Too Many Advertising Choices

I was talking with a long-term, very successful radio client the other day.  He was feeling overwhelmed with all the advertising choices today.  From TV, Radio, and Print… to all the digital platforms, and so many others.  Hundreds.  He said he gets at least 2 calls a day from an advertising salesperson!  Talk about make you want to pull your hair out!

Photos taken by Jason Davis of Starhaven Films.

He asked me when I was going to start my own marketing company, so he could let me handle it all.  I said it wasn’t happening this year… or is it?  : )

His marketing budget isn’t big enough to justify using an advertising agency.  But it IS big enough to where he’s trying to juggle multiple different ad mediums.  

But because I’ve had a blog for years… I’ve built websites… and I also create digital advertising campaigns… I can talk about all of this stuff with him comfortably.  Not just about Radio.  I put his mind at ease a bit when we agreed that Hibbu was probably a big fat waste of money for him (and a few other minor marketing investments he was flirting with).  And we discussed his TV ads, and how he needs to update the TV ad about 4 times a year in order for it to be more effective (his current ad has been running for over 12 months and has lost the “oomph” that it once had).  Ya gotta keep it fresh.   

We also discussed his radio budget.  He was concerned about fewer radio listeners.  I said radio listenership hasn’t gone down.  It’s been steady for decades.  And actually seems to be rising a bit.  I said, “I have faith in radio… or else I’d go work for some other advertising medium.”  I actually have the MOST faith in RADIO than anything else out there.  It’s where I know how to consistently reach a large number of people.  But not just “reach” them… reach them effectively with ads that don’t sound like ads.  Ads that get attention, persuade, and entertain.  Ads that cause people to feel really good about a local business.  And when they trust a business and like what that business stands for… guess what?  There’s a pretty BIG chance they’ll eventually become a customer of that business.

That’s what good radio does. 

There are so many “professionals” around every corner and dark alley… telling you different things.  All they do is add to the confusion. 

The person that you should really find… is the one who has your best interest at heart.  The one where “the sale” doesn’t matter – your RESULTS do.  Your happiness does. 

We shook hands and I went back to my office and wrote 2 good radio scripts to get produced.  These are ads that will strengthen this client’s ad strategy and strengthen the bond between his good, local business and our listeners.  

After all, good radio advertising is just making new friends with people before they even meet you.

So, when you feel like advertising is an emotional roller coaster… Happy, Frustrated, Angry, Confused, and then back through those emotions and many more… over and over… please, contact me, and let’s discuss your local marketing.  If you’re tired of TOO MANY CHOICES… and don’t know where to turn, you’re not alone.  Let’s talk.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Some New Radio Commercials / Spots

 

I just wanted to share that I uploaded 9 new radio ads on my “sample” page.

Click Here…   Sample Radio Ads / Commercials / Spots

On 3 of them, I recorded 3 guys (business partners) separately on different days (because they’re busy dudes) from the scripts I wrote, edited the audio, and put them together. A little tricky to do dialogue sometimes without it sounding too lame. Adding humor helps. They’ll definitely stand out. Another new one is a biz owner… and a testimonial. Some are from recording biz owner off the cuff, then editing down. Another is the use of the biz owner and sound effects.

My “warm and fuzzies” come from creating great ads that help good, local business owners help more people.

sample radio commercials ads spots

Diversification is for your Financial Portfolio… not your Advertising… kind of… 😃

radio advertising sioux falls

Image by Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever been told that you should diversify your advertising investments? You know… spread your marketing all around to as many places as possible… so you can “reach” the most people?

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the logic.  But when you stop to truly think about how to make advertising work really well… it’s not logical at all.

Let me explain. Good advertising RESULTS do not come from merely “touching” or “reaching” people with a logo or an advertising message.  Advertising results come from engaging people with your ads. Engaging, entertaining, informing, and persuading. 

But how many people do you think would switch from doing business with one of your competitors and become your loyal customer with only ONE ADVERTISING IMPRESSION? Based on research and my experience, I’m guessing it’s a fraction of a percentage, and that’s being really optimistic.

Have you heard those businesses who advertise on the radio? The ones you hear a few times each week, every month, and every year? They’ve made it impossible for you to ignore them. When you need what they sell… they’ve made it to the top 1, 2, or 3 businesses in your HEAD that you have to either say “yes” or “no” to.  Because of their consistent radio advertising and an unmistakable ad strategy, THEY’VE LAID CLAIM TO A SPOT IN YOUR BRAIN.  It doesn’t mean you WILL buy from them, it just means that you can’t ignore them. They’re one of the top options you’ll consider when you want to buy what they sell.

So, if you’re not one of those advertisers… you’re going to be farther down that list of options to go to… if you’re on that list at all.  If you get onto that short list of businesses who people think of when they need what you sell, it will affect your business growth incredibly.

