A Story About Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

I whipped my phone out and searched for All Tune & Lube in Sioux Falls (because they’re my “go-to” people for anything car repair-related). I needed to set up an appointment for new tires. And I didn’t have their phone number in my phone…and I couldn’t remember the number even though I’d called it many times before. Getting old I guess. The info I needed came up on Google after I typed in “All Tune & Lube Sioux Falls”.

But the phone number didn’t seem familiar. I called. All Tune & Lube answered. I said, “Did you guys change your phone number?” They said No.

I’m assuming that they were doing some kind of tracking with that different phone number. Tracking their online calls.

Image courtesy of "Paul" / FreeDigitalPhotos.netMeasuring your return on your marketing isn't always as easy as you wish it would be.

Image courtesy of “Paul” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Measuring your return on your marketing isn’t always as easy as you wish it would be.

So, what’s going to happen here? They might “count me” as a customer who found them online. And then, they’ll think “online” is where they should put all of their marketing and advertising efforts??? Or maybe there’s an Internet marketing company who sold them an SEO package of some sort with a different phone number??? That’s great as long as they realize that their past customers who love them… may find that number online (like me). And that their past branding efforts have glued “All Tune & Lube” into their audience’s brain – so those people already know who they want to call.

Those people they had reached effectively with their radio campaign don’t have to type in “auto repair” into Google…they type “All Tune & Lube”. So, was it the past radio ad campaign that should get the credit? Or the expert service and above average customer service they received in the past? Or the word-of-mouth? Who knows. It should all work together when you’re marketing correctly. As long as they’re reading those online metrics properly…and my phone call isn’t being categorized as one more new “online prospect snagged”…I’m totally cool with it.

Maybe they are tracking the number of online calls versus Yellow page calls. Great. They’ll soon realize they should shift all or most of their Yellow budget into their SEO plan or something else.

If I owned my own local business… I wouldn’t care HOW people found me… just as long as they do. My tracking would be with my sales revenues. Or number of customers daily/weekly/quarterly. Or whatever best illustrated that I was attracting more new, smiling faces. But it would be over a matter of many months or even a year. Of course, since I know Radio Advertising can work wonders, I’d put most of my budget into radio. You may think I’m biased, but I’ve seen how it works. I’ve heard the feedback. I’ve seen the growth numbers. Shiny and new marketing efforts aren’t a substitute for tried and true.

Are there BAD radio advertising campaigns out there? Absolutely. Even a lot of the national radio ads I hear are completely missing the mark. That’s why you might want to work with yours truly. “Creative” is no substitute for “Selling”. I believe what David Ogilvy said, “It’s not creative if it doesn’t sell.” Your ads need to WORK…not just be something cutesy, funny, bizarre, or creative. But when Radio is done right…with the right message and strategy in place…prepare to be delighted with the results.

Radio is one of the only mass media advertising mediums where the audience is holding strong. Are some of those listeners also listening to Pandora and their iPods? You bet. But they’re also still listening to Radio. Around 90% of the population tune into their local radio stations consistently. And when you find a radio group who’s progressive, keeps enough live and local DJs in the booth, and constantly wonders how they can make a radio listener’s experience better…it’s a good group to go with. Hey…like us! I’m happy to be with a company who knows we have to stay relevant and change when we need to change.

Just be careful with your tracking and measuring. Don’t give something credit if it’s not deserving of the credit. I know you want to know absolutely, 100%, which advertising and marketing dollars are giving you the best return. But it’s not a simple thing to do. You could start by NOT dividing and spreading your ad budget around to so many different mediums. Then, you’ll never know which works well and which ones are just money thrown in the garbage. Start with one or two. Don’t sprinkle. “Own” the advertising medium you choose. Be there. Be there in force.

If you want to have an honest talk about local advertising, let me know. We won’t just talk about Radio…but how local advertising really works. And how we can make your local advertising efforts pay you back many times over. We’ll also talk about how you’ll plan to MEASURE your RESULTS.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Radio Marketing / Ad Writing / Sales

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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Traditional Media for Small Business (brick and mortar)

Radio, TV, Print, and Billboard. These are the main local advertising options you have. (we’re not talking digital or anything internet – I’ll tackle that beast later. Ok, quickly, digital ads are just print ads on steroids)

If I’m in charge of an advertising budget for a small business, I have to be sensitive to the size of the budget. I’m not going to be able to advertise everywhere. So, where do I put the money?

First, you have to understand the difference between “intrusive” advertising and “passive”.

Intrusive is radio and TV. It means that if we’re listening to a radio station or watching a TV program, the ads just “happen”. We don’t have to DO anything to be exposed to them. It’s not work…we just listen. Unlike passive media (print), where you have to choose to read an entire ad. Example: Just because there’s an ad on the magazine page you’re glancing at, doesn’t mean you’ll read it.

So, my first choice for advertising a small business is intrusive media if the budget allows for it. I also choose Radio over TV for 2 main reasons.

1) It’s more affordable to run the frequency of ads needed to start the branding process.

2) I can change the ads at no charge EVERY MONTH…easily. Whereas, TV production is spendy and labor intensive. And any time a TV ad airs for more than 6, 8, to 12 weeks…the effectiveness of that ad drops sharply down close to ZERO.

It’s because once we’re exposed to one particular ad more than a dozen times, we tend to “tune out” after only a couple of seconds. We say to ourselves, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me something I haven’t heard before.” Tell us something new. An overplayed ad bores us to tears. Or worse, it annoys us. And that’s not good for business, eh?

What’s the short version of HOW a small, brick and mortar should advertise locally? Radio. 48 to 52 weeks a year. Of course there are always some exceptions, i.e. a seasonal business. Or I may suggest direct mail when your target prospects are few…and easily located.

I write radio for many small businesses. When we take our time and find the right things to say in the ads…growth is not far behind. Return on investment from radio done right, far exceeds what can be accomplished with print and outdoor (passive) advertising.

Something that I’ll always remember that Roy H. Williams said, “We can close our eyes, but we can’t close our ears.”

Have an awesome day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And 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 market.

What will you do with your advertising budget?

If I thought newspaper, magazine, yellow pages, internet ads, or TV advertising could help grow a local business more effectively, efficiently, and profitably than RADIO, I’d go work for one of those places.  No kidding.

When you understand what makes advertising really work, you’ll start looking for the place to advertise that gives you proper ad frequency. Which means communicating your sales message and your story multiple times to the same audience, week-in and week-out. And nothing does that more affordably and effectively than good radio.

If you disagree, feel free to contact me. I like talking shop.

OR…if you’d like to discuss what good radio is…and how it can help you attract profitable customers when used in the proper manner, I’d like to be the one you call. Because wasted ad dollars is one of my biggest pet peeves. And I see it all around Sioux Falls…every day.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

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.