The Trust Ladder

The Trust Ladder

Let’s talk a bit today about the power of a local radio campaign. One that brands a local business (makes people think of you first in your category… and they know exactly what you’re about and what you stand for). It essentially can make a business or a business owner somewhat famous in his or her community. Someone like you. And isn’t that what you really want for your business? …for it to become famously popular with a large group of people?

A radio ad campaign is made up of individual ads. Ads that are changed every so often. About once a month for most of my radio customers. Most have an ad schedule of 3 or 4 weeks of ads each and every month. Sometimes every week.

The success of a radio advertising campaign comes from the series of ads. Not just that ONE ad that I’m trying to write. So, I guess there’s technically not a perfect ad. There’s just a series of really good ads aired over time that makes a much bigger overall impact than the sum benefit of each ad tracked individually (if you think you can accurately do that).

There’s an ad for you that might seem perfect if you know which ad finally turns somebody from a non-customer into a customer. But that ad won’t be the same one that finally tipped someone else off the fence. We all react differently to ads.

And just because one particular ad makes a few people come and buy something from you… doesn’t mean that the 6 different ads they heard in the 6 months prior, didn’t move them closer and closer to buying from you. A good radio ad campaign will constantly be moving people closer to doing business with you. Some people are closer to needing what you sell than others. Your ad campaign is constantly working for you. Constantly moving people up the TRUST LADDER.

When you’re trying to convince someone to buy from YOU instead of someone else, they need to be at an unconscious trust level with you before they’ll buy. It’s a process. And it doesn’t happen overnight… or with ONE ad.

Your radio advertising campaign (that says something people actually want to listen to) moves people of all different types up the TRUST LADDER constantly. Some get to that coveted top few rungs of trust sooner than others.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

On the Front Steps #2

Straight shootin’… from the front steps.

Advertising and Marketing in Sioux Falls. “On the Front Steps #2”

When you call an advertising company, do you say, “I’d like to talk to someone about advertising.” ? Then you call a few more places. Then, you have a bunch of meetings set up and “pitches” to hear within the next few weeks.

Those pitches might all sound different in the way that they recommend different “ad packages” or what they think is the best station or advertising vehicle (platform) for you to use.

And if you think about it… most of those “pitches” also sound very similar. They all like to tell you how great they are, how many people they reach, or how their demographics match your target demographics perfectly.

I have my own advertising “pitch” to give today. But it’s going to sound very different from the others they’ve heard from.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

For all your blankity blank needs…

Some business owners know that they need to say things in their ads that hold more “substance”. They know that they need to get people’s attention…and say something in their advertising that might “move the needle”. Say something in their ads that people actually care about.

And then there are others that could really improve their advertising immediately by eliminating the clichés and fluffiness in their ads.

For example…

“For all your ________ needs.”

“Turn your dreams into reality.”

“Second to none.”

“Knowledgeable staff”

“For all your ________ needs.”

Yes, that one was listed twice. I not only hear that way too often on the radio…but see it even MORE in print or on the side of service vans.

Increase your ad effectiveness immediately by REPLACING those clichés with something that will help people remember you. They will NOT remember “for all your ________ needs.”

Here’s a super quick video about it. Because you love video, right? Especially when it’s short and to the point. 🙂 Click here.  For All Your ____ Needs VIDEO

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising BLOG

Results Radio Cumulus Media

Mind Currency and Radio Advertising

Mind Currency, Sioux Falls Radio Advertising, radio adsWhen you open a checking account, your balance is at $0. Requesting to withdraw $1000 when you have a balance of $0 will get you a really funny look from the bank teller. You would LOVE to be able to withdraw some cash, but that’s not the way it works. You must first make a deposit. You must grow your balance.

Radio advertising works the same way. You’d love to start “withdrawing” new customers the same day you start running your ads. But that’s a tough road because you have no “mind currency” built up yet.

The best radio advertising talks to the heart of the listeners. Your ads should reach out to ALL the listeners. Most importantly, to those that don’t need you right now. Radio works best when you talk to those that don’t need you now – the ones that may need your product or service months from now.

When your ads give listeners a good feeling about your company and when trust grows…then you are building “mind currency”. Four, five, or six months into your radio campaign, when a listener is in the market for what you offer, who will they be most apt to buy from? – the business that has NOT gained their trust, spoke to their heart, and connected with them…or the business that HAS?

Win the listener’s heart and the mind will follow. Win the mind…and the wallet will follow. Your radio advertising should constantly build “mind currency”. Or as some would call it – brand equity within a prospect’s mind. Your radio ads are like bank deposits. In time, and with a good message and strategy, you’ll be able to cash in some of that mind currency. The longer your campaign airs and the more you connect with listeners, the more you’ll be the business they buy from and refer others to.

