeback that has been carefully staged with his first tour in years to back it up.  Garth will no doubt pass Elvis and become the 2nd on the list of best selling artists, behind the Beatles.  He's selling out full weeks of big arena shows in minutes.

U2 stages their release with the big Apple announcement of the I Phone 6 and offers up their new album for free on I Tunes.  Their last world tour in 2009-2011 grossed over 700 million and over 7.2 million attended the shows.  It's the highest grossing concert tour in history.

Yet, it seems that radio is a bit tepid on both artists when it comes to airplay.  Garth's new single may not be a barn burner anthem like Friends In Low Places where everyone can sing along with a beer in hand, but after a 10 year absence for the biggest artist in the history of the format it's in the mid 20s in the Country chart this week (9-15).  It did get quite a number of spins in the first few days, but now that it's settled in it looks like it will have a challenge to hit the top 5 on the chart.

U2 is just getting it's Miracle (of Joey Ramone) out but you probably won't hear much on your local Rock station from the song.  It's in the 50s on the overall rock chart and mostly getting played on AAA stations which are not present in many markets. Really for the last 10 years U2 has struggled with new releases being accepted by Rock programmers.

We've seen this before with all kinds of 'stars.'  Paul McCartney came back with huge tours and media presence over the last 10+ years and has not seen the light of day with any of his newer releases on  radio.  Springsteen has continued to pull off huge shows and tours in the last 10 years and even his legendary army has not seen much radio exposure for his last few releases.  It also shows in formats outside of Rock.  Ask Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and many more pop artists who seem to fade after just a few years or struggle to make a comeback.

Have these artists just run out of Hits?  Are we just tired of playing them?  Is the audience really tired of their music?  They seem to be willing to swipe their credit cards for hundreds of dollars to see them.  TV seems to be ready to plan some of their biggest shows around having them on as guests.   What do we know that they don't about the audience?  Is the audience really tired of them or are we? 

Monday, August 18, 2014

If My Car Radio Would Only......

The Center Stack (the place where the Car Radio and the Climate Controls used to be has grown into THE innovation center of the car today.  We all can see it filling up with backup cameras, complex climate controls, phone interfaces, GPS systems, vehicle monitoring systems, music storage, internet wifi connections, apps, more apps and of course the car radio.

While all these innovations bring new OH WOW features really the car radio is pretty much the same.  Really the only innovation in the last 10 years is the RDS system where we can sometimes see the song being played.

I've been on the road this Summer for business and family outings and the one innovation I wish the car radio had was a way for me to find the music and stations I want.  Say we are driving through South Western Ohio and I want to hear WEBN, but I can't remember the frequency.  Wouldn't it be great if I could just hit a button and find ROCK stations and there would pop up WEBN and maybe a few others to pick from.  Or my son want to find the Hip-Hop or CHR station.   Imagine if we could just yell at the radio or press a button and have a list pop up to pick from.

This is probably a simple solution.  How about just including a quick code in the RDS data that IDs the format we play and build it into the radio software?  Of course the radio makers would have to build some new software, but isn't it time to update just a little?  Maybe we need to start working with the electronic folks and start innovating the car radio again - hey we should be due just 1 update a decade - right???

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ready For Fall??

Yes, the Spring book in the diary markets is just wrapping up as I write this and Summer officially begins over the coming weekend.  But, before you head out for a Summer holiday, that you no doubt deserve, the time to think Fall is now.

Before you start make sure to take a look back at what just happened in Spring around your brand and also take a look at what went on last Fall.

