Top 6 Clues That You Are Wasting Your Ad Budget

#1  You think that the more places you advertise, the better your advertising results.  You equate good advertising with “reach”.  You feel that if you advertise in many different mediums, you’re reaching more people. The problem is, you’re probably not reaching that many more people since we all watch, read, and listen to multiple different mediums, not just one. By spreading your budget too thin across too many ad mediums, you’re not putting your ad message in front of people enough times to make an impact and be remembered by them. Too much “reach”, far too little “frequency”.  You’re trying to reach 100% of the people, but you’re only convincing them 10% of the way. 

​#2  Your advertising message has no impact on the audience you’re trying to convince to do business with you.  You think that results come from the advertising medium you choose.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Your advertising will only work when the words you convey to an audience are relevant, entertaining, and memorable. If your ad message doesn’t resonate and get attention, then your advertising won’t work, no matter where you place your ads.

#3  You believe that anything “visual” is the best way to advertise.  The truth about advertising effectiveness is that sound is more easily remembered than visuals.  It all has to do with how our brains our wired.  All of those big national companies with huge budgets that moved the majority of their dollars from TV and Radio into online advertising are finding out that it was a big mistake.  Is there a place for online advertising?  Of course.  But the bigger chunk of your advertising budget should be put into “sound media”… and the online or “visual only” should be a support media for the “sound media”.  There is way too much money being wasted on the new and shiny things in advertising.  But that is happening mainly because those advertisers haven’t figured out how to get consistent advertising results.  So, you’ll try anything hoping that something will stick… instead of getting to the bottom of how to make advertising actually work.

#4  Your advertisements and marketing (even your social media) only talk about what you do and who you are… instead of talking about what your products and services do for your customers.  Your customer doesn’t care about you.  They don’t.  They only care about what you do for THEM.  So, your ads must talk about the benefits of doing business with you.  How can you solve their problem?  How can you improve their life?  Also… why should they buy from you instead of your competition?  You want your prospective new customer to subconsciously think that they’d be making a mistake if they didn’t buy from you.  And that’s not done by presenting them a laundry list of your products and/or services.   When your ad message only conveys “who, what, and where” you are… then, you’re allowing people to dismiss your ad completely.  It’s not memorable.  It won’t move someone closer to doing business with you.

#5  You’re too “logical” with your ads.  The questions you should ask yourself when creating or evaluating your ad message is “Does this evoke emotion in people?  Will they ‘feel’ something?”  Emotion is the key.  If you don’t “move” people in your ads, then, they’ll never be as powerful as they could be.  Do you know what causes people to listen and remember what you’ve told them?  Tell them a story.  And that’s what most of your advertising should be doing.  Put your ad in story form and it will make a much bigger impact.

#6  You only think short-term with your advertising instead of long-term.  If you only advertise for brief periods, or only for special events and sales, you’re missing out on the bigger portion of the population.  Think about how many people need you right now.  Not very many.  So, as soon as your ad is done, you’re easily forgotten or not even considered because most people weren’t currently in the market for your product or service.  How long do you plan on being in business?  Then, you have to think long-term.  Remind people frequently and consistently with a strong ad message and a story… and guess who people will automatically think of when they NEED what you offer?  YOU.  That’s the power of branding.  When you “stamp” your business name and “what you stand for” on the brains of the public with emotional messages that make people like and trust you before they even meet you… you’ll win this game of marketing by a landslide.

Duane Christensen

Your Marketing & Advertising Friend

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Image by Intellectual from Pixabay

Why Radio Advertising?

I tell people all the time… if there was a better media to use to advertise your local retail or service business… I’d go work for them.

I had a conversation with someone recently who was concerned about the future of Radio. He was wondering about it because he doesn’t listen to “regular radio” as much any more. But he’s a business owner. Business owners don’t listen to AM/FM Radio like the average consumer does. They have too many shoes, chainsaws, and hammers to juggle every day. The time to listen is limited for them.

As long as the radio industry is proactive with technology and keeping live and local DJs… Radio will be fine. After all… approximately 89 to 91% of adults listen to AM/FM Radio every week.

