Fancy and Expensive Doesn’t Equal Good Marketing

Fancy and Expensive Marketing

Your $750 logo isn’t going to be “the answer” to your marketing woes. Your $10,000 website isn’t going to be your savior when it comes to capturing new customers. That $5000 TV production will grow old far sooner than you wish it would.

There are a lot of websites out there that cost a lot of money. Some are worth the money because there are a lot of complicated programming elements in them. Some large entities need that. But some of the overpriced sites I see are for local, small businesses where most of the cost came from graphic design costs. Graphics that aren’t necessary. Sure it’s great that your website looks nice, but there are tons of lower-cost options out there with design platforms and templates that look really good.

There are also expensive radio ads. It doesn’t mean they’re working. Just because you hear a funny radio ad doesn’t mean it’s actually selling anything for the business – or that it’s helping any branding efforts. Just because you hear a professional voicing the ads in a dramatic fashion, with big cinematic music and sound effects in the background…doesn’t mean it’s effective.

Fancy and expensive marketing does not equal good marketing…

Good Marketing

All your website needs to do is 1) be easy on the eyes, 2) make it easy for visitors to find the information they need, 3) be able to be found on search engines like Google, and 4) say things that give visitors confidence in the fact that you can solve their problems – so they won’t feel the need to “back out” and look for a different option. More time should be dedicated to what you say within your website, instead of more time (and cost) on making it look fancy – just like all of your other marketing and advertising. The things you say in your marketing make a bigger, profitable impact than the visuals. Yes, visuals can play a role…but they’re not the lead role.

Good marketing can come in many different forms. But it doesn’t mean that you have to use all different kinds of marketing and advertising. I’m saying don’t waste your marketing budget as a small business trying to be everywhere and reach everyone. You don’t have to spread your advertising around to 15 or 30 different outlets. When you do that…with a smaller budget…you’re “watering down” the number of ads being distributed to the public. And just like how we learned our alphabet, we need repetition.

There’s no marketing rule that says you can’t put the beefy portion of your budget into Radio. I have a lot of clients who do just that. And it’s working wonders for them. We’re saying things in their ads that radio listeners don’t expect to hear. Which means we’re keeping those listeners’ attention… and causing them to remember my radio clients when they have a particular problem that my radio clients can solve. With good radio ads, you can consistently and predictably grow. With a consistent radio plan month-in and month out, with a smart strategy intertwined into the ads, you won’t have to wonder when or where your next new customer will be calling or walking in.

You won’t be remembered by the public because of fancy and expensive visuals. But you will be remembered when you say something to them that they care about, interests them, entertains them a little bit, and / or teaches them something.

Think about a good-looking, well-groomed man in a sharp, expensive suit. Does that mean you’ll like him? Does that mean he’s valuable to you? Nope. It’s just a first impression. It all comes down to what comes out of his mouth when he speaks. It all comes down to whether he makes you comfortable. He could be also be wearing something a bit more casual (for a fraction of the cost of that expensive suit)…and still get the same response depending on what he said. Now, if he hasn’t showered in a few weeks…and looks like a ragamuffin, then you probably won’t even give him a chance to see what he says. Which is why it’s good to have a good-looking website, or a good-looking ad… but you need to put the bulk of your effort into what you communicate to the public in your ads and your marketing. The words matter. A lot.

Your marketing is like when you were dating and looking for that one true love to settle down for the rest of your life. How will you seduce them? What really matters through the whole process? You can’t keep them drunk forever. You’ll eventually have to say some things that connects with what they care about. You’ll eventually have to reveal your true self and see if you have something in common.

The same goes for radio marketing. You could have a professionally-polished radio ad that doesn’t really say anything at all. You could also have a radio ad done by your local radio rep that doesn’t have any substance to it either – just a lot of gum-flapping about how long you’ve been in business or that you have a knowledgeable staff. Your radio ad rep needs to be a writer too. They need to find out what makes your business shine…and then portray that strength in a manner that solves problems for your prospects. The ad can’t be all about you… it has to be about the person you’re hoping to attract. And if you find a good ad writer at your local radio station (Duane Christensen at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls wink wink), then you won’t be paying anything extra to get ads that finally work!  : )

I take the time to figure out what your potential new customer wants to hear…so they’ll contact you and do business with you. And if we say things in your ads that give them confidence in you…and then you deliver beautifully with your products, services, and customer service – you’ll be golden. I’ll help you attract new business, and then you compound that with great service, and you’ll propel your good-word-of-mouth even farther. That’s really what good advertising does – it speeds up the inevitable – it speeds up word-of-mouth. If you’re horrible at customer service, good advertising will help you go out of business faster. If you’re a customer service rock star, good advertising will take you to heights you never thought possible.

This was a little all over the place today… forgive me. My ADD comes and goes. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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Advertising on the Radio

Is advertising on the radio right for you?

In my experience, advertising on the radio can work wonders.  Radio can make local businesses famous.

I get calls like,

“I’m wondering what kind of ad package I can get on your stations.”

