What does it take to make a radio ad campaign work?

I have 3 clients recently that are seeing some phenomenal things happen partially from their ongoing radio campaigns. So, I thought, “What is it EXACTLY that makes it work?”

I pondered that for a few days… and I’ve got it! And I’ve always know it. But didn’t know how to put it into words. I do now, though. I think. I’ll try.

Business #1: This Sioux Falls business has been advertising on the radio for 8 months. And it’s like a switch went on, and now this business is BUSY. Of course, they got some extra business in the previous 8 months, but not like this. The tipping point has been hit! Normally, it doesn’t take this long for the “tipping point”, but this business has a smaller budget with a TON of competition. Those are two big factors in how fast results will come. Now, because of their growth, there is more budget available, and we can shift into 2nd gear to see what the next wave will bring. It’s very exciting for them!

What’s the secret? It’s not ONE ad… it’s the whole SERIES of ads over time. A new ad every month. A new story in each ad. A new perspective for people to hear. It’s the series of ads and stories, not just one ad.

Business #2: This business has been advertising on the radio for ummm, let’s see… 8 YEARS! After the first 4 to 6 months, they saw a pretty big spike in new business. Then, it went up from there gradually. And their ad budget grew with their increased revenues. After about 4 years, their revenues were about 3x from when they started their radio campaign. These are smart, passionate business people. They know how to run a good business and shine brighter than their competition.

So, recently, they’ve added a couple of radio stations to their annual advertising schedule. And by the way… all they do for traditional advertising is RADIO. Now, 7 or 8 years into their campaign… and after adding a couple of big radio stations to their mix of radio, they are taking off again. Still growing! And through the recession, they stayed steady and were never even close to “panic mode”. They were head and shoulders above their competition and also other similar stores across the entire country. They are leaders in their industry no matter where you look. Have I mentioned they’re smart? Wow, do they get it. They get the WHOLE marketing picture – not just radio. They were being asked, “How do you do it?”

What’s the secret? It’s not ONE ad… it’s the whole SERIES of ads over time. A new ad every month. A new story in each ad. A new perspective for people to hear. It’s the series of ads and stories, not just one ad. There is no magic ad that makes it all happen. It’s the long-term strategy and persistence to change people’s perceptions and make them think of THIS business when people need what this business offers. It’s local branding at a completely different level.

Business #3: This business is seasonal. Most of their new customers come in the late winter to early spring. This business has been advertising on the radio with me for 4 years. The first year was good. Way better than they expected. Which was good because they had tried radio in the past with someone besides me… and it didn’t work. Phew!

That first year, they were considering doing a TV campaign, but couldn’t ever get any ideas from them. And barely even a call back. So, I’m glad they gave me a shot! The second year was better than the first. And then, the third year was the “tipping point” for them. Because they were a seasonal business and didn’t advertise 48 or 52 weeks a year, it was going to take a bit more time before they became a household name in Sioux Falls. And much to their surprise, year 4 as a radio advertiser, knocked their socks off. They needed to hire more people. And they did.

Have I mentioned these folks are smart, too? They hire GOOD people. They know WHO is going to be a good hire, and they never settle for somebody that doesn’t measure up. When they hire people, they stay, they love their bosses. Isn’t that soooo critical? Hire the right people! Be picky. AND they have a vision. They have a goal and can SEE it. And they take action! I can’t wait to see what year 5 brings them. They’re picky with their ads too. I’ve had to go back to the drawing board a few times. That’s ok. It makes me a better marketer. They urge me to dig deeper and strive for the best. And we’re doing that.

What’s the secret? It’s not ONE ad… it’s the whole SERIES of ads over time. A new ad every few weeks of their 4-month seasonal ad schedule. A new story in each ad. A new perspective for people to hear. It’s creating ads that stand out from their competition. Ads that increase people’s TRUST in their business. But the main thing that makes this happen is the series of ads and stories, not just one ad. And every year, it gets better. They were patient… and are being rewarded for it.

I can’t wait to write about my next project. It’s a business run by a couple of smart fellas who are going against everything that their franchise corporate people have told them to do (which wasn’t working very well anymore). This business has been advertising on the radio for 4 weeks. I’ll know more in about 2 to 3 months. I’m hoping their “tipping point” hits just as the cooler fall weather is upon us. Which reminds me, I need to write a new radio ad for them. It’s the next building block in the “fortress” we’re building.

Want to talk about what could be possible for YOUR business? Let’s sit down and discuss your situation.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

940-7984

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