No… not me.
Even better… it’s one of my clients who had a record month!
And the best part, they give credit to the Radio advertising they do with me.
But it wasn’t that way in the beginning. I remember weekly conversations. One week radio rocks. The next week it sucks donkey. Cancel. No, double my schedule.
And all through their growing pains, I kept preaching, “This is going to take a little time. You’re on the right track, but be patient. You’re in a long-term purchase cycle industry. We just have to keep saying it better than your competitors do. You’ll start earning trust with more and more people in time. We need to let your strategy sink into people’s brains. Patience, grasshopper. Give this ball a chance to start gaining momentum.”
This client also isn’t afraid to put a few dollars out there. They had to. They have a massive amount of competition in Sioux Falls.
Uff Da. There were a lot of times it was stressful and frustrating for me. They would threaten to cancel or reduce their radio schedules every other week. But I had faith. Faith in our radio stations and faith in the strategy and ads that we were sharing with a whole bunch of people every single day. I knew it was just a matter of time until there was a tipping point.
So, how does this happen? What kind of ads work? Why radio? How much should someone spend on advertising?
The owner was courageous. He wanted to “say it different” in the ads. He wanted to be bold and shock people a little bit. Those are the best kinds of business owners when it comes to creating a radio campaign. Too many want to “water down” their message and make sure it doesn’t offend anyone and make it sound just like every other ad.
The radio ads were sincere. The owner voiced most of the ads. Or parts of them. The ads had headlines that make people stop what they’re doing… and listen. This was retail, and we knew their business had a better product to offer consumers. All we had to do was gain their trust. But it took time because the industry was full of big national brands pushing their fluff all over every media outlet… for decades.
My client started focusing ad dollars where they knew it was making an impact. Radio was at the top of the list. So, now, instead of spreading marketing dollars across dozens of media choices, they put their dollars into what they knew was working. And then, they weren’t overspending either. Now, they just needed to be patient and let their ad message start sinking into more people’s brains.
The ads never say anything like, “for all your ________ needs.” They never say anything cliché that goes in one ear and out the other. Each line in their ads has the power to make people reconsider where they were going to make their next purchase. There is no wasted ad time. No fluff or filler, just to make sure the ad timed out correctly. Stories were told, testimonials were included intermittently, and the same overall strategy was kept throughout the campaign. And guess what… there’s no phone number or website address given in the ads. Ever.
Because of deep competition, my client needed to have enough “share of voice” in the market. Meaning, they had to have enough ads on each radio station, so they weren’t drowned out by their competition. They couldn’t just trickle a few ads here and there to the radio audiences. They needed to start “owning” mindshare. And they needed to be in people’s ears frequently and consistently.
A 52-weeks per year radio schedule was crucial to making this record month come to fruition. We needed enough radio ads getting attention and making a positive impact with people each and every week. And we needed to keep the radio ads fresh. The longest any ad has ever aired was 3 weeks. Sometimes, an ad would run for a week and we’d get a better idea and freshen it up. Sometimes an ad would be so impactful, we knew it wouldn’t have to run as long or would “burn out” with people fast. If we let it run longer, it would start annoying listeners. So, we switch it out with a different ad that came at listeners from a different angle of some sort. We had to keep telling their story in different ways because not everyone responds the same way to every ad.
This is highly competitive retail. So, the ad spend was upwards of 20% of revenues when they were spending the most. But once they “dialed in” that Radio was the best generator of new customers, they scaled back spending to between 10 and 12% of revenues.
They have a lot of market share to continue to gain, so, I’m predicting many more record months coming for them over the next couple of years. It’s going to be exciting to watch it all unfold.
If you want your advertising to make an impact, you have to be passionate about it. You can’t just throw some dollars to the media wind, and hope something sticks. You need to be active in your marketing efforts. I know you wish you could just insert your ad dollars into a vending machine and automatically get a decent return on that investment. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. And if you think it should… you’ll have a really frustrating and unfruitful journey in regards to trying to attract new customers.
If you’d like to discuss how this works in further detail, just give me a shout. I love helping good, local businesses who love their customers!
Results Radio | Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls
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