OR… they’ll ask if we have any “specials”.advertising on the radio

So, here’s what I say.  I tell them, if you’re looking for an ad package, you must already have a good strategy and the first few months of a radio campaign hammered out.  Pause.  More pause.  “Well…..I’m just looking to see what kind of rates I can get.  Because I can get some cable ads for real cheap.”  Oh, so you don’t even care if the ads work or not.  More pausing.

No…I don’t actually say things like this on the phone or in-person… I’m a little nicer or more subtle. But allow me to continue my pretend phone call…

So, after a few more questions from me, I tell the caller you can always find cheap rates…but not always find results.  If they’re interested in hearing more…I set an appointment.  If they’re not.  Then, I’ll send them to someone who’s willing to just sell cheap rates and ads that don’t work.

Is advertising on the radio right for your business?  It probably is.  Do some research on how many people listen to the radio…and how many hours a week.  I could tell you, but you won’t believe me.  The bottom line is that MOST people listen to the radio.  There’s something about free entertainment that people seem to love.  And free entertainment will never die.

Are you reaching enough people by advertising on the radio?

Ok, I’ll share some numbers with you.  Around 90% of people 13+ listen to AM/FM radio.  And that’s about 4 and a half times MORE than all other online radio options combined.  So, yes, AM/FM radio is still one of the greatest places to be with your advertising.

Now you know that radio has listeners.  A lot of them. Enough listeners to grow your business nicely.  But there’s a catch.  You can’t just throw any old twaddle onto the airwaves.  (I just learned a new word.  Twaddle.  I like it.)  The key to making your radio work is the message you communicate to the listeners.  Do they care about YOU and your business?  No.  Do they care about how you can help them?  Yes.  That’s the first thing to learn.

Oh…I forgot to tell you something.  Forget everything you’ve ever heard, seen, or read about advertising.  I’d be willing to bet what you think you know about advertising…will help put you out of business because of squandered ad budgets.

There are old rules that were once followed.  Like these…

1) Make sure your business name is mentioned at least 5 times in the ad

2) Put your phone number in the ad multiple times

3) Add your EXACT address to the ad (such as 2753 W. Doofus Blvd.)

4) Get a professional voice to make your ad sound like an ad

5) Always put music behind the voice

6) Make sure the ad sounds like a national ad

I’m sure there are a ton more…but they’re all equally ridiculous.  There is no formula for writing a radio spot.  If you want a formula, try this.  Try to make your ad NOT sound like an ad.  Why?  Because we’ve been pounded with twaddle 🙂  for years and years and decades and decades.  There are so many horrible ads hurtling towards us every day…our brain tells us to PLEASE not remember them.  Because they’re all soooo dumb and of no benefit to you.  Seriously.  Our brains are pretty smart.  It has the best built-in “crap” filters that you could never imagine.

The CHALLENGE to make your radio ads work to their FULL and OUTRAGEOUSLY ENORMOUS POTENTIAL is to fake out the brain.  You have to say things in your ads that your prospect’s brain won’t expect.  What I mean is that it can’t be predictable.  PREDICTABILITY in your radio ads will KILL your results.  That’s probably the most important thing to remember.

The problem is…you don’t know which words to use.  And you can’t begin to know which words to use until you form a smart advertising/marketing strategy.  And forming a smart strategy begins with your competition.  You have to stand apart from your competition.  Be something different.  Find a strength of yours that is not their strength (or at least they don’t advertise it) and THAT might be a superstar ad strategy for you.  Strategy formulation also trickles down into knowing WHO your customer REALLY is…and what they actually care about.  Or what they perceive to care about.

It’s tough for a business owner.  Or for an employee of a company that is “tasked” with the side duties of handling the marketing.  It’s tough because advertising and marketing isn’t what you KNOW.  You’re an entrepreneur.  I’d suggest finding an advertising guy or gal like myself (which is someone who tells you like it is – not some ad rep/order taker) and start spilling your guts to them so they can start creating a profitable strategy and advertising campaign for you.  This person must be a writer and a thinker.

Anyway…what was the question?  Sorry, I’m a smidge passionate about this stuff.

Is advertising on the radio right for a business like yours?

The answer is YES.  Advertising on the radio is good for you as long as you have something good to say.  Radio can work wonders for good businesses.  I’m a real life witness of that every day.  And radio can work all on its own.  The people are THERE.  They’re listening.  When you find the right thing to say to them…great things will happen.

And don’t be spreading your ad budget around to a bunch of different places! “Sprinkling” doesn’t work. You need to “douse” audiences. The “MEDIA MIX” talk is all B.S. You don’t have to advertise in 6 different places all around town. Start with a popular radio station (or two) …and “own” it. Make it impossible for people to have NOT heard your ad at least 3 times in 7 nights sleep! (That’s a technical / neurological thing with roots in the “Pavlov’s Dogs story” that ensures you’re doing that BRANDING thing right – but I’m not explaining all of that right now)

There are a bunch of local Sioux Falls advertisers who have put at least 85% of their total advertising budget into Radio…at Results Radio Townsquare Media. Who are they? I know you’ve heard their ads. And there’s a reason why they’re “Top Of Mind” in Sioux Falls and the surrounding 60 or 70-mile radius.

Ready? Let’s get to work!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com