I Really Suck at Advertising and Marketing, Please Help!

I was trying to think of what you might Google if you wanted to learn how to improve your local marketing efforts.

  • “Better advertising”
  • “Where should I advertise?”
  • “Should I Advertise Online?”
  • “I really suck at marketing please help”
  • “Advertising salespeople are annoying can I do it myself?”
  • “I’m so much better than my competition why are people so stupid?”

But it’s kind of hard to know what your situation is. Maybe you already advertise on the radio. Maybe you’re already boosting a few Facebook posts here and there.

Let’s talk about advertising choices. There are too many of them. You can’t do everything. Don’t even try.

Here’s the truth about choosing an advertising medium or direction…

Most people (but not you, of course), are NOT fascinated by what actually WORKS… they’re fascinated by what is NEW. Right? Don’t you have this feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t give the new, shiny thing a shot?

I’ve said this before…

When you buy advertising, all you’re doing is renting an audience to “reach”.  Different ways to reach people change all the time. But what HASN’T changed is PEOPLE. Making advertising WORK, is all about PEOPLE, not about the new ways to reach them.

In order to be successful, all advertising must do 3 things:

  1. Impact (with people)
  2. Communicate (with people)
  3. Persuade (people)

Bill Bernbach impact communicate persuade

Let’s tackle the “Impact” part of that. The great marketing dude, Bill Bernbach says, “90% of ads do not get noticed.” What?!!! Are you crazy?!!! How is that possible?!!!

Actually, I would agree with that estimate. That statistic comes from a LACK OF IMPACT. Do you want a “Plain Jane” ad that only talks about boring facts of what you sell or what you do?

It will be ignored. You’ll be part of that 90%. Just by standing out (yet still relevant), you’re far ahead of your competition.

Stop being afraid to stand out. You won’t get warts. Your house won’t get egged. 

You won’t die.

What do you think happens when your ads get noticed and they’re part of that 10% group?

Hey, I get it. You’re afraid of offending people. There are certain things that I hold back from sharing on social media because I don’t want people to think I’m a flippin’ weirdo or something.

But hey… I’m weird sometimes. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it. If it’s not good enough for anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t care. I do and I don’t. It’s kind of sad that I’m 41 years old, and I don’t think I’ve totally come out of my shell.

I’m working on that though! And so should you!

Especially with your advertising. Stop insisting on blending in. It’s costing you a lot of money – and not making you any.

If you really suck at advertising and marketing your business, then we need to talk. The first thing to do is not make it so difficult and intimidating. All you’re trying to do is become friends with new potential customers. Get them to like and trust you. That starts with authenticity. There are people just like you who would love to buy your product or service. Let them know who you are, what you’re all about, and why you do the things you do. They’ll love you for it. And the best way to do that is through stories, humor, and transparency.

Don’t try to disguise bullshit in advertising with long words or extra words that aren’t needed. We have built-in bullshit detectors in our brains. All of us. So, don’t attempt to get us to love the smell of yours.

Be authentic and create ads with IMPACT! Remember… you won’t die.

Are you ready to advertise though? Is everything up to par within your business? How’s your customer service? How’s your product? Are your current customers happy with you? Here’s another quote from Bill Bernbach…

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.

So, just make sure you’re ready for a great advertising campaign. When you are… let’s get together and discuss the possibilities!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I work for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. Been pounding away here at Results Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota since 1998. Love helping good, local businesses grow.

You Are Not Special – Or Are You?

You’re thinking, “Damn right we’re special.  People love us!”

That’s awesome if you have customers who love you. You should work really hard to keep it that way!  But what about Non-Customers? Do they love you?  Nope.  They couldn’t care less.  Especially, if they barely know you exist. Especially, if they know nothing about you. Especially, if they are content doing business with your competition right now.

So, what’s the main goal in your advertising investment?

It’s to get RESULTS, right?  Sure.  But HOW do you get results?

Throw a bunch of money at different advertising packages and “deals”… and see what sticks!  Wha?  Nooooooo!  Don’t do that.  I want to help you get a phenomenal return on your advertising.  And that does NOT come by shooting from the hip…

Yosemite-Sam-Quotes-300x281

Looney Toons legend: Yosemite Sam

BOOM!  Die, Varmint!

You’ll be disappointed. And you’ll waste a lot of money.

Back to the question of the hour. HOW do you get advertising results?!!!!!

The answer is in the title.

