Marketing in Sioux Falls

What IS marketing anyway?

Isn’t it just finding a good way to make some moolah from a product or service? So, what are some good ways to market what you have to offer? Let’s take a look at a few from the top of my head.

1. Have a really awesome product or service that will generate some word of mouth (some buzz). BUT this is easier said than done. Your product needs to wow the pants off of people. It needs to be better, faster, easier, etc. than the next best product. Your service needs to be a step above what your closest competitor is doing.

2. Make it look good. So, if you’re a retail store, make people say, “Wow, this is really nice” once they’re inside. If you’re a service biz, then don’t drive around in rusted out pieces of junk. And make your service people look like a million bucks compared to your competition.

3. Say it different. In all of your communications with a potential customer, don’t sound like everyone else who is selling the same thing. Stand out. Stand for SOMETHING. Be remembered by how you present your product or service.

4. Your policies. Don’t be a copycat. Just because most of the businesses in your category do something a certain way, it doesn’t mean you have to have a policy that makes no sense. Have some guarantees. Create some return policies that make people feel ultra-comfortable in their purchasing decision. Make doing business with you EASY.

5. Free merchandise. Not everyone can do this, but I think most could find something to give away. Coffee mugs, T-shirts, etc. But make the stuff FREE when they purchase a certain amount of product or services. I saw a smoothie place that was selling their T-shirts. I bet their sales on those are close to zero. Why not give everyone a free T-shirt when they get 12 punches on a special card? But make your merchandise fun. Have a funny saying on your stuff that makes people actually WANT to wear or use the freebie. Cause them to proudly don your merchandise and advertise all over Sioux Falls for you. Heck, if you have a great customer, send them something unexpectedly, with a card attached that says “Thank you”. They’ll love you for it, and they’ll probably tell a couple of people.

Of course advertising on the radio is marketing too. If you want to accelerate your word-of-mouth and go beyond what I’ve listed above, I can help brand you locally. Local branding is powerful. But it’s not “awareness”. It’s totally different. Awareness doesn’t mean much. Branding makes people remember you for something good. I’ll help you be remembered when people need what you offer. If we dig a little, and find the right strategy, it’s how you can take your business to new levels.

Sioux Falls marketing doesn’t have to be so difficult. You just have to stop copying other businesses (because they don’t usually know what they’re doing either), provide great service, and get out of your “box” as often as you can.

Do you want to market your business better? Then, let’s brainstorm for an hour some day. I hope to talk to you soon! : )

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Local Advertising Book with no “sugar coating”

This blog post is about a book… and also about your local business… and what you could do to make something really spectacular happen to your revenues. And stuff.

So, I wrote a local advertising book. It’s my first one. And of course I feel that I should have said some things differently in it. And I missed that one type-o. But the best advice for some people (like me) is to just “put it out there”. Because if we wait for things to be perfect, we’ll never “put anything out there”.

Here’s the link to the book, if you’d like to plop down 6 or 7 bucks to learn about getting more out of your local advertising dollars.

Hey, I’ve read a LOT of marketing books. And some of them left me wondering why they felt the need to use such fluff and industry jargon throughout the whole thing. I write like I talk. I don’t sugar coat many things. And if you don’t get any “eye openers” from reading the book… or any “golden nuggets” from it, I’ll give you your money back.

I think it’s better than 50% of the local advertising books out there. Maybe you’ll think it’s the best one out there. Most of the local advertising books I’ve read, try to tell you WHERE you should advertise. But I don’t do that. I don’t care where you advertise. You might like a particular method or advertising medium. My book will just help you get even BETTER results.

But other people might think, “Oh, great. You’ve given me a lot of tools to help me not waste my advertising dollar… but I really have no idea what to do next!” That’s when you call me. Radio isn’t right for everyone…but it might be totally frickin’ awesome for YOU. Do you want your business to be famous? I could help you out with that.

You’re thinking, “Really? Famous? I’m so sure.” But when you’re branded intelligently in your area, you ARE famous. Just not in the traditional sense of the word. If you’re wondering what it would be like to be BRANDED, just ask a few of my radio clients. If you want some of their phone numbers – I’ll give them to you. They’re happy to tell you what Radio and Duane Christensen has helped them do.