Some feel that Spotify or Pandora might be stealing a lot of listening time from Radio. But that’s just a perception, not reality……..

The audience share of AM/FM Radio is actually 8x bigger than Pandora and Spotify combined.*

If you’re a business owner, you have to understand that as long as there’s still a FREE option for good music, interactive and entertaining DJs, local news and event info… there’s always going to be a big audience for AM/FM Radio.

Now, that we have that out of the way, I want you to think about what the biggest, most successful brands on the planet do to advertise. It’s all about reach. Reaching the masses. They’re discovering that narrowing their target audience by moving more dollars into targeted, digital advertising was a big mistake. They’re starting to understand that the reason they used mass media from the beginning was because the more people who know about you, directly translates into more customers and more sales.

And why local radio for advertising? Remember? Radio reaches approximately 90% of adults. But the best reason is because radio is intrusive. Meaning you don’t have to do anything to hear them. They’re just there. And you can move or shut your eyes, but you can’t close your ears.

All you have to do is say something in your radio advertising that people would care enough to listen to. And that’s our specialty at Results Radio Townsquare Media. The message. We know how to create ads that get heard and remembered.

It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising on the biggest radio station in town… if your ads don’t cut the mustard, you’ll be unhappy with the results. We’ve acquired a certain set of skills here that can take an average advertising strategy and plan… and turn it into something that has horsepower. Or we can start from scratch and bring something to you that will have traction from the get-go.

The list of our happy clients is pretty extensive. If you’d ever like to speak with any one of them about their experience with us… let me know.

I’m confident that Radio has a bright future, and our radio clients can rest a little easier because of that. This is still the best local advertising medium to build a great brand in my opinion, and it also helps that I work for a great company that is still doing things right. Otherwise, I’d go work for someone else.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

*Westwood One

What Makes People Do The Things They Do?

Why do people act a certain way? Why do they say things they don’t mean? Why do they buy the things they buy? Why do they call one business for service instead of someone else?

What makes people do the things they do?

It’s the question that MARKETERS have been asking for centuries.

There are some obvious ones…

Keep up with the “Jones’s. To impress others. It’s what everyone else is doing. To look like you have a big bank account. And then some.

But as far as really knowing… all I can talk about is myself and my habits. And for the sake of keeping this a marketing article, let’s talk about my own BUYING habits for a second.

They’ve changed over the years. I’m soon to be 45 years old.

When I was younger, I mostly cared about how much something cost because I didn’t have much to spend.

But now, I want good products that perform and last. I want good service even if I have to pay a bit more.

Here’s the thing though… how do I know for sure if a local company is going to treat me right? How would anyone know?

They wouldn’t… unless they knew you… and trusted you.

Which is exactly what a good radio campaign can do. Cause people to like and trust you before they even meet you.

For example…

If I need a plumber, but I haven’t ever found one that I’ve fallen in love with… then I’m going to shop around. If there’s no one that comes to my mind, then I’ll do a google search for “plumbers in Sioux Falls” or something. The results I get will either jog my memory and one will look familiar… or it’s going to be a complete eenie meenie miney moe type of decision on who I call.

If one looked familiar, it’s probably because I’ve seen a lot of their service vehicles around or I’ve been exposed to some of their advertising. But I still really don’t know much about them, and I’m still reluctant.

But what’s the best case scenario for a business owner to get my business?

It’s when I’ve been exposed to their radio campaign for a while… and I’ve gotten to know them through those ads. They’ve talked about things in the ads that make me trust them. They’ve entertained me. They’ve given me some helpful information. So, now, when I need a plumber… boom… I automatically think of that business. And do I google “plumbers in sioux falls”? Heck no. I google the business name. And I either go to their website, or I click the Call button from their Google Business listing. Done. No competitors even came into the picture.

And as a side bonus, do you know that google rewards businesses with better ranking when more people type your business name directly into google. It shows them that you’re a good, reputable, popular, trustworthy business. So, being searched for by name on google not only gets you a direct call or click, bypassing your competition, it also helps you rank higher on google.