Do you ask a complete stranger off the street to help you move? To help you carry heavy furniture and appliances up and down steps for six hours? No way! Only a good friend who appreciates the relationship you both have built over the years will do that for you.

Build relationships with your radio ads! Earn trust. PROVE you are a friend to each radio listener…with only their best interest in mind. Then, and only then, can you build “mind currency”. Then, you’ll be able to ask for a “withdrawal” when someone needs your product or service. It’s how you gain market share. It’s how more and more people will come to do business with YOU…instead of your competition.

THAT is what radio can do best.

THAT is what you want – a consistent flow of new customers that already have begun to trust YOU over all others. Before they’ve even walked in your door, picked up the phone, or visited your website.

The CHEAPEST, cliché, safe, boring, and copycat radio ads will not do it. Hire the right radio company and radio representative (like yours truly!) who can lead you down the right path. They are writers, researchers, driven to make it work, and they ask a lot of questions. And if you have information about what your customers really want and care about…they love it if you share that with them.  🙂 Have a great day!

Here are two radio ads I’ve done recently. And they are each just one building block among many in their respective radio ad campaigns. And yes, they are building “mind currency”. Listen below…


For more help with local advertising performance, and advice concerning what you should actually SAY in your advertising to make it work better, consider my book, “Take a Bigger Slice”.

Duane Christensen – Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’ll help you discover the power of the spoken word… and the power of radio. Thanks for finding me!

The Best Radio Advertising Headline

The best advertising headline would be if you could peek into your prospect’s brain…and see what they were thinking about…at that precise moment.

That sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. What if someone was thinking, “I really need to mow the lawn, but I’ll do it tomorrow”. Then, your headline would be, “You know you need to mow the lawn, but it can probably wait until tomorrow…” You just got the full attention of that one person. They’d listen to whatever you had to tell them. At least for a few seconds anyway.

But do you need to have a crystal ball or be a mind reader to write a good headline? No. You just need to know your customers. You need to communicate with them. Ask them what their fears are. Ask them what they love. Ask them what they do on the weekends. When you KNOW your customers…only then can you write an advertising headline to attract people just like them.

Do you need a formula to write a headline? No way. Just write from the heart. From your customer’s heart. The best radio advertising headline commands attention. Just make sure your headline…is NOT about you. It needs to be ALL about the person you’re trying to attract.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio – Townsquare Media Sioux Falls

For the Kindle edition of my book (and to learn more about great things to put into your ads) – click here Take A Bigger Slice

Ask nicely…and say Please

My wife Tara and I have taught my daughter that when she asks nicely for something and says Please, she’ll be much more likely to get what she wants.

Your advertising works the same way. When we figure out what to SAY in your ads, and radio listeners respond favorably to them, you get what YOU want – new customers and increased sales.

(A consistent radio campaign even helps remind your current customers to come see you more often AND it reminds them to refer others to you. Cool side effect of an ad campaign, eh? You don’t get that with short-term advertising and “Sale of the Century” advertising.)

The first question most people have though is “What are your ad rates?” Or…”How much is this going to cost?” Here’s the reality: Ads that don’t work (no matter how cheap) ARE expensive. When you get little to zero return on your cheap ad investment, you’re still losing money on that great deal. You’re still losing money on that “ad package” that was too good to pass up. You probably said, “What the heck, let’s try it.” That’s why you eventually get frustrated with all local advertising (you’re not doing it right – please allow me help you with that).

So…ads that bring you a consistent flow of new customers are not expensive. It’s like investing in stocks that can’t fail. But those ads that bring in the customers might actually cost more than the ones being pitched to you by sales reps that don’t know how to make advertising work. If your monthly sales were 20% more than the same month the previous year, and you’re advertising on the radio, and saying great things to the listeners, you’re still going to say “Advertising is too expensive” ????

Of course, you have to “run the numbers” and make sure that you can afford the right amount of ads on the particular radio station you’re interested in. If you can’t, look at a different radio station where the rate per spot is less. Because you need to have enough ads airing each week to make an impact. One here and one there isn’t going to cut it. But it’s OK if you start on a radio station with a smaller audience. As you grow because you caused some of that audience to do business with you…then you add another station – another audience. And so on…and so on.

Do you think the big advertisers started out with ads on all 8 of our radio stations? No. They started with one or two. And when their ads started working…sales grew. The next 6 months to a year, they saw enough increase to add another station. It’s OK if you start smaller. Stop trying to reach EVERYONE. Start smaller with the budget you have now. Be comfortable with that monthly investment. As you grow, so does your budget.

The thing that I never understand is when a business sees success from their radio campaign, and they say they’re going to try some TV now. What? You’ve just figured out what works, but now you’re trying TV? I think it’s because so many business owners think that if you’re on TV, then you’re “big time”. But that’s not how it works. All you should be trying to do is convince more people to do business with YOU instead of someone else.