Here are some areas to focus on:

Last Fall-

  1. Long Term Trends in Fall - Fall is a busy time in radio with lots of activities that do affect listening patterns: 
    1. School starts, Summer Vacations and Hours are gone. 
    2. Sports picks up with the World Series, College Football, NFL, NASCAR Cup and Hockey-Basketball  kick off at the end.  Are the males watching a lot more TV?  
    3. How does your station perform in past Fall books?  Is your TSL off, does the Cume drop?  Are there sample patters - perhaps you see more return from Females or older demos in most Fall books.  Does your station also have a pattern - UP in Spring and Down in Fall?  Or the opposite?  What's causing it and is there an adjustment you can make to lessen the impact or build on the momentum? 
  2. Market Events - Any big festivals, holiday events, or community promotions that stand out that you could build cume and brand images from? Did anything happen in Sports that may have changed the book and could it happen again? 
  3. Station Events - What was your big event or contest from last Fall - what really moved the meter for your brand in the market.  Can you do it again and if you can how can you make it fresh and better? 
The Spring-
  1. Format Trends - Is the 'national spotlight' on for your music genre?  Are there adjustments you need to make in the music mix? Take a long look at the charts and the music trends for the format from a big picture and also focus on how your music scheduling is set up?  Also look ahead at the artists planning releases and are their any patterns for the Fall in your music genre?  Most of the big activity in new music slows down or stops before Thanksgiving - how does that affect the last month? Are you closing with a stale mix in currents?  Can you adjust, or should you?
  2. Was there a promotion or event that really worked in Spring? Note it for next year and brainstorm on it now.  Also look at what opportunities you have in Fall to equal the gains you got from the Spring. If you had an event that didn't perform up to par - what can you do to fix it or is it time to look at something else. 
  3. Competition - Did a competitor do something that stood out?  Did someone make significant changes in their approach or product?  What effect is that likely to have on the numbers? 
  4. Did you have a Good, Bad or just Average game?  
Take a look at what you've learned from evaluating all these points and maybe a few more that you hit on and set 3 goals.  Setting a lot more could set you up for confusion or a struggle to focus enough to really execute.  Pick your goals to have the biggest impact and keep them in front of you as you plan the Fall.   It will be here sooner than you think.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Big Picture Numbers Show Radio's Power

When you look at some of the Big Picture numbers on Radio's reach you can see how powerful the media remains.

If we look at the Monthly U.S. web traffic the top 3 sites from 2013 according to Nielsen are:
  1. Google - 164 Million Unique Visitors a month.
  2. Facebook - 134 Million
  3. You Tube - 119 Million
On You Tube the biggest video of the past week was the Eminem's Headlights with 5.6 Million views.  If you look at Pharrell Williams official video of Happy he has pulled in almost 235 million views in the past 5 months.

In TV the top rated shows were the NCIS, Dancing With The Stars, and Big Bang Theory ranging from 16 to 17 Million viewers from the Nielsen TV Ratings.  

Now let's take a look on the Mediabase Overall Chart and see the reach of the top played songs in the country. 
  1. John Legend - All Of Me - 39,207 spins reaching 241 Million people
  2. Pharrell Williams - Happy - 31,054 spins reaching 188 Million 
  3. Justin Timberlake - Not A Bad Thing - 26,195 spins reaching 151 Million
In just 1 week Pharrell's 'Happy' got 80% of the audience that the You Tube Video brought him, but that took 5 months to build.  Over the last 6 months John Legend's Vevo Video of All Of Me has pulled in 100 million views.  John got over double that exposure in 1 week on radio. 

Of course these numbers all have different metrics but I think we can all see that Radio's reach with it's top played content is very impressive.  Perhaps down the road as Nielsen integrates all the data we'll be able to see some standards where we can get more comparisons.  While seeing where Radio ranks in the forest of Media options could be scary, the slice we see here may surprise many.   Let's not forget the impressive reach we have as our air staff's hit the air and the sales teams present the marketing opportunities.   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talking About The Music

Here I get to listen to a lot of radio.  There are personalities to coach, competition to keep up with and stations to monitor no matter if the day is spent in the office or on the road.  One thing that often stands out in the content is the lack of real interaction with the music.