What makes people do the things they do? Well… a lot of times it’s EMOTIONS. The emotion of wanting to do business with an easy-going, trustworthy, and friendly company is POWERFUL. So, that’s what you need to convey throughout your Radio campaign. That’s the secret.

But the problem is… most marketers, ad reps, and ad agencies don’t know HOW to create Ad campaigns that does what I’m talking about. Sure, some might be creative, but there’s no tie-in to the business. Some might be full of lots of fluffy “we’re the best” type of stuff, but nobody believes them.

WHAT CAUSES SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU AND BUY FROM YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME?

They feel like they know you, they already trust you a little bit, and they like what you stand for. And those things can be conveyed to people in a couple different ways – such as their friends told them about you, or your advertising told them about you through a series of ads over time.

Do you see now why your advertising can’t just be about “awareness”? Awareness isn’t enough. There needs to be something else. Some secret sauce. There needs to be some kind of message that causes people to feel like you’re going to treat them well and deliver what they’re paying for. And then some.

Did you know that 90+% of people still listen to local Radio? Yup.

Sure there are lots of other ways people are consuming entertainment. But that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned radio. We just have more options. It doesn’t mean we’re not listening. Do young people use radio as much as adults over 25? No. But I don’t really recommend you use radio if you’re trying to target kids either.

Your advertising strategy and the words you use in your ads… are SO IMPORTANT. The MOST important. They either make you or break you. They can either make you hate advertising or almost like it. Like “Like-like” it. A few of my clients actually LOVE it. They know it’s the biggest driver of new customers for them.

Even if I wasn’t working for a radio group… or I was running a marketing company… I would still recommend using radio. As long as the strategy and the message is relevant and engaging… there’s not a more versatile way to convey a message to the masses that can stir people’s emotions and get them to like you before they’ve ever done business with you (and the repetition of your radio ads are a huge part of why it’s one of the best ways to get you stuck in people’s heads – in a good way).

Of course, Radio isn’t right for every business. I’ve turned down business before because I knew it wasn’t the right fit. Maybe their profit margins weren’t good enough to make it pay… or they were still fairly new and didn’t have the budget yet to run enough ads to give it a chance to start sticking into people’s heads. There are variables.

Yes, you have a lot of advertising choices. It can get confusing. I can help you navigate all of it. If you have questions about some other forms of advertising and marketing, I’ll give my advice. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you… or we’ll talk through it with each other.

Sorry for being so long-winded today! Making advertising work can get complicated… unless you know the right person. 😉

I hope you have a great rest of the month, quarter, and year!

Is This The #1 Force Behind Business Success?

You can try to fool yourself into thinking that your success is all because of the products you sell or the services you offer. Yes, of course, what you sell is important. You need to offer something to consumers that is needed or desired. That’s a given.

business success

But in my humble opinion, the #1 reason for continued long-term success is your people. You need good people who know how to create, build, and service. And you, their leader, needs to instill in those people your passion and your mission. (Your passion stems from more than just making money, right?)

Now, let’s dig a little deeper. All employees need to be good… BUT… THE MOST INTEGRAL PARTS OF YOUR TEAM, THAT MOST DIRECTLY EFFECTS YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE, are the people who deal with your customers and your potential customers ONE-ON-ONE. They’re the ones who make the customer experience a great one. They provide a better customer experience than anyone could get from your competitors.

There are companies past and present who have great products and offer much needed services, but they’ve either gone away or are constantly struggling because the customer experience is… or was… horrible.

When a consumer is uncomfortable during an interaction, sales pitch, or service call – it will all fall apart. If not immediately, it will eventually.

Do not kid yourself. If you run a company that depends on multiple employees… one person does not make a successful company. You may be a great leader, but you also need to identify and mold good talent. And you need to know when someone does not fit the mold. Not everyone is trainable at this very moment in time or sometimes ever. And if you need help identifying “the right stuff” in people when you’re hiring them… then get some second and third opinions on your potential new hires. You have to uncover who people really are in your interviews. You have to get them talking. It’s more than just a sheet of questions asking about their skills and where they see themselves in 5 years. It’s about making them feel comfortable enough in an interview to open up and be honest with you.