But of course, my radio clients tend to be pretty smart too. They run a good business internally, and they have me develop an advertising campaign in which Radio listeners actually like and REMEMBER.

If you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to pull the trigger on an advertising campaign, in an attempt to reach a specific “champagne-popping goal” then you should first read my book. But if you ARE ready, why not just have a talk with me some day – and I’ll just bring the book to you for free. ; )

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Look for someone who has a passion for helping local businesses get ahead. Your first clue: Do they have a blog? Do they have two blogs? Let’s have a conversation soon.

Which Plumber Would You Choose?

I’m going to give you parts to two different ads for plumbers. Then you be the judge on which you’d be more tempted to choose.

Plumber #1

We were at a restaurant, and my brother said, “We’re plumbers…why don’t we start our own company?” You see, at the time my brother and I were both plumbers working for different plumbing companies. We’d been doing it a while and always took note of things that we thought should be done better. Whether it was better employee policies, work ethic, or how our bosses never taught anyone to treat the customer really well. So, we were sitting at the restaurant and we started writing possible names of our new plumbing company down on a napkin. We had about 12 awful names written down when I thought, how about the name of the street we grew up on as kids?…..

And so on…you get the picture, right?

Plumber #2

At B & D Plumbing, we can take care of all your plumbing needs. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that we’ve been in business for 16 years. No matter if it’s a broken faucet or a toilet that needs replacing, you can call B & D Plumbing to get the best service in town. Our trained technicians will take care of you no matter your plumbing trouble. B & D Plumbing is proud to be your Sioux Falls plumbing leader for years to come…….

So, you obviously can see the difference in the two ads. The first one is telling you a story and you’re getting to know that company and what they stand for. The second ad is what you hear every day from almost every local business in Sioux Falls that tries to advertise with radio, TV, newspaper, or whatever. It’s what you get when you think all advertising is the same and choose your advertising based on your favorite radio station, price, or by doing what you think advertising is supposed to be.

Which plumber would you choose?

I’m guessing you’d pick the plumbers that told the story over the other. And I’m also going to tell you that if those radio ads were actually running on the radio, you wouldn’t have even heard Ad #2 because your brain would have said, “Who cares” about 8 seconds in…and directed your attention to something more interesting.

If you’d like some more tips and advice, please subscribe to this blog. Or don’t be afraid to email me any questions or comments you might have. I’m in this business to help small business owners attract new, profitable customers. If I can help you out, I’d love that. I’d be honored.

You can even check out the new book I wrote here…  It took over a year to write and re-write and go back and forth deciding if I should actually publish it. Some of my biggest supporters told me to just go for it. So I did. And it feels good to have something out there that can help educate small businesses on a more effective way to advertise.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog


OneAre you the one?

The one who people think of when someone mentions your particular product or service?

If not…maybe you’re the second or third business that people think of. Hey, that’s not so bad, right? But what if people don’t think of you at all when they need what you offer? What if they think of someone else. A competitor of yours. Then, you’ve got a marketing problem. A branding problem.

When I say “branding”, it’s not about just sticking your name out there as often as possible. That’s not branding. You are BRANDED when:

1) Someone mentions your company’s name and they immediately know what you stand for and what they should expect when they do business with you.

2) Someone mentions a product or service that you sell…and they immediately think of you or your business.

3) Someone mentions frogs and they think of the last time they drank too much. (Budweiser)  🙂

So…to be the ONE people think about first, you need to brand yourself. It’s easier for the small, local business to brand itself and see the results than for huge corporations to see the results from their branding efforts.

How will we brand you?

First, what do you want to stand for? (besides quality, integrity, honesty, etc.) Make it something that your competitors can’t claim, they’re not advertising, or it’s not one of their strengths. But you also have to make sure that what you stand for is important to your prospects.

THEN, once we figure that out, we can begin decide what kind of ads will deliver your “brand” most effectively. It’s not about saying who you are, where you are, and what you are…it’s about painting a picture for people about WHY they should do business with you and not your competition. The goal is to make people feel really good about your business before they’ve even met you.

