An Interview with Natalie Marsh- General Manager at Lotus Broadcasting [VIDEO]

Charlie Cadbury meets Natalie Marsh, General Manager at Lotus Broadcasting, to discuss the evolution of radio adverts over the past decades.

Speakers: Charlie Cadbury, CEO, Say It Now; Natalie Marsh, General Manager, Lotus Broadcasting.

Read the full transcript here:

Charlie Cadbury 0:00
That’s good because I’m a hand talker. Okay, yeah, we are rolling. Take it away when you’re ready. Amazing. Well, hello, we are here at the NAB 22. I’m here with Natalie Marsh from Lotus broadcasting. And we’re going to talk a little bit about you, your world and the future. So just kind of get to know a little bit about you yourself. And tell us a bit about you. What’s What’s your day to day?

Natalie Marsh 0:25
Well, my day to day consists of meetings with programming salespeople, engineering, right now we’re in the middle of a studio rebuild. So we’re redoing eight studios, as well as building a backup studio. So it’s, it’s fine and crazy, you know, you have client meetings in between that are selling and not working. So

Charlie Cadbury 0:47
I’m wondering if you can talk to your colleagues? And what would what would they say your specialist expertise is? What what are you the best in the world? And

Natalie Marsh 0:55
I think my colleagues will probably say, relationships. I’ve been at Lotus for 23 years, I grew up in Las Vegas. So I’ve been here for almost 50 years. And so I know a lot of people in town, but I, and I think they’re right. But I also think problem solving is probably my main expertise

Charlie Cadbury 1:17
as the chief firefighter, right?

Natalie Marsh 1:18
I am. Yes, um,

Charlie Cadbury 1:20
what did you do before you enter this industry,

Natalie Marsh 1:23
I was a pre med student. And all of my doctor mentors were sort of explaining how insurance was really changing the industry. And that I should start thinking about maybe doing something else. And I sort of fell into a job and hotel sells, and weirdly fulfilled my need to help people. So I moved back home. So I did three years in Seattle, and I moved back home to the hotel capital of the world, and discovered that hotel sales here is transactional and not relationship based. So once again, found myself at kind of a crossroads. And my radio rep asked me to write a letter about why I buy radio, and I did and her boss offered me a job. And the rest is kind of history,

Charlie Cadbury 2:10
you follow that kind of that spark, and that passion, you know, somebody believed you believed and

Natalie Marsh 2:14
yeah, just, you know, to really help people, you know, with, I get every day got to solve people’s problems in business. And then once I became a manager, then you’re kind of solving all the problems on the belvane. Right? Yeah.

Charlie Cadbury 2:26
I mean, when you started out, did you believe that you’d be here right now doing doing this? It sounds like you’re running around being interviewed all week.

Natalie Marsh 2:33
I didn’t, to be honest, I never, I’ve never taken a job thinking, Okay, here’s the next thing that I’m going to do. I just wanted to be the best at that job. I’ve been at Lotus for 23 years. And our manager has, you know, he was there for 40 years. And so I never really thought about when he would retire or what that would look like. But three years ago, I took over as as market manager, so

Charlie Cadbury 2:58
amazing. So do you have 23 years. So what’s what’s changed for radio audio within that time?

Natalie Marsh 3:04
You know, I a lot of things have changed, you know, little things, some of you used to have to say the address and the phone number, you know, multiple times, so they would remember it. And then the internet really changed all of that, because then you just had to give a website, but also the length of spots, you know, they used to be 60s, everything was a 60. And now a 60 is like forever. People if they have a good jingle that are in fives 10s, you know, fifteens are very prominent. So I think those are two of the probably the biggest change in the marketing standpoint, I

Charlie Cadbury 3:36
think that people’s attention spans, although they are craving immediacy,

Natalie Marsh 3:40
our attention spans have definitely been Twitter arised. Yeah, for sure. If I hear a 60 on the radio, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, that was so long. And I don’t spend that much time on social media. And yet still, you can tell the difference, because TV doesn’t have that long of ads anymore. Radio doesn’t have. So when you hear one, it’s noticeable.

Charlie Cadbury 4:01
Yeah. Talking about ads can can you remember the first radio ads that you ever kind of left an impression with you?

Natalie Marsh 4:09
I think of I think of two when I was little, I think I probably knew that McDonald’s jingle pretty well, because that that was pretty special when you’re a kid. But when I was older, there was a car dealership here that had a pretty rememberable jingle and I and that one stuck out to me. Do you think that stuck out is I think the messaging and the jingle. Okay. You know, like I think as and that hasn’t changed? I think if people have a good message and a good jingle, you know, you just remember it.

Charlie Cadbury 4:42
And do you think you know that they can fundamental advertising structure has changed over this 23 years or

Natalie Marsh 4:49
besides you know, just that tweak about, you know, numbers and addresses. I really think it comes down to what is your messaging, and what is your offer? or why Why should people come to your business?

Charlie Cadbury 5:03
And where do you think this is? This is going What do you think the future might lie in terms of changing that advertising?

Natalie Marsh 5:10
I, you know, I think there’s, there’s more up, there’s more things that you can do, right? Like, when you’re when you talk about how do you how do you track somebody, right? So you’re sending them to a website now you can, you can tell by their mobile phones, if they’ve been in that business. And they heard the ad, you know, there’s, there’s different weird, you know, kind of Big Brother creepy things, but good for advertising, to be able to say no, hey, we got this, this many people into your business, it was great. All these people walked into your door.