You must prove to the public that you’re special. PROVE to them… that you’re SPECIAL. Easier said than done though, right?

You can’t just throw up all over people, saying that you’re special and that you’re the best, and you’re “quality”, and a bunch of other horseshit that YOU know is true… but that nobody else believes. They may believe you some day. But first you have to PROVE it to them that you’re special.

Proof.

It’s in the pudding.

Meaning, you need to help your customers “taste” what you have to offer that’s better than what they’re chewing on now. What’s so great about your competition? What’s the big deal that they’re talking about? Probably nothing. They’re most likely just holding up a sign and yelling about who, what, and where they are. That gives YOU an opportunity to POUNCE!

This is where the “strategy” part of your advertising plan comes in. (Want help with strategy? It’s my specialty.)

Take that SPECIAL thing about you in which your competition can’t claim or not talking about. Then, you shine a light on that special thing, so that when the public thinks about your product or service, they INSIST on getting that special thing that you offer. And when they think of it, you want them to think of YOU.

Good advertising is not something as simple as “branding”. Good advertising is making friends with your prospective customers. FRIENDS are much more likely to do business with you that someone who doesn’t know you. So, start your advertising with the idea that you’re trying to make a new friend. Think about that. It’s not branding. It’s more like bonding. It’s being helpful, vulnerable, sincere, and human. That’s what it is.

Take that “special thing” about your awesome local business and weave it throughout a story that you tell the public. The special thing about you is the LOGIC side of your advertising. And the “friendly” part of your advertising is all of the rest. It’s the STORY. It’s the humble and caring part of you. It’s the reason why you love what you do. It’s the passion.  OR… is all of that a great big PART of what makes you SPECIAL?  Hmmmm.  I’d say that you may be on to something!  : )

Need help writing that advertisement? That’s what I love to do. I love to sift through the good, bad, and what your future customer truly cares about (because it’s about them, right?)  And then, we come up with a strategy and radio advertising plan that has immense potential.  A plan that will put you at the forefront of people’s minds. Not because you’re spending the most, but because you’re saying the right things in your ads. You’re proving to people how you will be their superstar.

Then, pretty soon… you have a bunch of new FRIENDS, who think you are SPECIAL, and are ready to be YOUR CUSTOMER.  

And dang, that’s really cool when it all comes together. I have a healthy handful of clients in and around Sioux Falls who would love to tell you about their experience with me and Results Radio. I’d be happy to get you their contact info.

Let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about this sort of stuff.

Have a groovy day!

_MG_8555 252kb

 

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

 

 

Emotionally Engaging Advertising

How emotionally engaging was the last digital ad you saw?

Everything Apple, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Macbook And Apple Watch

Photo by Stokpic

Not very, right?

I’m not saying digital ads have no benefit… I’m just saying they don’t have much on their own.

A good radio campaign will engage your prospect emotionally.

First, let’s understand why emotion in advertising is king.  If we didn’t buy emotionally… every person would drive the ugliest, cheapest car that effectively got them from Point A to Point B.  We would all wear the same generic shirts, pants, and shoes.  We would never get excited about a new 60-inch TV, we would just say, “That’s overkill.  It’s unnecessary.”

But you know that’s not who we are.  Emotion is involved in almost every decision we make.

Back to emotion in advertising…

Doesn’t it make sense that we create ads that are emotionally engaging, then?  Of course it does.  Yes, a picture can create emotion… but what happens when a voice tells us a story and engages us in something that we can relate to?  What happens when you put the proper music to match the mood we’re trying to set?  Theater.  And that’s what good radio is… a theater of the mind.

Logic in ads can only go so far.  Emotion is what will take it farther than you thought was possible.  But what if you’re a pencil pushing, logical, type of business owner?  About half of you are.  Well, that just makes my job a little tougher is all.  I have to convince you that people are emotional beings and that you’re going to get more bang for your buck if you choose advertising options that can deliver an emotional and engaging message.

How easy is it to dismiss a digital ad?  Pretty easy.  That’s why you have to put even more work into digital ad “creative”.  And your digital ad should just be another memory anchor of your “sound” advertising.  You know… the emotional kind.  It should all work together.

Not satisfied with your digital advertising immediate results?  Stop trying to make people buy now.  Be yourself, be sincere, be emotional… and people will begin to remember you and eventually love you and do business with you.  You can’t force success.  It’s earned.  It’s for sure not a magical “digital” formula.