Then, comes the easy part. Buying radio spots so you can share your messages, stories, and unique offerings to the listening audience. There are formulas for buying radio schedules. It’s possible to buy too many radio spots…and too few radio spots. Let’s air just the right amount so that the average radio listener hears your ad an average of 3 to 4 times each week.

You must also decide HOW WILL YOU MEASURE SUCCESS. It’s not about asking people where they heard about you. Your radio campaign will be so good…they will also affect those that don’t even hear your ads. Meaning that your ads will make such an impact with your audience, that they’ll talk about you with their friend that is wondering where to buy. They’ll tell their spouse that they should check you out. It’s all about creating a message that has meaning and impact. Your radio campaign is a process of intelligent and subtle seduction.

So, I’ll ask you, “How will you measure success?”

Don’t do it with a survey to your customers. Do it with your revenues, foot traffic, phone calls, requests for free estimates, or whatever matters most to you. If you normally get 4 phone calls per day, then 4 months after your radio campaign has started, you’re getting 11 calls per day, would you call that a success?

If you’d like to BE THE ONE, it takes more than just an advertising salesperson selling you an “ad package” who you never see again. There’s no one-size-fits-all radio ad schedule, radio ad strategy, or branding strategy. I understand you might think this is complicated. But it’s not when you talk to the right person that knows how to advertise and/or brand a local business. 😉

Peace out.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls


Sioux Falls Radio Advertising

Results Radio Cumulus Media

You Can’t Predict When They Will Shop

Are you still trying to blast advertising out there willy-nilly? Without any consistency? Are you only trying to grab the people who need you RIGHT NOW?

That particular advertising strategy is far, far away from the best use of your marketing dollars. Why? Because for most products and services, you can’t predict when someone will need you.

IF YOU’RE IN RETAIL, how long will someone consider buying your product? I mean, how long is the time from when they FIRST consider buying a product that you sell up to the point where they hand over the moolah? It’s called the buying cycle.

For example, do you think someone just goes out to buy a HOUSE on a whim? No, you start thinking about buying or building a house many months or even years before you act on those thoughts.

How about a new mattress? The first time you get out of bed in the morning with a slightly stiff back…you won’t run to the bed store the same day. It’s going to take many more nights of stiffness, pain, then agony, before you decide to shell out some dough for a new mattress. Many months in most cases. Partly because of the price…and mostly because buying a mattress isn’t the most exhilarating purchase in the world. It’s not a fun purchase. So, we put it off for a long time.

The same is true for most products that cost over $100. If a product is $100 or less, it’s easier to say, “I’ll take it!” But for the majority of consumers, more thought, time, and research goes into a purchase over $100.

When we’re happy and satisfied with our home, our mattress, TV, refrigerator, tires, furniture, windows, etc…we will not see direct response advertising – those sale ads, newspaper inserts, print ads, etc. Our brain is wired to disregard them. It has plenty of other things to think about. Our brain does not notice direct response ads until we need what you’re advertising.

Why does a consistently smart, creative branding campaign work best? Because a consistent radio campaign will start being intensely listened to by those consumers on the very first day they consider buying a product. So now, you can talk to them through your advertising for months and months before they decide to buy. You can share with them great reasons to do business with YOU versus someone else.

Who do you think has the upper hand? The business that advertises to someone months and months, week in and week out throughout their ENTIRE BUYING CYCLE? Or the one that advertises only periodically trying to attract people the day or two before they decide to buy?

Short term spurts of advertising trying to snag the low-hanging fruit does not lend itself a helping hand towards strong, consistent growth.

It’s the people who aren’t quite “ripe” that you want to start wooing. What’s the definition of woo? To seek the favor, affection, or love of. I would even add in there…SEDUCE.

Kind of reminds me of when I met my wife. Did I ask her to marry me on the first day we met? No. I started a process. The process of wooing. Which brings me to another point. Marketing your business is a process…not an event.

When something is REALLY worth going after, you need to be patient and start a smart process that takes many things into account. What’s a new customer worth to you? Is it worth taking extra care in attracting profitable, new customers that will love how you treat them better than someone else down the street? I would think so. So, don’t yell at them, hoping to get their business with inconsistent and unemotional advertising. Woo them. Start the process.

I’d love to help you with that. When radio advertising is done right… there’s nothing better to attract your next favorite new customer.

