Archive for March 2007

Dave Ramsey Web Traffic:

March 30, 2007

The Dave Ramsey Show team had a meeting today to discuss the radio portion of our website. It is getting a renovation. In the meeting we, of course, were reviewing some other sites and discussing the features that we liked. These other sites weren’t just radio sites but sites in general.

As I began my review I decided to look at other talk radio websites and because I wanted to look at the best I reviewed each one at Alexa. For those that aren’t familar with Alexa, it is a database of information about sites that includes, among other things, statistics, traffic details, page views and overall reach. This was an interesting project. What I found was encouraging for the Dave Ramsey website. Here is a ranking according to Alexa’s analysis, of a few hosts that I pulled up. I will include the site and also their ranking on Alexa among all websites. This is based on the most recent 3 months average:

Rush Limbaugh – 10,345

Dave Ramsey – 30,882

Sean Hannity – 35,241

Bill O’Reilly – 51,998

Glenn Beck – 56,917

Michael Savage – 59,550

Laura Ingraham – 169,080

Mancow – 261,463

Mark Levin – 427,776

Ed Schultz – 731,264 / 926,150 (it’s somewhere between this number based on a review of 2 sites: http://www.bigeddieradio.com and http://www.wegoted.com)

Mike Gallagher – 1,233,556

Rusty Humphries – 2,730,083

I may have forgotten some in terrestrial radio but this was my first pass. After reviewing this, I took Alexa’s comparison feature and ran Ramsey up against the top 4 others (Rush, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly) to see what that looked like. . . ramsey-alexa-comparison.jpg

Ok, so you can’t see it great but Rush is red (of course) the green line is Hannity and O’Reilly they are strong in October and November (election) and then they settle down as the new year begins. Ramsey and Beck stay pretty steady throughout with the 3 month averages (Jan-Mar) coming in at the above numbers.

So of the hosts that I pulled info on, Ramsey is #2 for reach and traffic and we like our message has stayed pretty steady over the last couple months. I remember when we first started tracking this, we were in the 60,000 range so I’m pretty happy with the direction that we’re heading and, like always, look forward to the continued journey.

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Celebrating #300!

March 26, 2007

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This almost slipped by unnoticed. When the team here cleared KNRS in Salt Lake City it had officially cleared The Dave Ramsey Show in our 300th city! Why did it almost go by unnoticed? B/c we’ve already surpassed 315 clears. They are coming too fast.

We announced this clear in our recent ad campaigns so the industry was aware of it but on a personal celebration level. . .we just kept truckin’ and never really stopped to go. . .WOW!  It’s a big deal. It’s something worth celebrating.

Great job to the affiliate relations / sales team of The Dave Ramsey Show:

Suzanne Simms, Joe Leavitt, Bob Borquez, Chad Nikazy, Amy Severson, Sarah Mitchell and Laura Ball. . .

400 should be here in a couple weeks! 🙂

Great Marketing Conversation:

March 16, 2007

So I was talking with our Director of Marketing, Brian Williams, this morning in our weekly meeting. He asked me a question that I know but hadn’t verbalized in a long time. It was one of those questions that you “just do” but maybe it’s been a while since you thought about why you do it.  In a nutshell, here was the question:

“Why do we market Dave the way we market Dave and what books have I read that make me the marketer that I am?”

We went on to have a great discussion. We first talked about non-traditional marketers that I really admire. Most of them are guys where marketing is simply an extension of who they are and they are very competitive.  . . Two names were Mark Cuban and Pat Croce.  Specifically Cuban. . .he’s a true american success story first of all. He identified the dream and in Dave’s terms, “Left the Cave, Killed something and brought it home”. To stay with the Dave analogy, he knows who his fans (listeners) are and he markets to them. The fans enjoy a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. Why? One b/c the team is great which is certainly a result of their owners passion and vision, but also I think the bigger reason is Cuban doesn’t walk the industry line. The industry line is boring. He didn’t become “one of them”. He knows himself. Knows what made him successful in other businesses and he carried it over to the NBA. He probably, vehemently defends against becoming one of the industry. The fans eat it up. It’s no fun to follow another vanilla talking head for the industry. People always follow passion and Cuban has it.

I’m telling you. . as we talked about this I realized that is EXACTLY what has made us win with The Dave Ramsey Show. Dave is a self made man who knows exactly who he is and what got him here. He has laser focus on what he knows he was created to do. As a company he has mentored us to passionately defend our message and the way we deliver that message. As for talk radio, none of our team members are “career radio guys”. We look at the industry a little different and I think that has made us very appealing to the listeners. We have narrowed this thing down to a simple message of HOPE and we go after that everyday with laser focus. We know exactly what we are aiming at.

Of course, it all goes down to pursuing the passion with blinders on. Not getting distracted from what you know in your gut you are called to do.

I’m getting excited as I’m typing this. I see a guy who is just running toward the goal screaming, “GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!” Brick wall, doesn’t matter I’m going through it. . .Fined by the NBA? Tough, I’ll match your fine with a gift to charity. Dropped by a radio station for saying the wrong thing on the air? Your loss. . .we’re going to keep winning all over the country b/c we are convinced that what we are doing is right.

Take it to the hole over and over and over again. Never stop!

It’s always good to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and then be forced to verbalize it. It was a good meeting.