Whenever you’re asked to buy any kind of online or offline advertising, just ask yourself:  Is it emotionally engaging?

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, SD

P.S.  I actually sell and create digital ads and campaigns (not just radio).  But I’ve never sold them by themselves without an emotionally engaging radio advertising strategy to be the primary driver of the complete marketing campaign.

radio advertising sioux falls

Learning the Hard Way

We’ve all learned lessons the hard way, right?  But we’re better people for it.  It makes that lesson sink in just a little bit farther.  Let me share a quick story about how it seemed like “back to school” for me recently.

radio advertising sioux falls

It was “back to school” for me recently. Image by “digitalart” / freedigitalphotos.net

I had a client who I began a “radio relationship” with late last year.  Everything seemed to be going fine… and out of left field I get a call from them saying that they are canceling their radio advertising… and going with some “other” radio people just to try it out.

They weren’t firing me… it was just a temporary thing they said.  They were curious.  They also had multiple people trying to make marketing decisions, which didn’t help.  But that’s not my point here.

My point is that I screwed up somewhere.  Me.  I didn’t blame anyone.  I didn’t get upset.  (please don’t get all mad and whiny if someone decides to not do business with you – if you do, you just guarantee that they’ll never ever come back to you – be the bigger person)

It had to be something that I could have avoided, right?

I dug a bit deeper.  I waited a couple days and then called and asked, “So, what really was the reason you’re taking a detour from what you were doing?”

They told me that the “other radio people” presented them with a really creative and funny ad that they couldn’t pass up.

Oh, shit.  The other guys.  Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.

How did this happen?!

My lesson here is that I forgot to tell them that they were going to be called on by every advertising platform in town when they started advertising aggressively on the radio with me.

I forgot to tell them that they’re going to be swooned over and given the world because people will heavily desire their business.

No, let me re-phrase that, I should have told them that their phones would ring off the hook with desperate advertising people begging for their business, showering them with empty promises.

My lesson is that I didn’t get face-to-face with them enough.  Why?  Because they were busy.  They are mile-a-minute type of people.  So, I didn’t want to bug them too much.  But I could have got around that.  I could have tried harder.  Heck, everyone has to eat, right?  I should have bought them a few lunches here and there.

My other lesson is that I should have continued to educate them on what a good radio ad really consists of.  I was just assuming that they loved me enough to stick with me no matter what.  I assumed.  Whoops.  Dumbass.

But these lessons help me.  They make me better all around.  Hard lessons teach everyone (sometimes painfully) how to avoid similar situations in the future.  So, don’t get down or feel beat up.  Get back on your horse and do it better.

Now, I’m working harder to get the business back.  I’m making it a challenge to get the business back.  And when I do… I’ll make sure I don’t take it for granted.

Maybe you’ve neglected your own customers here and there without realizing it.  It’s not that you want to.  Sometimes we’re just so busy.  Sometimes we have things going on in our lives in which the word “monkey wrench” isn’t even close to describing the chaos we’ve been through.  It’s ok.  Sometimes you just have to steer the ship back on course!  : )

Have a groovy day!

-Duane

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

radio sales marketing

Retargeted Internet Ads – You Suck

I despise retargeted Internet ads. retargeting internet advertising

Don’t know what they are? These are ads that “find you” from the things you search online. Here’s the latest gripe I have…

I needed to email Sling TV support because we were having glitches with it on our Roku (no, I don’t have cable or satellite). So, I Googled it to find some contact info. Found the email address. Emailed them. So, later on in the evening I’m on a different website and I see Internet ads on the page I’m on for Sling TV. All I did was Google them to find an email address so I could tell them about our issues and hoping something could be fixed. Now, I get to see their ads everywhere I go online now. Yay.

If you buy retargeted ads, I get what you’re trying to make happen. But most of the time, you’re just advertising to someone who has already purchased from you. And what’s a better way to advertise to those people?  Pop a postcard or a letter into the mail.  Seriously.  Or email.  Even though email gets deleted more than it’s read… it’s still more effective than online advertising.

I’ve heard people say to me… Oh, I want to measure my advertising. I love metrics! I gotta know exactly what I’m getting in return. Well, guess what… there’s no way your analytics are all 100% accurate. Ever see those demographics of the people clicking on your ads? Some are from Indonesia.  Some are from South Korea.  And they were paid to visit your website through your Internet advertising.