Remember… you can’t predict when they’ll shop, so you might as well talk to them long before that… which will take your competitors almost completely out of the picture. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m a marketing guy, ad writer, and a Sioux Falls business grower. I’m on a mission to help local businesses get more from their advertising bucks. I also wrote a  a no-nonsense book about how to take a bigger slice of market share with better advertising. It’s called “Take a Bigger Slice”.

Would you rather not see…or not hear?

I’m going to ask you one “would you rather” question.  Would you rather not see…or not hear?  That’s a tough one.  My first instinct is to say not hear.  But how could we really know which would be worse without actually experiencing blindness or deafness?

Hellen Keller noted that it was much more difficult to be without hearing than without sight.  And that helps me segue into my radio advertising message to you today.

Radio advertisers know that radio gives life to their message to the public.  Those businesses that rely solely on print ads or online advertising (sight only), don’t understand yet what good radio can do for them.  And I’m going to leave TV advertising out of this comparison because most small businesses don’t have a big enough budget to implement a truly effective TV campaign.  Of course you can with Cable TV, but cable TV stations hit such a small number of people, you usually need to be on 10 or 20 different cable stations to make an impact.  Usually.  Of course there are exceptions.

Whoa…I got off track.  Let’s get back to sight versus sound and how it affects your advertising.  I think a print ad makes a business owner feel good because it’s something they can hold in their hand.  They can hold it up and say, “This is my advertisement!”  That’s not so easy to do with the sound waves of a radio ad.

A good radio ad is not a print ad read into a microphone.  A good radio ad will talk to your potential customers about them.  It’s a voice talking directly to them and it connects the benefits of what you offer to their own lives.  It paints them a picture with voiced words about how you can help them improve their life or eliminate a problem they have.  A radio ad is a print ad brought to life.  A GOOD radio ad is nothing like a print ad. You could call it a print ad on steroids if you want.  But the spoken word is so much more powerful than the word in print.

A good radio ad should make people feel good about your business.  And when that happens…you’re buying “mental real estate”.  And owning some mental real estate is the start of branding.  And branding is important because you can’t predict when your prospect will need what you offer.

Here’s a quick explanation of what branding is: If advertising is “getting your name out there”…then branding is simply “attaching something to your name”.  And attaching something that matters to your prospect…to your business name…is a potent element in truly effective advertising.  We can get more into branding some other time.  I’ll share with you a few deeper things that will help shed light on why “Branding” kicks “Advertising’s” butt.

A good radio campaign will get your prospect to remember you when they need you…and then you’re 2 or 3 steps ahead of your competition that’s just trying to “get their name out there”.

So…Hellen Keller wished she could have had the gift of hearing back before the gift of sight.  That tells us something about how our minds work…and the kind of advertising that is superior to others.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website:

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.

Why Radio?

What IS a radio advertisement?

I’d say that it’s kind of like a print ad or a billboard…brought to LIFE…and on steroids.

Radio is entertainment for listeners.  Some are actively listening…others have it on in the background.  It’s company.  People use radio as a companion.

How else can you effectively reach a large number of people over and over and over in such a way?  I can’t think of any.  TV isn’t like radio because people watch TV programs, not TV stations.  My TV habits are all over the place.  One show here, another there.  Different stations.  And they’re all on my DVR to watch whenever I want.

The key to effective advertising is getting your message to people repetitively.  And you can’t predict when they’ll need you or when they’ll be ready to buy.  That’s why it’s important to brand your business.  Branding isn’t just tattooing your business name on their brain.  It’s giving people a feeling or set of words to remember whenever they hear your name.

Branding can’t be done with print (it’s tough to do without sound).  And it’s pretty darn expensive to do it on TV (I’m not talking about small cable stations).  Sooooo, I’ll bring you back to radio.  Radio allows you to communicate with your prospect multiple times within a one-week period.  When you do that, you’re starting the branding process.

When radio is done right, I can’t think of a more cost-effective way to guide people towards your business instead of your competitor’s.  If you can…I’d consider working for that ad medium instead of radio.  But I don’t see anything out there yet that works better.  So, for now, I’ll be right here at Results Radio.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website:

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.