Listen to an average hour and you probably get only a few songs even identified. Many stations have dropped backsells before spots and much of the billboarding is for features, contests, traffic and other station stuff. Other times we have lots of social media interaction with pushes to posts and videos. Then there's the phones with 'topics of the day' and impossible questions.

The Air teams have also been on a pretty strict diet.  The pressure of PPM has forced many to trim the breaks as much as possible.  Even in the non-PPM world the jock trend is to keep it very quick.  There's always time for an endorsement or for pushing a remote at the car dealer, or for sales needs - how about some time for the music?

It also doesn't help that the air staff isn't 'spinning the discs' anymore and they have no say in what music is played.   Many years ago the Air Staff HAD to be into the music - now they may be on 3 different stations in a day with 3 different formats.

All of the reasons here have valid points but the reality is that we don't interweave the content of the stations with the music base as much as we used to.  We also wonder about the erosion of our media's music importance.   Perhaps the fact that we have pushed the music away from our non music content is a reason that in Rock and Pop the audience is catching their music info and exposure on You Tube, in Blogs, download sites, and from tons of other on-line services.

Notice that I didn't include Country above.  Listen there and you hear all about the artists.  The air staffs id more of the music and interact with it every hour.  The artists are often stopping by the studios when on tour and they keep radio in the loop on their activities.  In CHR and Rock often the only time we have a lot on an artists is when they are in trouble (like Justin Bieber) or if they become a social media event (like the recent rumors about AC-DC).

Take a listen to your content - are you embracing the music?  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Your Brand's Social Media Point of View

One of the real BASIC building blocks in building a great radio station is to, of course, build a brand.  We usually start mixing the ingredients; music mix, personality interaction, logo, positioning, benchmarks, and the overall attitude or packaging of the product.  All of these pieces have to fit together.  

We wouldn't suddenly whip out a Metallica song on a Country station nor would we be eager to blend in a Carrie Underwood tune on a rock station.  Our personalities also have to follow the brand and stay focused on the target audience in their on air style, content and language.   All programmers have these basic building blocks at the core of their on-air products and their presentation to the audience.  

The question here is 'does your Social Media content and presence follow your format?'  It may or it may not but we all know that to get that Social Media POV in line with the Brand you will need to have a structure and a plan.   Much like we have our clocks, positioning statements, and the POV of our air staff all carefully orchestrated to support and build the brand for the target audience - do we have the same structure, parameters, and understanding built into our Social Media presence?  

When you look at various stations and their Social Media presence you often see a lot of potential for concerns in matching the brand and it's Social Media POV.   Sometimes the people posting are just pulling in anything that looks like fun.  Other times you can sense confusion and not much being posted at all.  Still other times it seems to be focused on promotions, client events, or recycling programming and ignoring the audience real interests.  

The key here is to build a Format for Social Media.  First make sure the posting team knows who the audience really is on your Social Media world.  What is their lifestyle, entertainment, activities, and how do they live.  Take a look at the pages of some of your fans - you can see a lot of what they are into with just a few clicks.  Also build a solid plan that outlines the types of content that will engage them, how often to post, and also look at 'formating the posts.'   How loose or formal do you want to be in the language, how and when should you use photos/links/videos, and also how should you interact with them in comments.  

Just like we fret over where we should put our 'A' records in the hour we should also be looking at our Social Media interaction with the same strategic and brand building systems and thoughts we put into the on-air product.   

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Giving Talent The Time To Gain Audience

As a consultant we often run into situations where new talent is brought into the station.  Often the rush is on to get the new personality in place, usually just a month or maybe even days before a big Fall or Spring book. The Personalities and the PD work hard trying to help the talent get into the market, understand the station's target, find ways to engage the audience, and lots of time in critique sessions.

Of course the results from the book hit 5-6 months later and instantly everyone expects to see the big turnaround in the daypart, and maybe the whole station.  'Surely the audience should be jumping and we should see the results right now.'  