But again… not everyone is trainable. You know what I’m talking about.

Think about a time you had a great customer experience when you purchased something. Usually, the big, fat, juicy main reason for that great experience was because of one person. Or a string of people who were on-point with how to interact with you.

It’s how they talked to you. They were pleasant, skilled, positive, and they were REAL.

But have you ever been in a buying situation where a person went into a canned sales pitch, and you just wanted to tell them to stop the bullshit and level with you? It’s like your lizard-brain is telling you to run away. Or have you ever got a grumpy service person, and you vowed right then and there never to hire that company again? Ever talk to a rude front office person who gave you a bad taste in your mouth? Yup. All of them. Me too.

Anyone within your company who deals with your customers (or prospective customers) one-on-one… in-person, on the phone, or even through email… are your main reasons for your success or your failure.

People have more choices than ever before to buy the goods and services they want or need. So, when that one employee gives a customer an easy interaction, and creates an environment of calmness and trust, that customer will stay with that person no matter what. Even if that person goes to work for a competitor of yours, that customer will most likely follow that person. Because we all like to do business with PEOPLE… not corporations.

This blog post was inspired by a buying experience I had recently with a salesperson. We’ve done a lot of business with this person, over many years. And this person always treats my wife and I like we’re human beings. They “get it”. This person is almost the complete opposite of what you usually find. They’re a gem that makes us feel COMFORTABLE. If this person ever changed companies, we’d follow.

The one-on-one human interactions are where your battles are won or lost.

It’s not your social media.  It’s not whether you have great products or services.  It’s not because you just “know” that you’re better.  

Make sure you have a team of diamonds dealing with your customers. If they need more training on how to deal with people… give it to them. And then, continue with that training weekly… forever. If you need to hire more diamonds, go find them. They may be hiding in a rough… but they are out there. And if you have trouble KEEPING those gems, then, figure out what you can fix.

marketing consultant

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

http://www.SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Photo credit:
Image by sw_reg_03 on Pixabay

How To Allocate Your Advertising Budget 💲💲💲

Here’s the screen shot of the exact text I received from a client…

sioux falls advertising options

You can’t afford it.  You can’t afford to advertise everywhere. I know you’d love to… but there only a few advertisers in the Sioux Falls area who can afford to advertise properly on a lot of different advertising mediums.“So, now what… DU-ANE… you’re saying I can’t afford to advertise?!”No, that’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying you waste big wads of money if you advertise in too many places, too thinly.What’s the reason you’re looking to advertise right now?  Here are a few potential reasons…You just got to the point where you want to GROW.  It’s because you’re hungry and you want a bigger slice of the local market…

  • OR you have more and more competition moving in year after year…
  • OR you’re new, you have competition, and you know you have to advertise if you’re going to have a chance at sticking around.

