Take A Bigger Slice, Local Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong (Amazon book reviews)

Here’s the latest review on “Take a Bigger Slice”. Very niiiicccce. Thanks a bunch! …

“…BUT…if you want a CHEAP guide to not only breathing new life into your small business, but watching it thrive…buy Duane’s book NOW! Don’t misunderstand me though…’cheap’ only refers to the small price you pay for this book. The contents inside are anything but. Honestly, you could spend 50 times what Duane is asking on other so-called “small business marketing” books. Or you can just buy this one book and start making waves with your business NOW. Duane doesn’t use bloated industry jargon to try to sound like some larger-than-life guru. He’s not out to impress. He’s out to help you grow your small business. You can tell he loves what he does…and he loves helping people. Don’t hesitate to get this book. It may just end up being the best money you’ve ever spent on your business.”

Here’s a link to see some others if you’re still not convinced that 4.99 is a pretty sweet deal for this 100+ page e-book…

Take A Bigger Slice, Local Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong book reviews

Duane Christensen

http://smallbusinessadvertisingkapow.com/

Small Business Advertising: Butts in Seats

What’s the purpose of local advertising?

To put “butts in seats”.

Like David Ogilvy said, “If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative.”

Photo courtesy of "Sura Nualpradid" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of “Sura Nualpradid” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, the point here today is that you can be as funny or creative as you want in advertising…but if it doesn’t move the needle for your business…why bother? Being creative in advertising is important because you find new angles to use in advertising your company. You make people think differently about you and help them come to the conclusion that you’d be a trusted choice when they need what you sell.

But you need to make sure your creativity is helping to drive your main point home. Don’t be creative for the sake of being creative… be creative to help prospects understand how you’re different. You take a point of difference (how you’re different from your competition) and you exaggerate the hell out of that difference.

You don’t have a lot of ad dollars to waste, right? So, make sure the message of your radio ads (or any ads) are “putting butts in seats”. Make sure your ads have the ability to make an impact. Will they be remembered when your prospect needs you 3 to 6 months from now? And figure out HOW you want people to think of you…when they see or hear the name of your business. When you know what you’d like to be branded as… then take the steps to make that happen. It’ll help you put “butts in seats” consistently and for the long haul. Not just for your next 2-Day Mega Sale.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

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Your Customers Don’t Care About You

An excerpt from my book, “Take a Bigger Slice – Local Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong”

People don’t care about you or your business. They care about their own well-being long before yours. They care about how your product or service can HELP them.

You might say, “I have customers who are LOYAL to me!” But dogs are loyal too, until you start abusing them.

Image courtesy of "Felixco, Inc." / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Felixco, Inc.” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s really not loyalty; you just have customers who are currently happy with you. CURRENTLY. As soon as your service or product starts lacking, they’ll find somewhere else to go. Or as soon as they find a company who treats them better or gives them more value (or perceived value), they’ll switch. Your customers only care about solving a problem THEY have, or improving the quality of THEIR life. But you always have to make them feel like they received a good value – that their money was well spent.

Your marketing and advertising success depends upon loving your customers.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

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Will You Be Missed?

I had a great meeting with the lead pastor of a local Sioux Falls church recently.

One thing he said will stick with me for a long time. He said…

“We asked ourselves, if our church was gone tomorrow, would we be missed? Would anybody in the community notice?” 

Image courtesy of  "Michelle Meiklejohn" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Michelle Meiklejohn” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whoa. That’s powerful. What a great question to ask yourself.

He was asking me about radio advertising. I feel that we hit it off. I’m going to enjoy working with these people.

He said six years ago they decided to change what they were about. They wanted to make a difference in our community. They wanted to help the children and people of Sioux Falls to make this a better place. So, now they ask, “What do you need?” And then, they put their thinking caps on to see how they can fill that need. It was an inspirational meeting for me. These are good people. People who want to make a difference.

Do YOU want to make a difference? It doesn’t have to be something colossal. Start small. Volunteer. Mentor. Help a friend. If we all did one small thing to help our community on a consistent basis, imagine what that would look like.