You have to keep in mind that it takes patience and persistence, as well as a great job with the show to make an impact.   The audience also has to find out about the show, get used to it, start to catch a buzz in the market from it, and they also have to get comfortable enough with the show to welcome it into their bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and their car.  This doesn't happen the minute you sign on a new Morning Team or bring in a new afternoon jock.

Also consider that the people that fill out diaries and respond to the ratings are not all likely to be the Early Adapters in the market that are first to find out about new trends, products and entertainment.  In today's world with much of the sample gathering going on with telephones and in the mail they are probably more likely to be the Late Adapters or even the 'last to realize anything' Laggards.  It's very likely that these groups can take 10 - 20 months to even realize the change and longer to adapt to it.

Yes this may sound like common sense to you, but how many times have we seen talent bounce around and finally settle in where they get a chance to build an audience and they take off.  Even if the show isn't taken off after a weak initial book there is often a complete overhaul or lots of concern, pressure and doubt about it.

It takes time to build a winner.   Take an example from the classic hit film Caddy Shack.  The recent sad passing of Harold Ramis reminded all of us of his comic film making legacy.   But consider the start for his first director's role with Caddy Shack.  The film came out in June 1980 with only around 2 stars from the critics and only hit 3 million in it's opening weeks.  The film struggled over that summer for an audience so much so that one of the key writers Doug Kenney got so depressed that he committed suicide in Hawaii.  Of course Caddy Shack went on to gross over 40 million - not bad as the film cost only 6 million to make.

Be patient and realize it takes while for talent to rise to the top.   

Friday, February 21, 2014

Music Flow and TSL

Programmers seem to always be searching for more TSL from the audience.   Over the years we've developed the music sweeps, billboards, appointment listening, contesting, at work listening tactics, and placing the spot breaks in a variety of slots in the hour.

One area that stands out and is often not explored in the TSL dialog is the Music Flow.  Where are the best slots in the clocks to play the biggest hits, where is the most opportune time to intro new songs, what's the best place to 'stretch out' the playlist a little.   How should the flow move between the variance in tempo, music type/style, and era?  How do we balance the long term rotations over days and weeks against the mix in this quarter hour?

It's a very careful balancing act to keep all the 'music balls'  in the air and balanced.  Working with PDs and Music Directors on their music scheduling set up you see all kinds of approaches.   The real issues here is one of math.  In the end we are nearly always looking to have the most popular - biggest hits in whatever format we are working in on the air most of the time.  After all that's how you 'play the best music.'  We also need room to introduce new music, express an edge to the mix so we keep the super P1 fans engaged and we also need to make sure to cover the range of styles and tempos.

Then on top of all that we have to respect the long range rotation patterns.  We have to make sure that the songs are getting rotations that are in line with their importance.  Another concern is not playing songs in the same hours day after day.  Of course we also have to respect artists reputation - no one wants to just be playing the same artist we just played a half hour ago.

The more rules and restrictions we put on the songs the less they play.   If we had tons of titles in each category that all had a wide variety of styles and tempos along with a big selection of different artists it would be no problem.   But, for most formats we have to work with a much tighter system.

Some set ups end up with not a lot of rules and they try to 'make it up in the editing.'   Others just let it rip and hope that the log comes together hitting all the goals.  Finding the balance here takes careful analysis.  Some people can really edit a log and may do well with just a few rules.  Others may struggle trying to keep all the elements in balance and we see bad flows, weird rotation patterns, and other areas that can hurt your TSL due to the music flow.

Getting the music flow as balanced as possible takes a very careful and well thought out plan.   Before you head into spring make sure you've taken an objective look at your system and setup.  It could be more important as that big contest you're lobbying for.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Big THAW from Winter Apocalypse 2014 - Radio to the Rescue

Since before Christmas over half of the country, and probably 75% of the population, have suffered through the frozen cold and record snow storms.  One 'polar vortex' after another, freezing everything with record lows and dumping record snow falls on nearly everyone from the Rockies to the East Coast and as far south as Georgia.

