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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group





Everyone talks about planning but few really do it well. This may be due to the historic flaw of entering a plan-making exercise with a preconceived idea of how competitors will react, or how your market will behave. A good leader knows never to enter a campaign fully anticipating a set result. Instead, the best planning charts a course based on the known, objectively forecasts probability based on tendencies, and provides for the X factor: what can go wrong, and what to do we prepare for it?


Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle, I always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Here are two must-consider planning priorities for the year ahead.


No matter how budget challenged, see perceptual research as a capital expense as opposed to a “current-cost.” The fiscal value embedded in the data and action plan of a research project will arm your station(s) with mental weaponry to outthink and outperform your competitors. Given a choice between one hundred thousand

dollars for marketing, or fifty thousand dollars for research, I’d take the research every time. You wouldn’t sail off the coast of Maine in the fog without a compass, yet billions of radio dollars are at stake every year, without any current market intelligence.


You can’t win the war, if you don’t know where the battlefield is. Your objective is not to crush and destroy your competition, but to reconfigure market conditions to your station’s benefit. Your real goal is to reposition your competition, putting them in a disadvantaged ranking, concurrently raising your combined cluster composition. It’s not as easy as it sounds.


It can’t be done without strategic planning. Most Radio people have been taught and conditioned from the beginning to think and act tactically: this book, this quarter, this marketing, or the latest format gimmick. To the contrary, strategy wins wars, not tactics. Putting it in working context: strategy means, “doing the right things to win the war.” Tactics means “doing things right to win the battle.”



Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at


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