And how many of those “views” are really VIEWS?  Not many.  And even if your ad happened to be in eyesight of the person searching around the Internet, then there’s even a smaller chance that they gave the ad even one tiny iota of attention at all.

Internet advertising is great for some things… but most local advertisers are wasting a lot of money.

Ugh.  I know it’s bright and shiny and new-ish… but isn’t it still the wiser move to utilize advertising methods that work?

I saw an ad for a local landscaper the other day on a some totally irrelevant website. It was a completely ignorable ad. The only reason I paid it any attention is because I know the guy. I rolled my eyes back in my head so far, I could see my brain.

Here’s the thing though, I’m in testing phases of Internet advertising with a few people. I’m doing my own research. And I’m not impressed. I’m doing it so I can be a better marketer for anyone that’s looking for some marketing help. I need to know what’s legit and what’s not worth a nickel.

Here’s a headline I saw the other day,

“90% of marketers say retargeting now as good as search ads, email marketing”

Ha! What does that mean? It means still just a little shittier than search ads and email marketing. How many emails from companies do you delete without ever opening? A thousand tons? How many search ads did you not even see… even though they were at the top or side of your screen? A billion tons?

Oh… and if you’re a small, local business who’s had success with any kind of Internet advertising, I want to talk to you. I want to see and hear how you made it happen.  I don’t care if you’re 2 hours away, I’ll make the drive.

That’s my rant for the month.  : )

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media-Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Improving a Radio Script (plumbing company example)

Here’s an ad for a plumber I did a while back. The first radio script was created by just having a quick conversation with the owner. He said, “I want to let people know that if they’d rather not take off work for a non-emergency plumbing call…they can have us over on the weekend. We’re open 7 days a week and don’t charge anything extra for the weekends.”

Ok. That information actually has some great potential because not all plumbing companies are open 7 days a week without charging extra on weekends. So…that gives a radio ad writer like myself something beefy to expand upon.

Tip: If you don’t have any major differences between you and competitors, create differences that customers would like and appreciate.

Here’s the original rough script that I wrote…

Have you ever had to take a sick day or vacation day just to wait for a plumber?  Hi, I’m Geoff Ellerbroek from Summit Plumbing.  If you’d rather not take a day off work for a plumber, that’s one more reason to call Summit.  We’re open 7 days a week from 8 to 5.  So, if Saturdays or Sundays would work better for YOU…give us a call and we’ll be right over.  And we don’t charge extra for Saturday and Sunday calls either.  All we want is to make your experience as pleasant as possible.  I’ve had customers tell me that they used to dread making that call to a plumber…but they don’t any more.  We work on Saturdays and Sundays to make it easier for you…

So, I let that script sit for a day or two…because it was missing something. I felt that the point Summit Plumbing was trying to make wasn’t “sticky” enough. Or dramatic enough. It needed some more “teeth” so it could be remembered better…and also a bit more entertaining to keep radio listeners tuned into the ad the whole way through.

Here’s the revision…

There are some crazy stories people make up so they can skip work.  Like the guy who said a chicken attacked his Mom.  Or the girl who said her Chihuahua had depression issues and needed a psychologist.  Have you ever had to take a sick day or vacation day just to wait for a plumber?  Hi, I’m Geoff Ellerbroek from Summit Plumbing.  If you’d rather not take a day off work for a plumber, that’s one more reason to call Summit.  We’re open 7 days a week from 8 to 5.  So, if Saturdays or Sundays would work better for YOU…give us a call and we’ll be right over.  And we don’t charge extra for Saturday and Sunday calls either.  All we want is to make your experience as pleasant as possible.  I’ve had customers tell me that they used to dread making that call to a plumber…but they don’t any more.  We work on Saturdays and Sundays to make it easier for you.  Now you don’t have to make up a story to miss work if you don’t have to.  Like the employee that said his mother-in-law made a surprise visit and he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. Call Summit Plumbing in Sioux Falls.  The 7-day a week, no extra charge plumber.  728-4212.  728-4212.

That revision gave the ad more IMPACT. It was more “receivable” for the listener. It added emotion. It added some humor. It dramatized the point we were trying to make. It made it much better.

Whether you want your current advertising to improve…or if you’d like a completely new advertising strategy, let me know.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls SD

605-940-7984

radio ads

Radio Advertising Ridiculousness

Roy Williams recently wrote a Monday Morning Memo that said…

“To accomplish the miraculous

you must attempt the ridiculous.