I love working with businesses, business owners, and non-profits who want to help people and provide products and services that will improve their customers’ lives…or take away their customers’ pain. In fact, I seek out those good people. It’s not about the money. It’s about making a difference. If I can help good, honest people help more people (their customers), then I’m a happy man.

This church is doing so many wonderful things in our community. If they were gone tomorrow…they WOULD be missed.

I also have current radio clients who help the community. They sponsor worthy charities. They do a little something extra. They have good hearts. They take extra time out of their lives to help others. I know we feel like there’s not enough time in the day sometimes…but we have to make time. It’s worth it.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Workin’ for: Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

 

I’m a passionate radio and marketing guy at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. If there’s anything I can help you with, just give me a shout. 🙂

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

Example of Wasted Advertising Effort

I saw a company’s vehicle the other day with their advertising slogan on the door. It said:

“Here for you…as life happens.”

Did that just blow you away, or what?!

Image courtesy of "scottchan" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “scottchan” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And this business is BIG in my town. They probably have millions for an advertising budget. So, someone came up with that slogan (maybe an advertising agency, maybe a family member of the CEO – I’m not sure) and a committee probably said, “Yes! That’s exactly who we are and what we do!”

No, they didn’t say that. They probably thought to themselves, “We ARE here for you. So, it’s perfect. And life DOES happen, so it fits. This is great marketing! People will love it!”

This slogan is so vague and all-inclusive and un-something…I could make that my own slogan for my family. When my wife has a problem, I should just say, “Honey…I’m here for you, as life happens.”

Ok. I’m done being critical of the slogan. I just wanted to share an example of a completely wasted advertising effort. Your slogan should communicate something that is specific to you. It should be able to stand on its own…where the reader will know exactly what you do and what you stand for.

Please do not copy this slogan. There are probably tens of thousands of companies with something very similar. If you want to stand out with your advertising and get noticed and be remembered…stay very far away from advertising slogans of this nature.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

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How Radio Advertising Rocks the House for Local Businesses

There are many hard-working, local businesses sprinkling their ad budget around many different local advertising mediums. My prediction is that those advertisers are frustrated to the point of kicking every advertising sales rep out the door who walks in.  And they’re confused. Everyone seems to tell them a different load of bull about advertising. They’re confused about how to make their advertising do what they want it to do.

Radio Advertising

Photo courtesy of “digitalart” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Radio advertising is one of the most difficult forms of advertising to write…effectively.  But once a business hires a radio ad writer who knows how to make it work, good things follow, and it doesn’t seem that hard at all.  A good ad writer will make it look easy.  Radio can draw crowds for sales and special events.  But the true strength of radio lies in long-term consistent branding.  Branding a local business is really no different from branding a billion dollar company.  You want as many people as possible to think of you first when they need your product or service.

Radio reaches people.  Period. It reaches consumers – people with wallets that would like to spend their money.  And the affordable repetition that you can get with radio is an essential ingredient in branding your local business into the minds of the public.

But THE most important element for making radio work its absolute best…is in the message.  What you SAY is what matters most.  Give me the cheapest radio spot rates, along with a crappy radio ad, and you’re still wasting money.  To all those cheap rate seekers out there, you’re overlooking the most vital part of an ad campaign.  You need to have a high-caliber message in order to make it work.  That’s what should be researched, sweated over, and pounded out before you decide to spend any money on your advertising.

What kind of message works?  There are all kinds…

Some like to be creative and funny.  But beware of being overly creative and forgetting to include the selling part of the ad.  Like legendary ad man David Ogilvy said… “It’s not creative, if it doesn’t sell.” You know, the kind of commercials that spends 23 seconds setting up the joke and the last 7 seconds poorly selling the product.

I find that stories work really well.  Or even a short mini-story within a radio ad. Any story that helps draw more attention to how your product or service helps your customer…is a good story.  Any story that helps the listener “connect” with the owners/employees is a good story.  People love to do business with people they know (or feel they know).  People love to do business with people they trust (or feel they trust).  A story that helps the listener connect emotionally with the product, service, owner, employees, etc. is a good story.