And if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.  So, you’re going to have to set a budget and figure out the best way to invest that budget.I’m assuming you’re already doing some social media. Or at least have a few accounts out there. The first thing that most will want to do is get their logo and contact info in front of a bunch of eyeballs.  So, spending some money on social media ads can get your business in front of some new people… but it’s very limited.  To make an impact, you’ll need mass media.So you say…“Let’s see how much billboards cost. Oooh, maybe those digital ones would be good.”“What about those free magazines?”“And postcards.”“Might as well find out how much TV ads cost, too.”“Let’s get some radio ads going.”“Online. Everyone’s online.”You get the point. You want to be EVERYWHERE. You want everyone to know about you.  But the thing with advertising is… if you spread your message to thinly in front of an audience… they won’t experience your ad often enough to get your message to sink into their brain.  So, you’re just sprinkling and dribbling your message here and there and everywhere, and most of the audience is probably not even seeing or hearing it.People aren’t just sitting around waiting to experience your ads… we’re busy doing things.  Your ads will hit some people and miss some people.  The next day, they’ll hit others and miss others.  Hopefully, the day after that, your ad hits the same people again.  Hit and Miss.  Happens all the time.  And when your spread your advertising around too thinly… it’s miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss…..WHERE TO PUT THE HEFTY PORTION OF YOUR BUDGET“Yup. Here it comes, Duane.  This is where you say RADIO RADIO RADIO!”You’d be correct.  Or TV.  But TV has its challenges that radio doesn’t.  And vice-versa (for those who don’t know how to “do” radio advertising effectively).  But to be honest… I don’t see TV commercials very often at all because we TIVO the shows we like… and use a lot of Netflix.A good radio schedule takes care of the REPETITION part.  More “hits” when it’s done right.  To a big audience. Repetition is so important in this busy world. People aren’t sitting around waiting to experience your next ad. We’re busy. It’s easy to miss us. That’s why finding a big mass media like Radio… plus the repetition… 2 out of the 3 parts needed to persuade people to do business with you.You don’t have to be everywhere.  You can’t.  And if you try… you’ll be massively disappointed in your advertising efforts.  But most good radio stations HIT a lot of people.  What if you could talk to 20,000 people, week in and week out with whatever you wanted to talk to them about?  You don’t think that if you convinced even 10% of them to do business with you within the next 12 months… that wouldn’t impact your business in a good way?  What if you eventually convinced 30 or 40% of them to give you a shot?  Whoa.  But that only happens when you say good things to the same group of people over and over.  Not annoyingly… or too frequent… but consistently.  Consistently telling your story.  Consistently making friends with a big group of people.  There’s tremendous power in that!And what happens when you expand to another radio station or two?  Whoa… now you’re really reaching a LOT of people.  And you’re doing it with enough repetition.Great advertising campaigns throughout history all have the majority of their budget put into advertising that utilizes the sense of SOUND.  We remember things longer when sound is used versus only visual.  It’s how the brain is wired. Don’t get me wrong.  There are strengths and weaknesses for all media.  It’s just that “sound” advertising has a few more advantages over “sight only” media (online, billboard, bus bench, mags, etc.).  Here are a few of the best ones…It’s INTRUSIVE (you can’t close your ears)

  • It sticks in our memory longer (it’s science)
  • You can paint any picture you want with sound (set the stage with the spoken word, instead of being limited to props – the only limit is your imagination)
  • You can personalize an ad more with sound (if I show you a picture of any dog, it’s just a dog… if I say, “YOUR dog” in an ad, well… that’s emotional – and when emotion is injected into your ads, that’s when you’re getting close to a home run)
  • You can speak to people for 30 or 60 seconds!  Not many advertising mediums can do that.

With a consistent radio campaign week after week, you’ll hit the low-hanging fruit… but you’ll also start doing something far more beneficial.  If you have a good STRATEGY, you’ll start the branding process with those who don’t need you right now.  And when you “brand” your company well, people will remember you when they NEED YOU. And that’s when your advertising is kicked up into a gear that you did not know even existed.Cementing your company into the hearts of people is the goal.  And that’s what we do for our clients.  The time we put into planning your advertising campaign is mostly used on your ad strategy and writing your ads. Because if that’s not done right… it won’t matter where you advertise.Radio is alive and well.  93% listen every week.  I have a nice handful of wildly successful clients who put the majority of their ad budget into radio.  It’s their “go-to”.  So, let’s make it work for YOU, too! For example, here’s a text I received from a client who’s on a 48-week, annual radio plan…  radio advertising text from Sioux Falls client

It doesn’t hurt to meet, have a coffee, ask some questions, and talk about your business goals.  We’re not right for everyone… but we could just be exactly what you need.Duane Christensen  (Account Executive / Ad Writer / Marketing Helper)Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls605-940-7984duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I’m Seeing This Mistake – A Lot!

Digital Advertising

“You HAVE to advertise on the Internet.”

We spend a lot of time online.  We also ignore the crap out of 99.9% of ads we see on the internet.  Tell me I’m wrong.

I’m assuming you might be told that “You have to TARGET TARGET TARGET the right person.  You need to figure out who your best customers are and then target those same demographics and behaviors with a laser-scoped rifle.”