Before you attempt the ridiculous

radio ads

This image is only to remind you forgetful people that Valentine’s is in a few days. You at least should get a card. Better yet, write one yourself.
Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

you must announce it to the world.

If you don’t have the courage to announce it,
you must at least whisper it in the dark.
Because it must be spoken.
You’ve got to hear yourself say it.
And then you’ve got to take action.

Are you sufficiently ridiculous to do this?”

This was taken directly from his memo.  Click here to read the whole thing.  I forwarded that memo on to a few people whom I know are just a little bit crazy and just a little bit genius.  And I told them that I admired them for that… and I that hope to be those things some day.

There is no way in hell that I will ever make a real difference to anyone if I decide to “play it safe” every time and not be a little bit crazy.  Whether I’m writing a blog or writing a radio ad, I better not ever sell out.  I better not ever be someone who I’m not.  I’ve made it this far and have become somewhat successful because I tend to move to the beat of a different drum.  And that’s OK, right?  If it’s not.  I’ll move along.

Did you hear what Sam Smith said at the Grammys last night?  He said,

“Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”

Did you catch that?  Only when he started to be himself

And it’s a good thing that the Brits only care about “the voice”… unlike America where all the singers have to be pretty.  No, Sam Smith is not a super model.  He’s a great singer.  He’s a human being.  And he figured out that all he had to do was be himself.

Why is this post called Radio Advertising Ridiculousness?  Well, it started out about Roy Williams’ Monday Morning Memo called Are You Sufficiently Ridiculous.  But it turned into a bit of ridiculousness from me.  I guess if I’m not being different (in a pretty big way) from the other 200 advertising “executives” or salespeople in my town, I’m not going to be happy.  I’m not going to be as successful as I want to be.

I think I hold back.

I think I care what people think too much.

On the other hand, I’m not a complete “follower”.  And I think that scares people in power.  I think that makes them nervous.  And for what?  Life is too frickin’ short ain’t it?

So, when you want advertising that is going to be different enough from the other 5000 advertising messages being HURLED at people EVERY SINGLE DAY… to actually make an impact… then I’d like to sit down and chat with you. 

Would you like to forge ahead of your competition?  Would you like to be the pioneer who isn’t afraid to get the attention needed to grow your business?  Hey… me too.

Radio advertising doesn’t have to be ridiculous… you just need your radio ad writer to be!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

(Head pencil sharpener at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

Sioux Falls Marketing

You have tons of Sioux Falls marketing options.

Marketing Sioux Falls

Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Marketing options in Sioux Falls can make your head spin.  It’s daunting.  But let’s define marketing in regards to trying to attract more customers or increase sales.  Marketing… is anything you do inside or outside your business in an attempt to make a buck.  That could mean flyers on windshields, sandwich boards, signage in your store, improving your online presence, advertising on the radio, joining a networking group, etc.

Advertising is something you pay for where you’re “renting” an audience.  Radio has an audience.  TV has an audience.  Billboards have an audience (kind of – people don’t “choose” to use billboards – they’re just kind of in the way).  The Internet has an audience.  Advertising is a part of your marketing.

Back to marketing in Sioux Falls.  Consider your competition in town.  Are you one among many?  Or are you light on competitors?  That will be a big factor in how intensely you need to market or how much you need to invest in your marketing.

The biggest problem I see is that there are “marketing people” and “marketing firms” who don’t have a lot of experience in helping people improve their overall marketing efforts.  They just have their own toolbox to sell which may or may not be a bit of good for anyone.  They’ve just been told by their bosses to go sell their services.  Then, the creative people will create some fancy graphics.  Or the production department will put together some ads.

Do you see the problem?  There is a huge gap in there that needs to be filled with thinking, communication, research, and then finally a smart marketing STRATEGY for the business.  Because without that…you’re not doing the most you can with your marketing budget.  You might be throwing a lot of dollars in the dumpster, so to speak.

Marketing in Sioux Falls can be fun!

I’m serious!  Once we put a great plan together for you…and hammer out a good strategy for you and a first set of ads for the first few months…then, all we have to do is keep our ear to the ground.  You’ll start seeing new faces, consistently.  You’ll talk to more people.  Then, I just keep writing more ads and tweaking the overall strategy.  After a year, you could be truly amazed at how your business has changed.