Radio “reaches” about 93% of adults each week.  So, tell me why you’d want to spread your marketing dollars – no, let me rephrase that – why would you want to SPRINKLE your marketing dollars around here and there and over there… barely making any impact at all in the mediums where you place your ads?

In order to become one of the top choices that people think about when they need your product or service (i.e. branding), you must be consistent with your advertising on the ad mediums you choose. Why?  Because if you’re not consistent, and if you’re not trying to brand your name in the heads of consumers, then you’re only talking to the very small fraction of a percent of people who need you right now.  That means about 99% or more of your marketing dollars are then wasted.  

Wouldn’t you rather advertise to the other 99% of the people who don’t need you now, but may need you in 2, 6, or 12 months?  That’s a huge group of people who you could be engaging, educating, entertaining, and persuading. Over time, who do you think people would want to do business with… the business they know NOTHING about… or YOU – the one who has been consistently whispering in their ear about how YOU can help them?

Side note:  And I’m sorry to say… digital / online advertising won’t make that happen. Not on their own. If you put a small portion of your budget into some online display advertising of some kind, that’s ok, as long as you have enough coverage with your radio plan. Then, your online ads can kind of be a support team to your radio ads. People who see your online ads AFTER they’ve heard your radio ads, will be moved much closer to doing business with you, rather than just seeing an online ad. Click rates are pretty dang low. 

It’s the same thing with being found on the first page of Google in a search query. For example, if I don’t have a “go-to” plumber… and I see 5 or 6 plumbing businesses on the first page of Google… I’m going to first call the one that I feel like I know and trust because of the storytelling or interesting information they’ve shared via their advertising.  Whether they were the FIRST in a Google search or not.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I go with the one I feel most comfortable with.

We’re talking about Branding here… not Awareness.  I’m “aware” of a lot of local businesses, but I don’t know anything about many of them. But the ones who tell me their story and how they can best help ME when I need their product or service… they’re the ones I will consider first. Every time.  

Are you ready to be a household name in the Sioux Falls area? That’s what I’m here to help you do. But just beware… it’s not just about consistency with your advertising… your ads have to engage, entertain, inform, and persuade. And there are not many marketing people who understand how to do that. I do. We do.  

Results Radio devotes much of its training for us to the “writing better ads / creating smart strategies / being remembered” side of things. You won’t find that in many other places around the country. We asked the question, “How can we make our clients’ advertising WORK?” And then, we figured out how to make that happen.

Let me know if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan… and I’ll help you figure out what that plan might look like.  It’s what I do.  

Thanks! Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

The Power of Sound

The Power of Sound

Radio advertising.  It’s affordable… it’s versatile… and over 90% listen to broadcast radio every week.  And overall… Americans, still spend more time with our radios than we do on Facebook.  And radio doesn’t melt your brain like Facebook does.  “Melt your brain” is my technical term for “makes you dumber, lonely, depressed, and narcissistic” (and it’s just my opinion – but look at the research).

Radio advertising has the potential to outperform most marketing mediums today.  Part of that reason is because of the power of sound.

Sound vs. Visual.  Which is better?  Which should you choose? You’ve heard that, right?  Or thought it? “I have a visual product.  Therefore it makes absolutely perfect and logical sense to use a visual advertising medium.”

Geez, it would sure be nice if advertising worked that way.  Simple.  Straightforward.  A step-by-step formula for advertising success.  Sorry.  Doesn’t exist.

Have you ever read a great article?  You didn’t read the whole thing top to bottom because of a picture.  A picture may have gotten your attention.  But the words are what kept you engaged.  The words that were being spoken by you silently in your head.

Has a song ever changed your mood or brought an old memory flooding back?  All the time!  Sound is powerful.

Has anyone’s words ever hurt you?  Sadly, yes.  And I’ve hurt plenty with my words.  Words I wish I could have back.

Something to think about.

My clients are getting great results because of the words we’re using in the ads… the stories we tell… and the people used to deliver that message.  It’s not about a picture. It’s about creating pictures in people’s minds… with words.  Spoken words.

Duane Christensen

Your Local Marketing Helper

Sales – Marketing – Copy Writing

Advertising Sales People

ADVERTISING SALES PEOPLE

You advertised in the past by buying some “ads”. And the ad rep wrote down some notes in their meeting with you. They took those notes and gave them to someone in a creative department to conjure up a magical ad.  The ad included some creative wit, what you sell, your business name, maybe your logo, maybe some cutesy sound effects if it was a radio ad, and then your contact information. Voila!

Image courtesy of “stockimages” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You were told by your advertising representative that the people you’re reaching “are just the right people you’re looking for.” The ad rep said that their audience fit with your customer profile perfectly. So, then, when the advertisements didn’t bring you any new customers, you blamed it on the advertising medium. You say, “Radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail, online, etc…doesn’t work!”