I’m talking about “Display Advertising” online.  The images with text on them.  How many do you ignore in a day?  How many do you EVER click on?

How about Pay Per Click advertising?  Like Google Adwords? (which is changing to just “Google Ads” I guess).  I actually think there is some value with Google PPC ads for the right type of product or service.  It’s easy to test, too, without spending a fortune.  Then, when you find something that works, you can increase your budget a bit or your territory.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they bomb. But it’s all about the product or service you’re advertising and the wording you use in the ad.  If you have questions about using Google Ads… give me a shout and we can discuss.

Ok, the same is probably true for display advertising… but there are local businesses spending thousands upon thousands each month on display advertising.  Personally, I bet their ROI doesn’t even pay for the ads.  Sure, they see that they’re getting ad impressions or clicks… but most aren’t measuring things correctly to know if it’s actually bringing them new business. Because that’s what matters, right?

Bottom line… you’re spending too much on display advertising.

Guess what?  I actually SELL display advertising once in a while.  Townsquare Media is really good at it.  Like REALLY good.  So, if I find the right client with the right product / service / offer… then I might recommend it… because I know that Townsquare will give them more bang for their buck than any other digital ad agency that I know about.

BUT BUT BUT… if I have the choice of adding $1500 to $2500 per month onto either 1) more radio stations or 2) display ads………………….. I’m picking the extra radio station(s) every time.  EVERY. TIME.

WHY, you say?  Because given the choice of playing an engaging and entertaining radio commercial to 100,000 people per week versus flashing an internet display ad to 100,000 people, which one do you think has more impact?  Which one do you think is more memorable?  And if you’re not thinking about the same kind of radio ads that I’m thinking about, then click HERE to play a few samples.

The HUGE NET you cast with a great radio marketing campaign will target 3 groups of people: 

  1. The teeny-tiny group that needs your product or service now (which is what most online, print, and “sale” advertising ONLY targets)
  2. The considerably bigger group who doesn’t need you now, but will need your product or service within 1 to 12 months. And you can start telling them why you frickin’ rock, and how you’ll be the best damn choice for them when they DO need you (while most of your competitors are only advertising to the teeny-tiny group of low-hanging fruit).
  3. The much much bigger group of people who have no intention or inkling of using your product or service within the next year or two or three.  Your engaging and entertaining radio campaign will start forming a relationship with these people. They’ll feel like they know you before they even meet you! They’ll come to TRUST you before they even meet you (if the ads are done right)!  And what happens then? When they actually NEED the product or service you sell… who do you think they THINK OF FIRST?  Yup.  You.

Recent Radio Advertising Client Story

I have a radio client that’s been on the radio for 1 year and about 4 months with me.  The phase of RESULTS (or ROI) he’s knee-deep into right now from his Results Radio campaign… is impressive.  He went from doing NO RADIO, to radio ads on 2 big radio stations, 4 weeks each month… and his business is kind of exploding.  He went from ONE front desk / administrative professionals to THREE in this short time.  And I don’t know how many other service employees he has hired.  ANYWAY… here’s what happened…

He recently asked me to put his radio ads on hold… so they can CATCH UP!

He is also in a category that nobody had ever tried to lay claim as “the leader” in Sioux Falls.  Meaning, the competitors in his category didn’t advertise much…. or very effectively anyway.  That makes it prime pickins’ for snagging a huge share of market.  But that only comes when you snag a huge share of the minds within that market.  If you’re one of those categories where nobody is really “running away with it”… and you’d like to make your mark… give me a holler!

If you’re wondering who the client or the category is, just shoot me an email, and I will happily share some of the details of the campaign, and why I feel it’s working so well.

I did tell him, “I’ll pull the ads for a bit, but I don’t think you’ll slow down much because you’ve ‘duct-taped’ your brand onto the brains of a big chunk of the public.”

Oh, and guess what.  He doesn’t do digital advertising. Or much social media at all. Or pay per click. Just a little bit of TV on ESPN I believe.  And he’s killing it – with his long-term, 4 weeks per month, radio advertising.  And that makes me really happy.  : )

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
605-940-7984
duane.christensen@results-radio.com

How Much Do You Advertise?

