Last week, an event happened that most organizations and sales managers need to learn from. While it hasn’t affected me personally, it has made me pause and take note–ABC canceled two of its long running soap operas, All My Children and One Life to Live.
So what? At its superficial level, it is just a cancellation of tv programs and shuffling for something new. But there is more to it, it is a lost audience/customers. Which is something very few companies can afford.
1. Programming. It is more than just 20 hours of tv programming a week that has been changed. It is actually 20 hours on ABC and over 50 hours of programming on SoapNet. That is a substantial reshuffling of programming by SoapNet who has relied on ABC to supplement with many hours of tv and influences the ad revenue stream? In fact, just yesterday Hoover pulled its advertising from ABC, lots of lost revenue.
2. Publishing. A Special ABC Soaps digest magazine that I see when I check out at the grocery store every week will be gone–with only 1 soap left on their schedule, I can’t imagine that publication surviving.
3. Specials. Daytime Emmy Awards/Specials–With only 5 daytime soaps left, it really becomes a network showdown of which network influences the voters.
Emotion Influences Sales
So now that these shows are canceled, will the ratings go up for the next 9 months before it is officially ended? Yes, if a soap is on its way out, you will be supporting/remaining loyal to the end to see it concluded–you have a “You were there” moment. ABC and SOAPnet are taking this buzz to generate higher ratings and increase ad revenue, temporarily. Even if viewers demand the shows return-there are at least 10 Facebook Pages dedicated to saving the soaps-it will last a season or two and then be canceled, like 7th Heaven and many others.
How do you use this lesson to drive sales? Create an emotional connection to your product. When your product offering shifts, creating buzz to evoke loyalty will drive sales up temporarily. The challenge is to capture loyalty during that spike and subtlety shift it to a new or improved product within your business. This is where critical content/copywriting for your website (remember, your sales staff should know what is on your site) and for your social media campaigns.
Strike a chord with consumers via social media to know customers/audience, produce emotion and increase sales. Just like a person who buys from another salesperson, the purchaser will repeat a purchase because there is an emotional connection. The language your sales staff uses starts the sale (which is what is done online) and the emotion seals the deal. If you don’t have a sales staff, then emotion needs to be created online; choosing your words carefully gets it done. Use that connection to create sales, like local companies/organizations, Three Rivers Park District (their bunny hunt in the woods is perfect for this time of year), Tire Zoo, Larson Builders and Easy Stand.
How do you create emotion in your current product marketing? Does your sales area of your site speak passionately about your services and products? If not, change it. Being formal may prohibit a sale. Imagine if soaps were delivered in the Queen’s English-it wouldn’t survive, because that isn’t the connection the audience wants. ABC knows how to talk to its audience, but they haven’t found a way to shift their audience to new options. I think the soap cancellation is to drive up ad revenues and revive the demand for soaps (increasing audience size and sales), in a year or two. How are they re-imagining this genre, we’ll find out in a few years, after all, everything that is old becomes new again, a la 90210, right?