"I've had the absolute pleasure of working cloesely with Brian Ford for well over a decade. There are very few key decisions I make at Southern Cross Austereo without first consulting Fordy. His radio instincts and strategic expertise are without peer in this country.
Brian has been a coach and mentor who has had an incredible impact on not only my professional career but also my personal life."
"Having outside ears on your product is so important for me.
Brian and the esp teams guidance knowledge, experience and passion for radio is world class.
The strategising Brian gives to our brands is exceptional. We couldn't do what we do without the guru of radio on our team!"
"I have worked with the team now as esp for over 10 years and give them the highest possible recommendation based on their high level of service, accountability and the outcomes they have achieved for the Austereo group.
In my opinion esp is now the leader of media strategy in the world with the unique ability to see the future of the battle. This unique and confident forecasting following their strategic modelling allows companies to plan confidently through an increasingly competitive landscape.
Strategy of course is one thing, execution is the critical phase and this is where esp are continually offering creative solutions to navigate the course.
esp have over the years been responsible for many world first promotions and tactics for Austereo Pty Ltd and their quest for new ideas is inspiring.
The opportunity to partner with esp is the ultimate resource for any media company, their results speak for themselves; this is one group of people you want on your side in strategic warfare."
It's been my great advantage to have had Brian Ford and esp as my company's consultant for more than 10 years. In that time Brian and the esp team have never failed to give 100% support in out joint efforts to maximise the audience by encouraging great content and analysing the audience by asking the right questions.
Brian and esp have always maintained a passion for the product and clear understanding of the different formats we operate from Hits to Gold. I would unequivocally recommend him to anyone seeking the best for their radio stations.
"The esp team are always available to talk things through, are great with ideas, execution and detail. After 20 years in the business I'm learning more than ever from these guys!"
"The relationship with esp has proved crucial to our growth. UKRD's Total Group Listening Hours now stand at 7.7 million following publication of the latest RAJAR results. In 2001, before we had even heard of espi, they stood at 6.6 million. That's an impressive turn around for a group with 14 stations, against a backdrop of a decline in commercial radio listening in the UK. UKRD have been working with espi for two and a half years.
The relationship with esp has proved crucial to our growth so far, and will prove critical to any future growth we hope to achieve. Successful consultancy must lie in understanding the markets, the people, the opportunities and the fiscal realities. One size does not fit all!
I'm delighted that there are still some programmers that believe working alongside consultants is an admission of failure. It means I get more time (and a better deal!) with esp, and UKRD's audience continues to grow."
"When asked to pen a few words as testament to an individual or organisation, it is often done either as a duty or through a sense of obligation. For me, providing a testimonial for esp is something I do with enthusiasm and pleasure.
There are however, problems. How do I get across to the reader the professionalism, depth of knowledge and enormous range of skill sets in the individuals concerned? How do I highlight the enthusiasm and focus of the consultants ESPI deploy? Even more difficult, how do I persuade someone that has not enjoyed the interaction, planning process and comprehensive strategy recommended on the back of quality research that they are worth engaging.
For UKRD, I have no such difficulty. We know because we have not only experienced all of the above, but are reaping the benefits right now; today. Underperforming stations in difficult markets facing tough challenges are now beginning to make the kind of progress we could not have hoped to achieve just twelve months ago. Of course, we have to have programmers and station management teams ready to engage in change; and we do. We also have to execute on the ground; and we are.
But someone, or something has to remove the blinkers from your eyes and challenge previously held beliefs. esphas done that for UKRD and I am very happy indeed that our company has had the opportunity to be exposed to the esp treatment.
My only fear is that too many of our competitors may decide to do the same!"
"Just prior to the commencement of the rebuilding process AGB McNair revealed the station had a rating of 5.5% on the second last survey of 1995. Nine surveys later 4BH on the final survey of 1996 had not taken a backward move having increased total share of audience to 11.2%.
Yes, the ratings doubled in just over a year. More significant though was the performance in the chosen 45-59 year target where by the end of 1996 we had more than tripled our rating.
Comment must also be made in relation to the manner in which you have provided your consultancy. Many consultants are viewed by staff as an external threat, hence my delight our executives and the on air talent, without exception, eagerly looked forward to your ongoing assistance.
You were able to build an atmosphere of complete trust. I have also always noted your preparedness to be flexible in your view whereas too many consultants take an unmovable entrenched position."
"When KLIK FM was acquired in 2001 it was rating 3.3% in the Athens radio market of over 40 radio competitors. After extensive research and a look at the strategy it was relaunched as VILLAGE FM "The Best Hits Of Today." It was billed as "the station built by listeners for listeners."
Within 3 months the station doubled its audience figure to achieve a 6.6%. With continued tactical and strategic manipulation over the following 12 weeks, the end result was that the strategy in place took the station to 13.3% and number one in Athens. Never before has an international only formatted music radio statio achieved this in Athens."