It's been going on for week after week for the last month or more and it's frozen commerce, transportation, retail sales, and just about everything except snow blower and winter glove sales.

No doubt it's also frozen your local business scene.   Stores closed, no one shopping for cars, people venturing out only for the essentials - and business is down on the retail level a lot.   Look at this CNBC report on the impact from all the Winter we've experienced on the economy here.   They claim it's above 15 billion and it's just Valentines Day.

This Winter is truly causing an Economic Apocalypse and the business' you call on are not going to have the revenue they expected for 1st quarter.  In fact they'd just like the parking lot cleared and the consumers to be able to get out of their driveways to stop by.

Now keep in mind that the economy is not in a big slump.  For many households they are earning more and their economy is recovering at a stronger clip than we've had for the last 5+ years since the big recession of 2008 hit.  Jobs have returned, car sales were at a record pace before the Winter Mayhem, the housing market is recovering.  All signs were pointing to a healthy 1st quarter and your stock portfolio is probably looking pretty healthy.  The reality is that we have the money and the income but we can't get out of the driveway.

The good news is that in the next couple of weeks the temps are returning to more normal levels, Spring is only 5 weeks away and soon we'll be complaining about the heat.  This will pass.

The opportunity is that we've been in our CAVES for 8 weeks or more now.  Barely able to get out to get for Milk.  The pent up demand for this Spring has HUGE potential.   The timing is PERFECT for any business to pounce on the warming temps and snow melting and feed off this pent up demand.  The key question we have to ask our clients is - are you ready for the GOLD RUSH of 2014?   We happen to have a very strong audience and we can turn your message around quicker than anyone else and still reach the whole market.  Radio has THE STORY and THE ANSWER here.

Now is the time to put together your 'Good Bye Winter from Hell' package.   Create creative examples of sales campaigns your clients can tap into.   Put together effective packages with great coverage in key dayparts.  Get your advertisers all set to make the most of the avalanche of customers, revenue and business just ahead.   Maybe pass out some cheap sunglasses as you present the packages.

Just don't spend too much time brainstorming and get it out there before everything thaws.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 - The Year Of Live and Local?

Standing back an looking at the 'big picture' for 2014 in Radio you can clearly see one big topic bubbling up that affects our whole industry.

There are 2 forces with very different goals and operating platforms that are clearly set to square off in many markets.

One side is the big platform broadcasters who have stations in much of the top 100 markets and beyond.  Really you only have 2 owners - Clear Channel and Cumulus with platforms big enough to cover the territory.  Their scope and size clearly opens the door for a much wider view of the markets, talent, budget priorities, product distribution and sales opportunities.

The other side are the smaller groups and individual owners who really can't build a national perspective and their focus is rallying around being Live and Local.  The focus is supposed to be stronger on local personalities, community involvement, and a local focus that can easily get lost on a national platform station across the street.

But, does the audience care?

In the end it comes down to the 'entertainment and engagement meter' inside each listener.  If you are going to make an impact with Live and Local you have to connect to the audience.  It isn't going to happen because it's a buzz word at a convention or if we run 'your local station' sweepers every quarter hour.  We all know deep down for Live and Local to work you have to walk the walk and have the talent to talk the talk.

Developing talent into impacting entertainers that truly engage the audience is not something you pull out of the fridge and heat up in the microwave.  This takes strong talent, skilled coaching, and a drive to truly engage the local audience.

Will the live and local teams find the resources, budget and patience to build their platform?  You know the national players will continue to extend their strongest talent and use regional and national resources to contribute to their products.

In many ways 2014 offers a recovering economy, new opportunities and the Live and Local teams may have more resources to develop the strategy.   With 2014 be a turning point year or another year where opportunities are left on the wayside?  

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Part 2

Part 2 of 3 on some observations the year ahead in radio focus on Metrics and Research.