When telling stories about the owner of a local business, not just ANY story will do.  It’s got to have an “engagement factor” included.  You can’t just tell any dumb story about a business owner and think that the public with give a hoot.  It’s best to be completely candid and truthful with your listener and portray that YOU, the mighty and powerful business owner, are human too.  Don’t ever try to trick a listener into becoming your customer…seduce them with care and frankness, and make it possible for them to trust you and get to know you better.

The bottom line is that radio works great for those local businesses that want the public to remember THEM first and not their competitors.  Or if the industry is saturated with competition…radio can at least put you on the short list as an option…rather than not being an option at all.

Radio works great for business owners who truly want to grow and are competitive by nature.  You’re either growing or shrinking – if you don’t want to beat your competitor and gain market share – radio might not be for you.  If you don’t have a budget for growth or at least for maintaining market share – radio might not be for you.

Don’t “spray and pray” with your ad budget. Find out what works (like radio), find someone who understands that the message is the most important ingredient in a successful ad campaign, and focus your ad dollars there.  You’ll know if it’s working by setting goals for your business and seeing if you’re on pace to reach those goals by checking them at 6, 9, and 12 months the first year.

One last note… some say radio advertising doesn’t work. But I have a nice handful of customers who can prove the naysayers wrong. When it’s done right…when you have the right people on your “radio team”… it’s one of the best weapons you have if you’re a small to medium-size local business trying to grow and get an edge up in your market.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

And to learn more about seducing new customers with your advertising you can get the Kindle edition of my book here, Take A Bigger Slice.

I work for Results Radio / Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. I write ads and help my clients attract new, profitable customers. I started as a wide-eyed radio rookie in 1998 and love helping good businesses grow and attract new faces.

EASY isn’t always BEST

Easy is good. Easy is convenient.

It’s easy to order take-out. It’s easy to go through the drive-thru.

And it’s easy to get a poor advertisement ready for Print. Here’s what I see in Sioux Falls print:

  • Weak headlines
  • Un-inspiring content
  • Pictures that don’t match the message

    Easy Advertising Sioux Falls

    Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Business logo and contact information

That’s easy to put together. It’s easy on the business owner.

The print media says, “Here’s your ad.”

You say, “Looks good. Run it.”

It’s easy to run a poor radio ad, too.

  • Weak headline
  • Un-inspiring content about the business
  • Business name sprinkled throughout the copy
  • Phone number twice
  • Website
  • Weak slogan

Take any advertising media (web, billboard, TV, etc.)… it’s easy to create ads that don’t work for a local advertiser.

I’d rather you NOT take the easy road when it comes to advertising. Well, it CAN be easy as long as you find the right copy writer.

It takes time, effort, research, and sweat to create ads that “stick” and ads that work.

It’s NOT easy to get past what you think a radio ad should say in it…and what it should sound like. The best radio ads take tradition and crush it. The best radio ads talk to the listener about what the listener would like to hear…not what the business owner usually wants to hear. Which makes sense, right? Aren’t we trying to engage the listener (your prospect)?

Get past “easy”…and move towards “effective”. It won’t take long before the right way IS the easy way. Let me know when you’re ready to take the bull by the horns.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

605-940-7984

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 click HERE to read a bit more about it. Have a great day!

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When I Need To Change It Up

My choices for “auditory entertainment” are Radio and my iPod. Not one or the other. I listen to the Radio more often because I like the local people. And to hear new music. I don’t spend hours on my computer looking for new music on my iPod. I like to hear what’s new or fairly new, and I get that from the Radio – then if I like a new song, I’ll put it on my iPod.

Chad McKenzie – KSOO AM 1140

I love music, but when I want to CHANGE IT UP…I tune into talk radio. One of my favorites is Chad McKenzie in the morning on KSOO AM 1140. He’s light-hearted, fun, and a heck of a nice guy, too.

His show makes me smile.

As far as advertising goes, I feel KSOO is one of the best places to be. Talk radio listeners are “active” listeners. You don’t have to air quite as many ads as you do on a music station to make an impact.

If you’d like to talk to a fairly big audience, I always recommend KSOO as one of my top choices. Some people only want to advertise on music stations…but I don’t get that. People are people. Let’s just make sure we say things in your ads that make them want to buy from YOU instead of one of your competitors.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

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 click HERE to read a bit more about it. Have a great day!

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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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