Part of the fun will be that you will NOT have to constantly worry about where your next customer will come from.  I’ll be on the side working for you.  I’ll be doing my own research for you.  You’ll have a new radio ad at least once a month.  And that’s important because if you run the same ad more than that…the effectiveness of that ad drops off sharply.  You have a lot to tell the public.  So, we’ll keep your ads fresh, persuasive, and entertaining.

I like to help businesses see the bigger picture.  Marketing in Sioux Falls is not about trying this and trying that.  It’s about figuring out the best way to position yourself among your competitors.  Marketing is a process.  It’s not an inconsistent series of events that may or may not work.  Sioux Falls is still a nice size where word can travel pretty fast.  We can help you become a household name in town.  If you’re interested in talking, just give me a shout.

Not only Sioux Falls – you’ll also be marketing to the surrounding rural area.

This isn’t like a direct mail campaign to a few Sioux Falls zip codes.  You’ll be reaching an entire area.  Not just portions.  You won’t have to hope and pray that your direct marketing is getting to the exact people who need your service at this precise moment.  You’ll be getting your business name and what you stand for into the brains of the public, and we’ll make sure the ads are sticky enough so they remember you.  This is mass media.  You’ll be reaching a ton of people.  And here’s why that’s GOOD and why you do NOT have to “target” so narrowly with your advertising…

Everyone is an “influencer” in some way.  Even if your exact perfect potential customer doesn’t hear your ad… how many people are in that person’s “circle”?  People talk.  People chat about anything and everything.  And if we feel we can help a friend or family member out by mentioning a business we heard about…we will.  Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum.  If a husband doesn’t hear the plumbing ad…the wife still could have.  And the wife is sleeping with the husband.  They talk.  So, when there’s a plumbing issue, guess what happens?  They talk about who to contact.

When I said you don’t have to target so narrowly…that’s not entirely true.  We’ll target the right people (profitable potential new customers) with the message we communicate in your ads.  We target through the message…not exclusively through the avenue in which you advertise. Which is much more effective.

Advertising isn’t like a vending machine.  You can’t just put in money and automatically get something in return.  We need to actually sit down and think about this for a moment before you pull the trigger with your checkbook.  I won’t let you advertise with me until we know we’ve created something with the potential to do great things.

I’ll produce a campaign for you that will make a difference.  And if I don’t think that’s possible…I’ll tell you.

When we start working together, I’ll make your Sioux Falls marketing not seem so confusing and help you wade through your endless marketing and advertising options.  I’m not saying radio is the best of the best when it comes to local advertising.  But I am saying that I’ve learned quite a lot in the past many years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve seen my clients grow consistently year after year.  I know that radio advertising can make great things happen.  I know businesses who are “famous” in Sioux Falls and they put 85 to 90% of their marketing budget into radio at Results Radio.  We do it different here.  I do it different.  I care about your results.  I care that what we’re doing with your investment is giving you a return that will cause you to LOVE your radio advertising.

I’ll stop now.  I get a little passionate about this stuff.  : )

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

(Chief paper clip organizer at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

P.S. Let me know if you’d like to sit down and discuss your options. I’m not the “salesy” type. Just the “nice, helpful guy” type. Marketing in Sioux Falls doesn’t have to be so scary, confusing, frustrating, etc.

Your On-Hold Message Needs Help

on hold messageThe on-hold message for your business matters.  And your on-hold message needs help.

I was recently on-hold for a few minutes the other day.  It was a local business.  Their on-hold message is what gave me the idea to write about this topic.  But I WILL give them kudos for trying to make an on-hold message that stood out from all the others. Yet I would have preferred some run-of-the-mill classical music.  Here’s why…

They had a radio jingle as part of the message.  They also had a voice telling me a few things.  They talked about the services they provided and the products they had. Which is predictable. (Remember? Predictability puts a choke-hold on marketing effectiveness)

Then, the voice kept saying, “Thank you for calling. Your call is VERY important to us.”  I heard that about 5 times within about 3 minutes.  Yes, I know my call is important to you, whoever you are. And then the jingle would cut in occasionally… which seemed very out-of-date and was kind of annoying.  (that’s the thing with jingles – they can either do wonders for a business, or turn people off)

So… what’s my advice on your on-hold message?

  • Tips
  • Advice
  • Stories

I would hang on every word of your on-hold message if you were giving me tips and advice regarding your industry or the products and services you provide.  And not lame tips that 85% of the population knows.  I’m talking about really interesting or even obscure information that would intrigue me and / or help me.

