Competition is Good

A radio ad that has recently aired on several St. Louis stations features Texas governor Rick Perry inviting Missouri business owners to consider relocating to Texas. The impetus for the ads was Missouri governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax cut bill. The commercial states that the veto of a tax cut is the same as a tax increase. In addition to chastising Missouri, the spot touts Texas’ virtues, such as the lack of state income taxes.

Many in St. Louis have been outraged that Texas and its governor would pay to broadcast such a message. One station responded to listener feedback and cancelled the spots.

My thoughts on the subject:

  • I have lived in Houston and Dallas. I enjoyed my time in both cities. Each has much to offer. The lack of state income tax IS a big deal. But I have lived in St. Louis for 25+ years. My family and I have put down roots and we choose to remain. We like it here.
  • Those who say that old media are passé may be surprised to learn that people still listen to terrestrial radio stations and that advertising on these stations does cause listeners to respond. (Maybe local radio sales managers should solicit a “success letter” from Rick Perry for their presentations to prospective clients.)
  • There is nothing wrong with competition. Missouri and Texas are in constant competition with 48 other states and a large number of foreign countries throughout the world for new business. Economic development folks in Jefferson City and Austin are working hard every day to convince leaders to put plants and HQs in their states rather than in South Carolina, Belize, New Hampshire or China.
  • If these radio spots cause those charged with promoting Missouri to step up their game on the business recruitment front and become more competitive, positive results should follow. Ultimately, Missouri may want to thank the Texas guv for firing our state up.
  • The political implications of the spots remain to be seen. Governor Perry may be trying to rehab his buffoonish image for a 2016 presidential run. Republicans may be trying to derail governor Nixon’s future plans. Time will tell.
  • Competition is good. When you are competing for a new job, new customers, a new business deal, you have to perform better. And your better performance generally brings better outcomes for you.

Click HERE to read my thoughts posted last December about the motivation that comes from having a chosen rival.

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