How much do you advertise?  How much SHOULD you advertise?

How do you know if you’re investing too much or too little into some kind of advertising and marketing? Is there an easy formula?

Here’s the “simple” way to determine a general sense of “how much” you need to do….

How much COMPETITION do you have?  A little?  Then, you don’t have to advertise as much.  A lot?  Good luck.  You better have something to say that differentiates you from the competition or give people a reason to choose you instead of all the other businesses that seem exactly like you.

How much do you want to grow and how fast?  If it’s a lot… in a short period of time, then you better pony up some cash.

How complicated is your product or service?  Does “your target” easily understand what you’re offering?  Or are you going to have to really SELL them on it?  The more complicated the message (your advertising), then you’ll need a more complicated ad.  You’ll need a longer ad usually.  You’ll need to compare what you do to something else that is more easily understandable.  Compare what you do to something that almost everyone “gets”.  Or give us a scenario of why and when someone might need what you offer.  You could use a sentence in your advertising like, “It’s like _______, only faster.”   OR “Do you know how when you _______ and _______ and you’re thinking OMG I’m going to pull my hair out…well, we fix that.  We make that go away forever.”  (get my point?)

If you have a niche that nobody else is promoting, but is desirable to your target, then you don’t have to have a very complicated message.  Just get attention with a good headline and be crystal clear with your message.  Don’t overload your ad with things you don’t need.  Don’t force any humor into your ad if you don’t need to. BUT… a little humor in ads helps them get absorbed and listened to better. You just can’t force the humor if it doesn’t fit naturally.

Hey… if you don’t have much competition… congratulations!  Then, all you have to do is let enough people know that you’re open for business and then serve those customers extremely well so they tell others and so they come back again and again.

BUT… I’m thinking you might have more competition than you think you do.  It’s just not “traditional” competition or someone that’s in your precise type of business.  For example, if there are no INDOOR go-cart tracks in your market, you may think you’ll have no competition if you open one.  (Great idea!  Especially, in a place where winters get stupidly cold.)  But during the summer, you’ll have some other competition – a few other tracks.  You’ll get all of the winter entertainment seekers though, right?  Not so fast.  That word “entertainment” is the key to focus on here…

We only have so much money we can spend on “entertainment”.  You might think it’s going to be a perfect weekend for everyone to come out and hand over their cash… but that weekend might just be the opening of the latest Marvel movie, stupid humor comedy, or the next Star Wars film.  You’re competing with every other “entertainment” type of business, not just go-cart tracks.  Movie theaters, trampoline places, sprint car tracks, local sporting events, ski bumps, etc.

And if you’re a restaurant that serves the same kind and caliber of food as 35 other restaurants in a 3-mile radius, good luck.  Then, you for SURE need to keep advertising consistently.  Part of advertising for restaurants is to remind us that you’re there and that you’re an option.  Because we’re getting bombarded with offers and coupons and half-price deals every day.  By the way… why not just advertise why you’re good and how you’re good and tell us a good story along the way so we remember you?  Like on the radio.  Then, you won’t have to give away all your profits with coupons.  Then, when you attract the new customers, you better be able to back up what you’re saying in your ads.

Are you a MATTRESS STORE?  Oh Mama.  Did you know that JCPenney sells mattresses?  And Menard’s? Dude.  If you’re a “middle man” mattress store or a furniture store that sells mattresses… you’re competing on price and you probably offer every crappy mattress out there. And maybe a couple decent ones, but you’re overcharging everyone grossly. Good luck.

I think the only chance you have is if you’re a mattress company that builds your own. Someone who has a proprietary “mattress formula”… and you actually care about your customers. You have to care that you’re producing a good product… and you have to NOT mark it up 1000%.  THEN, you’ll have a shot in this crazy Sioux Falls mattress market.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH COMPETITION… Your mattress advertising will have to push the limits.  Both your Ad Budget and your Ad Content has to push their limits. You’ll have to be consistent with your radio ad schedule and your ads will have to cut through the mattress advertising clutter and “puffery”.  They’ll have to demand attention.  But you’ll have to make a lot of friends with your ads.  Cause people to fall in love with your fresh approach to helping people sleep better.

