Volume 10, Issue 5 - September/October 2008

Side Lites

Radio Advertising Works
by Bob Theriot

QUESTION: HELLO BOB, I WAS wondering how to come up with a marketing campaign for the radio. Also, whatís better, radio or phone book directory advertising?
óAlbert H., Tehachapi, Calif.

Answer: Hello, Albert. Thanks for e-mailing me and asking this question. Although I can give you a short answer, I believe there are some things that you must first ask yourself as an auto glass company owner that can help you reach your own conclusion. The first question is, what am I trying to accomplish with this radio campaign? There are many things that you can do with the radio medium that you typically canít do with your yellow page advertising.

There are some other questions to ask, too:
ē What is the message Iím trying to send?
ē What am I trying to promote?
ē Am I trying to solidify my brand?
ē What type of customer am I trying to attract?

Radio Versus Yellow Pages
When you advertise on radio, you can promote a special or sale for a day or two and then end the campaign. With your yellow page ad, youíre stuck for a year before any changes can be made to the copy. Donít get me wrong, I still believe in the phonebook. I would never recommend terminating this type of advertising all together, but with radio you have more flexibility and are able to start and end a marketing campaign when you wish.

Before advertising on the radio, though, first decide what demographic you are going after. Your radio sales executive should have all of these numbers at his disposal and will gladly share them with you. If not, donít advertise on that particular station. There are manymore radio stations out there that have the audience you want to attract  Next, decide what message you want the public to know about your company. Make sure to be concise and convey the thing that you believe sets your company apart from the competition.

Once youíve decided on what you want to accomplish, test the campaign with a couple of different radio stations. Use the same commercial on two different stations, alternating weeks. For example, advertise on a country station with the demographic you want for a week. Then advertise on another station with the same demographic for another week. Do this for two months and track your results. One station may have the same demographic, but the results may be entirely different. Some stations have much larger audiences at different times of the day and week and your results may be better with a particular station.

There is something else you should know. With radio, as with other advertising mediums, it takes a little while for commercials to work. The average listener has to hear your commercial at least three times for it to have any kind of impact. So keep this is mind and donít give up so quickly. Find out what works best for you and your business and keep advertising.

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