Research - Some may say that we got very 'research happy' in the 90s and the early years of the new century.   Many stations and clusters had regular perceptual studies and music tests as a regular part of the budget with studies every hear.  

Now with the PPM - Media Monitors racking up scoring for the music in many markets or stations in many non PPM markets just living off the airplay data in Mediabase or BDS.   The recession also trimmed back many research budgets and this could be a year when we see research start to return to our brands and products.

PPM based 'research' is also focused on 'real time' data overlaying the minute by minute ratings with the music and content we suddenly had a picture of what was really going on.  The first reaction to this instant CRT-X-Ray of the audience has been real defensive.  Many have stripped the stations trying to stop tune out at any costs.  Are we losing the foundations of our brands, killing local engagement, stifling personality, and becoming boring by stripping down?  Are these the precise elements we need to make an impact with an audience filled up with media choices that just play songs?  Are these moves doing way more longer term damage than good to our brands?  It might be better to work more on raising the bar on personality, content, engagement, and entertainment and find a way to do it without wasting lots of time.  

The news is obvious that any research is going to have to come back with new technology and taking advantage of all the ways our audience now communicates.   Reaching for a random sample of numbers from the phone book isn't going to tell us anything about 'today's audience.'  Most of them under 45 don't have land lines and many don't use their phones for talking at all.  You need to reach them through their phone, tablets and laptops with studies that are quick, fun and sharp looking.  We will also need to be able to use social media to gather sample and lure them.

The sample itself has also changed.  The idea of a random sample has moved more to a managed panel of people in the PPM world and don't be surprised to see Nielsen/Arbitron move to more managed panel samples outside of the top 50 markets.  A lot of Nielsen's work in other projects in radio, retail and other industries has moved more to managed panels - it's a lot less expensive.

We also have lots of opportunities for 'quick research' with our social media fan bases and listener databases.  The key is developing an overall strategy and plan here - much of what we do is very random right now.  It seems like we have lots of pieces of research all scattered around the desk - how we build a real strategy with the pieces is a real challenge to every programmer.

When you look at the key ingredients in today's brands it's all about knowing what the customer is consuming and trying to know what they want.   Netflix gathers tons of data and categorizes every show to try and keep ahead of what the audience is looking for.  Amazon breaks down every product on who bought it and then pulls out the meta-data and tries to forecast your next order.  Really we don't have much 'meta-data' to work with.   Or do we really have some data and some potential to gather data on our brands and music that we could build into a stronger strategy?

Metrics-Ratings:  The last post on the year ahead for Nielsen/Arbitron in this blog really covers some of this territory.  Still when you look ahead for 2014 the changes ahead for the Ratings will impact us all a lot.  Really when you look at Arbitron it was often rather slow moving.   It took decades to get out of the 'printed book' world and much of the 'software' to break out the numbers came from outside sources that Arbitron eventually bought.   The sample struggled to reach younger audiences and it still clings to the antique pen and paper/recall data collection system with the diary for around 75% of the markets.

How will all this change as Nielsen gets more comfortable in the 'audio' world?  Will we have stronger samples in all markets?  Will they be more based on managed panels than random samples?  Will we begin to move away from being the 25-54 and 35+ media with ratings that actually capture younger cells?  Will we team up with Nielsen and start to do more custom breakouts of the data and quit leaning so much on 25-54 ranks? Will the diary finally be replaced with real time data gathering in other 75% of the markets?

There is a lot going on with the research and ratings fronts as we head into 2014.  In many ways the real keys to our success in the future lies in learning a lot more about an audience that is evolving and changing at an ever increasing rate of speed.  As our communication systems speed up so does the change they produce.

Clearly in 2014 we NEED to start building a lot more of a strategy and evolve our research.  We've cut back on this area over the last 10 years and even before that our systems and research methods were antiquated in sample, data gathering, and we kept looking at the same data over and over.