That’s $2.1 billion, with a “b”…

…and it’s still not enough, at least according to Laura Ries, who is explaining why Walmart hasn’t been doing well of late. You can read the whole article HERE.

Walmart spends $2.1 billion annually on advertising, which is a paltry 0.8% of its sales revenue, while Target spends 2.2% and Sears spends 4.7%.

Ries says category leaders have the revenue to outspend competitors and should use it. For instance, McDonalds spends $1.29 billion on ads, while Burger King can only manage $400 million.

If Walmart just matched Target’s ad budget, it would be spending $5.72 billion.

According to the NY TIMES, Walmart’s 2011 4th quarter margins were about 24%, and that was down about half a per cent because of steep discounting in order to hold market share.

What does this have to do with Radio?

Nothing, really, except that Radio still has great free cash flow, and as far as I can tell, we don’t spend 0.001% of our sales revenue on advertising and haven’t, for decades.

Ever wonder how Radio would be preceived if we marketed our product — to listeners, and to advertisers — the way McDonalds markets burgers and fries, or Target markets clothes?

I can save you some time. Just shoot yourself in the head with a nail-gun. The effect’s about the same…