It all started with “The Money Game”

March 16, 2007

So last night I’m cleaning out my basement and I find an aircheck of The Dave Ramsey Show from 1993. I haven’t talked to Dave yet but this could be the first one that was ever done. The show wasn’t called The Dave Ramsey Show then but “The Money Game”. We changed the name of the show back in 1999 (maybe late ’98) because when we were trying to syndicate the show people would get our information and figure it was a boring money show and woudn’t listen to it. If they did listen to it they would consider us for weekends only b/c that’s where boring money shows went. 1993! What a difference 13 years makes.

This aircheck is yet another reminder of, “Remembering where you came from.” Coming in and being a part of this show for the last 8 years, and thinking about all the memories surrounding the road we’ve travelled. . . it is a pretty special thing to hear what could be the first one. . .where it all started. It had to start somewhere. Dave had to turn on that mic for the first time and take a chance. It’s pretty funny to listen to. Dave certainly was not the pro that he is today.

I’m getting ready to call our radio team in here to listen to it. 12-15 of us will gather around and many of them will hear it for the first time. It will be fun and we will laugh but we will also remember, once again, where this all started and remember, once again, where we came from. It will be a good day.

Who’s Left, Who’s Right. . . Who Cares?!

March 15, 2007

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This was the title of a panel I sat on while at the Talk Radio Seminar last week. Not being part of a political talk radio show, I was invited to represent the alternative but growing genre of “Lifestyle Talk”.

Other participants were:

Phil Boyce – WABC Radio, Gabe Hobbs – Clear Channel, Amy Bolton – Jones Radio, Jerry Doyle – Talk Radio Network, and Bill Handel – Premiere Radio Network.

There were a lot of differing viewpoints offered during this session. Here is what I was left with. . . Talk Radio, along with radio in general is there to serve it’s listeners. Listeners lives are well rounded. Do they care about politics? Absolutely. Is there only one spoke on the wheel of their life? Of course not. For a station to have hosts that represent politics, money and other aspects of the listeners life as a whole just makes sense.

There is a lot of talk right now in radio circles regarding political talk vs. lifestyle talk. Which way should a station program? My question is. . .why does it have to be one or the other. There is a growing number of major stations in top 50 cities that have decided to mix the two and they are doing extremely well.

The listeners lives are well rounded. Have your programming reflect that and I think you’ll be surprised at the reaction you’ll receive.

Wired Magazine’s Nancy Miller continued. . .

March 12, 2007

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So I’ve got to give props t0 my buddy Chris Thomas. He’s made another great recommendation. What is it this time?. . . Wired Magazine. I’ll be honest and tell you that I read this recommendation on his blog a week or so ago but didn’t act on it. (I did act on The Fallout Boy album and it really is fantastic) But not Wired.

 So, as posted earlier, I’ve been at the Talk Radio Seminar in Marina Del Rey and while there I sat in on a discussion with Nancy Miller of Wired Magazine and I was really impressed with her. So Pourout recommends the mag, Nancy from the mag is there, put the two together, I go. . .really like it. . . get the mag and am pretty quickly obsessed. Next paragraph why. . .

The articles are short! This is, by the way, exactly what Nancy talked about. Today my generation (Yes, I still consider myself part of the “younger generation”) wants info quick. Almost like, give me the gist of what you want to tell me on page 1 then give me the option to read more. I think Wired is doing this and I am now, therefore, a subscriber.

 One more thing I think is important in this post for us in the younger generation. (I laugh whenever I write that b/c I know some of my buddies are going, “Bill! YOU’RE NOT IN THE YG!!!. . . sorry. . . that’s where I want to be, so live with it) Anyway, as I was saying, one thing that is very important to us in the YG is a recommendation from a trusted source. I have people in my life that have built credibility over time on different subjects. Once I have them in my life, my life is easier. We have so many freaking choices today on everything you can imagine. I don’t have time to learn it all. Surround myself with people I trust, get their advice and take action. I like that. It really makes life easier.

Alright, I’ve just typed this entire post on my Treo somewhere over Arkansas and my right thumb is not doing well. (left one’s fine) I need a break.

Wired Magazine’s Nancy Miller

March 10, 2007

Another update from the Treo 700. I’ll clean it up later. Sat through a discussion with Nancy Miller of Wired Magazine. Very bright and interesting lady. Jumped out at me that she wasn’t the kind of person that held the view of technology, like many others in the “new media” world, that if you don’t embrace ALL of it then you are behind the times. She simply stated where we stand as a culture. Take it or leave it, it’s here.

New point:
Read “Fastfood Nation”. She assumed everyone had but if not she said it was a must read.

Interesting point by Nancy. . .
Kids are buyting more books than ever. She said, “yeah, I know, dead trees” What? In todays world, kids are buying books? See, this is one of my big problems with people who are learning about or in the business of “new media”. So many of them want to tell you that if you are doing anything by “traditional means” ( ie. reading a paper book as opposed to online) then you are behind the times. . . It’s a load of crap. People don’t want to be bound to the electriconic device, and paper, for at least a few more years, is easier, more covenient and more portable. I know I’ll catch heat for the “more portable” thing but I stand by it.

Where should talk radio take their listeners in the coming years on this subject? Just let the listeners lead? They will tell you what his hot. Don’t know if you can stay ahead and it may not be true in radio but in Wired’s world, they let the readers lead and tell them what they want. (See Wired’s Editor in Chief Chris Anderson’s blog at The Long Tail)