But that’s how you think the world of advertising operates. You keep trying new and sparkly things and give new ad people a shot. Eventually, you get frustrated, you waste a lot of money, and yell at every new advertising salesperson who calls or walks into your place of business.

You might even get frustrated to the point you consider hiring an advertising agency so they’ll just “handle” everything. Sometimes that’s a great move. Other times it’s not. The ad agency will take your ad budget and a lot of it will be used for their creative services. And you believe them when they say it takes a lot of money to create something great, because after all…they’re the experts.

In my experience with local ad agencies, you’ve got a bunch of graphic designers and creative types producing ads with a lot of glitter and smoothness. Pretty soon you’ve wasted half your budget on their creative production work, and have very little budget left to actually pay for any ad placement. And instead of FOCUSING your ad dollars, they spread your ads around in a bunch of different places, not making much of an impact at all. You just get charged for more creative work.

A media “mix” is great for huge companies and national brands that have hundreds of thousands or millions in their ad budget. But when you spread your ad budget too thin, it’s like trying to put out a raging 4-alarm fire with your garden hose. Your “sprinkling” isn’t going to do any good.

And when it costs a lot of money to actually create or produce your ads, you won’t want to spend the money to have the agency freshen things up with new ads. Pretty soon you’re using the same ad or ads over and over. Sometimes for years. This isn’t doing you any justice because after your ad has been seen or heard a dozen or twenty times, the effectiveness of that ad drops off sharply.

You have a lot of different stories and ways to communicate your message to people. It’s important to keep teaching people about you. Teach them why to buy from YOU instead of your competition. And you do that with a new ad fairly often within your annual advertising plan. Or you do it with a different direct mail piece every few months or so that will teach them more about you, and move them closer to doing business with you.

Whether you have drab, lame, cliché ads from your local ad rep that look and sound like every other ad, or you have smooth and glittery ads from an agency that entertain but fail to sell, you’re going to have a tough road ahead.

Just to make sure I don’t get a nasty email from any advertising agency people, I’ll say this – not every advertising agency is bad. Some are quite good. Maybe an agency would be right for you. If that’s the case, I want you to find a good one. I have very good relationships with some ad agencies here in Sioux Falls.  Just don’t assume an advertising agency is good at what they do because they call themselves an “ad agency” or “marketing firm”.

But it’s everywhere. There are advertising reps, marketing groups, and ad agencies who don’t know what they’re doing. I just want you to beware. I want you to know a little bit about the local advertising scene so you can begin to STOP wasting your advertising dollars.

You’ll hear advertising salespeople bragging to you about their demographics and “reach” and show you a bunch of charts and graphs. Yuck. It’s a forecast for crappy advertising results. And a few ad agencies’ main selling point is that they can buy advertising cheaper than you can directly. First, it’s not a good selling point. Second, it’s not true. You can negotiate your advertising rates and any bonus structure, just like anyone else can.

Is there a way to know if an ad rep or an ad agency is any good? Yes. If they know that your ad strategy and what you SAY in your advertising message is most important, then they’re a keeper. 

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

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Word of Mouth

Word-of-mouth is super-wicked-awesome!

But if the speed of your good word-of-mouth isn’t fast enough for you, then a smart and strategic advertising plan will help you get where you want to be. Notice, I said, “smart and strategic”. If you don’t say the right things in your ads or have a plan in place that offers great potential…you could advertise unsuccessfully until you’re broke and blue in the face.

Image courtesy of “imagerymajestic” / DigitalPhotos.net

In the past, your advertising may have failed miserably. So, duh, of course your word-of-mouth outperformed your past advertising. All you have to do is decide if you’re OK with the pace of your current word-of-mouth. If not, you need to find some people who know how advertising works.

HOW do you find the right “ad people”, who know what they’re doing? Well, for starters don’t believe all the statistics, percentages, and pie charts that are wildly and irresponsibly thrown at you. They can make numbers look as good or as bad as they want.

I don’t care WHERE you advertise. All I want you to fully comprehend is that you cannot advertise generically. The days of only telling people WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE are over. And if you don’t change the way you advertise, you’re making it way too easy for your competition to snatch up the people you wish were YOUR customers.

I still see gobs of advertising that was created from a template in which all you have to do is insert any business name. Bzzzzzt!  Warning!  That’s a great way to watch your stream of new customers keep dwindling. And it’s a recipe for wasting money.

Have you ever thrown a Ben Franklin into the fire? Try it. I bet you couldn’t do it. So, why keep burning money on advertising that doesn’t work?

For more help with local advertising performance, and advice concerning what you should actually SAY in your ads to make them work better, consider my local advertising book, “Take a Bigger Slice”.  Or ask if I have an extra hard copy laying around to give you.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

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