DON’T TRY TO SELL ME WHILE I’M ON HOLD!  At least don’t be so obvious about it.

If you told me a few customer experience stories…you’d have my attention.  As long as you don’t water them down.  I love to hear the specifics.  When you tell a detailed story…it means it’s real.  And then people know you’re not “full of it”. People also like to hear that they’re not the only ones who might be in the same situation.  Make them feel comfortable about calling.  Make them feel confident that you’re a business who cares about giving them a good end result.  If you can cause people to like you a little bit more because of a tip or a story you told them… then you’ve just moved them closer to buying from you, buying MORE from you, or buying more OFTEN from you.

All that from an on-hold message.  Can you believe it?  Believe it.  The communication you have with your customers matters.  The words you choose matters.  It’s not the “act” of doing something (direct mail, on-hold message, advertising, core customer emails, thank you cards, etc.) … it’s the manner in which you do it. It’s the FEELING you give someone about you or your company… that makes all the difference.  Make sure the sincerity level of your marketing communications is dialed up to a level 8, 9, or 10.

Do you think you should have a “professional” voice do your on-hold message?  I’d actually prefer if the business owner or someone within the business did it.  Because it cranks up the “Sincerity Level” another notch or two.  People want to do business with good, honest, hard-working people who care about their customers. So, show them that’s what you are.

It’s pretty much the same with all of your marketing communications.  Make it real.  Make it sincere.  Tell us something we might not know.  Tell us a story that can help get your point across.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

My website: http://www.duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com

How To Be Overcharged For Web Services

advertising marketing sioux falls

Image courtesy of “debspoons” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now… I’m not exactly sure this local company is being overcharged by one of my favorite local advertising agencies… I’m only 97.5% sure of it.

Here’s something I read on this particular advertising agency’s website. Their words are in bold in the paragraphs below.  My breakdown of their words is in RED)


 

[______________ company] partnered with us to increase their profits. (Because this agency used the words “partnered with us”, I would automatically NOT want them as my ad agency. They also said “profits”. It bugs me. I’m pretty sure the company didn’t call up this agency and say, “We’d like to partner with you to increase our profits.” Sure, maybe I’m being nit-picky, but it just bugs me, ok?!  We developed a website for them on an easy to use content management system, and we drive traffic to their website through Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. [____________ company] is now ranking number one on the popular search engines!  (This agency is hoping business prospects reading this are not “with it” in the “Interwebs” language – because which keywords is this company ranking #1 for? Even I can build a website and get any local company to rank #1 pretty fast and easy for an obscure enough keyword. Bottom line – just be honest with us, please. And I searched the top 6 or 7 keywords and different variations of those keywords that most people would type into Google – this business was not even close to ranking #1.)

We also support their social media efforts, keeping top of mind awareness with their followers. (First of all, this company is not in an industry where people are breaking down doors to Like their Facebook and Twitter pages – aside from their wives and mothers. But this agency I’m sure told them they needed a consistent social media presence. And that they’re really good with social media, and they’d be more than happy to handle it for them. Of course, charging them a stupid amount of money for absolutely zero value in return.) We track their incoming traffic, so [_____________ company] can see exactly what their marketing dollars are providing for a return on their investment.  (So, technically, yes, if you add to someone’s website traffic, that’s a “return” on investment. But this industry that I’m naming unnamed, is one where there’s not a ton of competition. And the competition they do have…don’t have a lot of web marketing going on at all. So, getting more traffic to the website, and showing them the numbers is great. But it wasn’t difficult for them to do, yet they’re charging a pretty penny for it. They’re slick. And I’m not a fan of “slick” advertising agencies and marketing people.) 


Isn’t that almost PSYCHOTIC that I looked into those two small paragraphs so deeply? I know. Dude, get a life. I needed a break- and had half an hour to spare, ok? And I don’t like it when small business owners get taken advantage of.

ANYWAY… 

  • Please be careful before you buy any kind of marketing service or advertising.
  • Ask TWICE as many QUESTIONS as you think you should.
  • Sleep on it. Then, ask more questions.
  • Keep your “radar” up for buzzwords that mean nothing.
  • Keep your “radar” up for sales-ey type of talk. Look for sincerity.

Gotta run.  Have a great day!

 

Duane Christensen

Your favorite marketing dude at Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com