People are people. It doesn’t matter where you advertise to them. Radio just happens to be the most affordable way to effectively do that for most local businesses. But only if we SAY the right things! Remember? Like when my daughter asks nicely…and says please – she gets a much better response from Mom and Dad.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website: (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 in the world is a Snug?

McNally's Irish Pub - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

McNally’s Irish Pub – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I just received a letter in the mail, informing me that one of the radio ads I did for a client… won FIRST Place in the South Dakota Broadcasters Association’s commercial awards. Cool!

But…they should also be asking if the ad helped attract new customers to the business. And did it move people closer to doing business with the advertiser? I know of many radio ads that are NOT smooth and polished, yet they produce outstanding results. And I hear a lot of smooth, polished ads that I know won’t give the advertiser any return on their investment worth writing home about.

In the McNally’s ad that won, we talked about “snugs”. You’re probably wondering, “What the heck is a snug?” The ad has Nicki (one of the owners), telling a story about how snugs came about…and that they have snugs at McNally’s. The ad makes people REALLY want to check out a snug. The biggest effect the ad has is that it makes people want to visit McNally’s that have never been there before.

In the McNally’s ads, we don’t say things like “great customer service”, “good food”, “friendly staff”, or “fun atmosphere”. We like to paint a picture for the radio listener. One of my other favorites of theirs is the one titled, “We Don’t Headbang.” Advertising impact comes from saying things in your ads that people don’t expect to hear. That’s what I try to do for all of my advertising clients. I cherish all of them, and nothing makes me happier than helping them grow.If you want to experience a snug…go check out McNally’s Irish Pub. I’ve used a snug many times. It’s just one more thing that makes McNally’s a great experience for “drink, food, and friendship”.Have a great day!

Have a McGreat day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website: (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.

Budget For Advertising

If you don’t have an ad budget, you need to set one. Usually, anywhere between 3% and 12% of revenues. It depends on whether you’re a service biz or a retail biz, profit margin, location, and how aggressive you want to be (competitive landscape, speed of desired growth, etc.).

If you’re a retail business, then your “visibility” plays into it. When you’re in a high traffic area, your rent is most likely higher, but so is your exposure. So, you don’t need to advertise as much. If your location is low traffic (cheaper rent), you need to increase your exposure (increase ad budget). Your profit margins also play into your ad budget, obviously. You’re going to be able to spend more on attracting purchasers of your product when you’ve got a 50% markup…versus 15%. Service businesses generally budget between 7% and 15%.

You need to advertise because you always have a competitor gunning for more market share. And you may THINK people know about you…but the reality can be quite different. And people can “know” about you…but often FORGET about you when the time comes for them to need what you have to offer.

Once you SET your ad budget, you might feel the need to distribute your ad dollars among many different ad mediums. Stop! When you do that, you end up “sprinkling” a few people here and there. To make advertising work, you need to “soak” your audience. Why? Because everyone is busy. And when you spread ads thinly across multiple ad mediums (radio, print, TV, Cable, magazines, billboards, etc.), they don’t get heard or seen enough times to make a difference. Start with ONE ad medium. And dominate it. You don’t have to try to reach everyone. If you want multiple ad mediums to work well together, the way Budweiser and Apple do it, you better have a pretty big ad budget.

If all you have the budget for, is a tiny cable TV program, that has about 1500 viewers per week…that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. You have to start getting into the minds of an audience repeatedly. And most importantly, when you create an ad message and campaign that gets attention and hits your prospects’ hot buttons (my specialty-wink wink), you start to bring in new customers. As you grow, then you can increase your ad budget and increase the audience.

If you have that small of an ad budget though, I’d recommend putting your efforts into making something stand out about your business. Get some word of mouth going about how you’re turning your industry upside down. Or take the time to make every precious customer you have…love you. Not like you. Love you. OR BETTER YET – instead of spending $200 a month on a small cable TV audience, you’d have better luck if you gave 20-dollar bills to 10 random people a month and say, “Hi, I’m ____ with _________. You should give us a try when you need a _________!”  And then walk away saying, “Have a nice day!” (Seriously, it would work better than the majority of sad advertising I see today!)

A good place to start with an ad budget…is on the RADIO. Radio allows you to communicate your ad message to an audience many times during a week at a much lower cost than TV or newspaper. Of course, you might think I’m biased because I work for Results Radio. But I decided a long time ago that my passion is helping small to medium-sized businesses GROW – no matter where I’m working. I’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks to pretty much every advertising medium. Radio will always be my first recommendation to local businesses because of the power of sound (our memories prefer sound over sight only)…and the overall VALUE of it (you can air more ads, and I don’t charge you a nickel to make a new one).