Sorry for the long mattress scenario. But it’s the same if you’re in any other category with a lot of competition. Your advertising needs to be consistent and have some kind of element within it that will help people REMEMBER you. And that doesn’t happen by just inserting “the facts” about your business into your ads.

Assess your complete market situation before you decide to pump any money into something.  You could be spending more than you need to… or not nearly enough to make an impact.

Keep the “fat” out of your ads!  Don’t fill me full of clichés and fluff and B.S.  Give me some substance.  Entertain me a little.  Keep me listening.  Wow me.  Because I have plenty of other crap to do.  It won’t take much for me to ignore every ounce of your wimpy and gutless advertising.  There’s an imaginary line you shouldn’t cross with how “creative” or “weird” or “out there” your ads are.  But the best performing ads will go right up to that line and flirt with it for a bit.

The more “beefy” and full of flavor your ads are… means THEY WORK BETTER.  Which means you get more big bang for you buck than the average, crappy ad.

For a general “ballpark” local advertising budget, take a percentage of your revenues (or your next year’s revenue goal if you’re looking to grow even more), like 5 to 12% depending on your competition and your profit margins… and stick to it.  Adjust it annually based on how things are going overall.  Of course there are many factors to consider – let me know if you want to talk “budget” or “cost of exposure” in more detail.  Because maybe you’re a retail store that would benefit a lot more by moving to a higher-visibility area instead of putting the extra money into advertising.  Maybe you wouldn’t.

How much should you advertise?  Not too much.  Not too little.   Let’s find your sweet spot.  We can do that by assessing your competition, their advertising, their ad message, and their ad frequency… and then compare that to yours.

Ok, maybe there’s not anything “simple” to figuring out how much to advertise.  But guess what?  There is NO EASY BAKE FORMULA that lets you off the hook of actually learning a little bit about this (or finding the right person to HELP you think it through).  You WISH there was a formula!  You and every other business owner.  Sorry Charlie.  Hey… you can always talk to me.  I’m the guy who has your best interest at heart and who knows how to make advertising work.  And I’ll let you know what kinds of things to avoid overpaying for… or avoid completely.

Do you have a specific marketing question you’d like some clarification on? Just let me know. 🙂

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
duane.christensen@results-radio.com
605-940-7984

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.

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

Are Your Radio Ads “Skippable”?

When someone hears your radio ad… what do you think they do? Are they interested, entertained, or intrigued? Or are they annoyed, bored, or oblivious? There’s a great novelist and screenwriter, named Elmore Leonard, who has a quote that sums up how your radio ads need to be written. He said, “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”

Radio Advertising for Sioux Falls

In 1972, Elmore read The Friends of Eddie Coyle by the late George V. Higgins. It inspired him to “loosen up” and not be as rigid, to get into scenes quicker; Fifty-Two Pickup, (1974) Swag, (1976) and Unknown Man No. 89 (1977) remain the essential trilogy of the Elmore Leonard sound, the setting no longer the old west, but urban Detroit.
It’s never a bad idea to “loosen up” with your radio ads.

Dude. That’s all you have to do.

The WORDS are THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ADVERTISING EFFORTS.

But unfortunately, most advertising you see or hear includes many “skippable” words within them. Don’t let it be yours.

How do you keep an ad from being skipped over? You have to put in the work up front. You have to do the research. You need to sit and think (yes, thinking is a lost art form – but if you get good at it, you can write your own paycheck). You have to get into the head of the people who want or need your product or service. What’s going through their mind? What do they care about? (Hint: It’s usually not how long you’ve been in business)

  • People want solutions to their problems
  • They want to buy from someone they can trust
  • They like to be entertained

And please, SKIP THE BORING AND IRRELEVANT STUFF.

So, remember those things when you’re putting your next radio ad together. If you think that radio ads are just the name of the business, a laundry list of what that business does, and the phone number 5 times, you’re going to be really upset with the lack of results you get.

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”   -Elmore Leonard

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com