Charlie Cadbury 5:44
And so it was what role do you think that, um, smart speakers or voice assistants will play in advertising moving forward,

Natalie Marsh 5:51
smart speakers have been great for radio, they’ve really brought back, you know, sort of a resurgence of in home listening. And I mean, I do it myself, and then use, we saw it with everybody else, you know, I have a radio, I’m in the business. I still like the convenience of just asking my smart speaker to play the station. And in my office, so in my office, I’m usually streaming online, and then in my home, I’m usually using a smart speaker. So

Charlie Cadbury 6:21
do you think that there’s opportunities for kind of broadcasters to deliver more kind of engagement or interaction using smart speakers?

Natalie Marsh 6:29
Yeah, I know, there’s, you know, certain skills that you can give. And I guess we sort of, you know, we’re a small company, and a lot of ways were private owner. And so we kind of take this luxury that we get of waiting and letting everybody else sort of figure out some of the masks and then being like, Okay, well, this is good, we’re gonna jump in, I like it. So I think I think there’s a place to engage more, I know, you can set up skills and you can give, you know, certain messages that engage your listeners. And we just, were kind of waiting for the, the rollout of the improvements on that.

Charlie Cadbury 7:03
Yeah, that’s, I mean, it’s a very good position to be in Yeah, just to see what are the markets, what do you think are the biggest opportunities for the kind of audio industry or the radio industry right now in terms of where to grow,

Natalie Marsh 7:15
you know, audio is really shown to be so important. And I love that, because it’s, one of the things I wrote in that letter that got me into radio was that you can take it with you on the go, and you can multitask. And even though we’ve all sort of slowed down a little bit, after the pandemic, we’re still pretty big multitaskers. And so being able to listen to audio, so being available to your listeners, however they want that to be so whether that’s, you know, live, whether that’s on demand, you know, with a podcast of the show, we get a we get a lot of listeners, especially on our sports shows, that if they, you know, if they miss that show about their favorite sports team, they want to play it back. And I think that’s important to keep up with that. And then just sort of the whole picture, you know, if there’s, there’s a way to engage them with video and social media, and they expect all of those touch points because they’re such a part of their daily life.

Charlie Cadbury 8:15
Okay, so more channels to kind of communicate, engage with them. So I think, you know, we’re looking to, you know, champion the industry, it sounds like you know, you are as well and if you were a, you know, a young graduate school leaver looking to enter the industry, where would you recommend those those Darline?

Natalie Marsh 8:32
I think if you’re going to college or university, it’s important to see if you have Journalism and Media Studies in on your campus, see if you have a radio station or TV station, and a lot of campuses have those, I mean, and you should jump in and get some hands on experience there. And then intern, you know, speak with your department heads and reach out to your local radio stations and do an internship with them and really understand, you know, what you like about the industry and be open minded because I think a lot of younger kids, you know, that you want to go towards sort of the sexier side, right? You want to be on air, maybe you want to be the producer, you want to edit, you know, the different things, but there’s a lot of things that are behind the scenes, you know, from the sales team, to the business manager to the production, there’s a lot of things that maybe they don’t think about. So you want to be open minded and test all of the fields when you’re actually in that working radio station.

Charlie Cadbury 9:36
Awesome. That’s great device. Now it just kind of in summary, if anyone who’s watching was is going to kind of get a feel for Lotus, we’re going to tune into a station right now what would give a great overview of Lotus?

Natalie Marsh 9:48
Gosh, I think I told you we have you know, sports and rock. So my personal favorite because I’m an active rock girl, you know, um, so it’d be Okay, but If anybody out there is a raider fan, you know Raider Nation radio or LV sports will definitely take you to all of our sports offerings.

Charlie Cadbury 10:07
Amazing. Well, that thanks so much. I know you’ve got a very busy show here. Busy week. I wish you all the best. Thanks very much.

Natalie Marsh 10:12
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. Nice to meet you. Awesome,

brilliant. Thank you so much for all the craziness. Yeah, it was so funny. I like I hugged. I was like, Oh, I gotta hurry because I’ve been trying to walk. Yeah, just to, you know, be good. I’m having all these dinners this week. And so I’ve been trying to get the walk and stuff. And I was like, No, I got it. They’re probably over in the other Hall. So I hopped in that Tesla and I had just got in when you called. And I was like, well do the circle. Well, I’ll actually do a loop.

Charlie Cadbury 10:44
I can see the new building.

Natalie Marsh 10:45
Yeah, I was, I gotta tell you, so. You know, I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m usually all over the place. There’s definitely not as many people coming in town where they’re like, but a year ago, we took somebody to that delicatessen. Right, right outside the West Hall. And this was not here. So yesterday when I turned on to convention center, and I was like, Wait, is there a building that I don’t know about? I was so freaked out. Because, you know, for for so long. It’s just been that North and South Hall. And to turn the corner and I was like, wait a West Hall. What is this? And so then I you know, I was like, Well, I think I see signs so I’m just going to park here and then that’s when I was like, Oh, this is what the Tesla tunnel is about. Okay, I got it. Yeah, it was it was really shocking. And I asked my boss yesterday I was like remember when we took that guy from New York to the deli and, and he was again like, do you remember there being any construction? And he’s like, no, why? And I was like, you have to drive by. You’re gonna freak out because I was freaking out.