There are lots of Radio commercial scheduling options. A good ad rep won’t bombard you with industry jargon and confuse the heck out of you.

You might get shown a $4500 per month ad schedule and think that it wouldn’t be too hard to pay for that with an extra few sales here and there. But you might also choke on your coffee if you saw a proposal of that amount. I’m not a fan of making up a schedule out of thin air with no budget to work with. The thing you need to know…is your AD BUDGET, remember? And not to “sprinkle” yourself out among multiple advertising mediums when you don’t have a lot of budget.

If you set the proper budget, have a great message to communicate to the public, and find a radio station or two to start out with…good things happen. New customers start finding you. New customers appear when you didn’t expect new customers to appear.

MY GOAL…is for my radio clients to grow and thrive and be as successful as they want to be. When that happens, I grow and thrive as well. See? Win-win.

Have a great week! Thank you for reading…and spreading the word about this cool radio guy you know.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website: (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.

Five Results To Expect From Great Radio Ads…That You Didn’t Expect

Which ads are the ones that really work great?

Which ads are the ones that bring in the cash?

Here are 5 results you can expect (that you didn’t expect) from great ads…

  1. They offend a few people.
  2. They make people go, “Did he just say that?”
  3. They snap people out of their trance.
  4. They cause people to re-think what they thought was true.
  5. They challenge tradition.

Words can fire people up. Words can make people think differently. So, let’s use words and combinations of words in your advertising that make people stop and take notice of you. It’s better than them NOT noticing you, right? Because that’s what most advertising is. It goes unnoticed. Or if by chance it IS noticed…it’s forgettable.

Bad advertising = Blah, boring, and safe.

Good advertising = NOT blah, not boring, and not 100% safe.

Great advertising = Connecting with the people you’re looking for in a way that makes them feel awesome about your company.

Every ad medium has ads that are good, bad, and totally idiotic. Radio, TV, Billboards, Yellow Pages, Internet, etc. It’s not the ad medium that’s at fault. It’s the person that’s crafting the ad messages. Of course, I like radio because I get to hear from my happy clients consistently about the positive effects it has on their business.  And when radio is done right, it can do things for your business more efficiently and effectively than anything else I’ve seen.

Be honest with yourself. If your advertising is BAD (blah, boring, and safe), then it’s like putting hundred-dollar bills through the shredder. Good advertising has very little to do with the “production” of it. But everything to do with what you’re saying to the people you’re trying to talk to.

Have a GROOVY day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls


My work website: (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, marketing in general, 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.

I watch more TV with my DVR

Yes…I watch more TV with my DVR.

DVRs are great for someone like me.  Probably for you too.  We’re busy, right?  When I’m not working, I’m busy with family, camping, yard work, family, movies, playing with my daughter, honey-do lists, and family.  So, when I get an hour or so each night to unwind, I can play one of my favorite TV shows whenever I want.  And my DVR allows me to fast-forward the commercials.

Before DVR, I would have to watch my favorite shows when they were scheduled to air.  But I’m busy…so that didn’t happen very often.  Yes, DVR does help me watch more TV programs – but NOT more commercials.

How many other people are the same?  How would a business owner effectively reach a TV viewer with a TV commercial?

I’m 37 years old, I don’t watch the news, I don’t read the newspaper very consistently, and I’m on the go quite a bit.  I don’t see many TV commercials or newspaper ads.  How do you, as a business owner, plan to advertise to me?

Two ad mediums come to mind: Direct Mail and Radio.

The average radio listener logs in about 23 hours of radio per week.  It’s a heck of a lot more affordable to reach that person with radio than with TV or newspaper.  AND you reach them more times, consistently.  Which is KEY.

What can you get with $1000 in a week on TV?  Not much.  Especially, after you’ve paid for the production of the commercial.  Newspaper?  1 or 2 ads maybe.  If that.

Direct mail could be a good combination with radio, if it’s done right.  You can’t just put your name, phone number, and a pretty picture on a postcard, and pray for your phone to ring.  So, how would you get my attention with a direct mail piece?

Make the headline the most noticeable part of it.  And make sure your headline is solving a problem I have.  Solve the problem of your prospect.  Your headline can also be a “teaser” with the notion that you can solve a problem.  It should give HOPE and open the door of POSSIBILITY to solving a problem or making your prospect’s life better.

If you’re looking for advertising that works well…ask an advertising rep for some references.  Talk to 5 or 10 business owners that use the ad medium you’re thinking about trying.  Ask them if it’s working.  Most advertising reps probably won’t get back to you because they won’t be able to find enough happy clients for you to talk to.

If you run a business in the Sioux Falls area…call me.  I can help you take you from where you are…to where you want to be.  Or at least discuss a game plan or strategy.  And I’ve got plenty of references for you.

Thanks!  Have a prosperous 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.