That Big Group Of People You Forget About

I’m re-reading a couple of books. One of them is about direct-response advertising. The author is a vacuum cleaner store owner. Through years of trial and error, this business owner talks about how to grab the low-hanging fruit with special offers and magical headlines in print advertising. And also with Yellow Pages. It’s a book written about 15 years ago, I believe.

Image courtesy of "xedos4" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “xedos4” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Then, the next book of his, he’s talking about how the economy sinking, really hurt his business and he knew he had to figure out what to do online. He talks about the decline of newspaper and the Yellow Pages…and that the majority of people are searching online for local businesses. So, he discusses how he dominates page 1 of Google searches at no cost. And he doesn’t pay for SEO. (I can help you do this too)

But…he talks about ALL the people he was forgetting about when he was only advertising with print and the yellow pages. He had forgotten about that group of people not quite in buying mode…but in research mode. The ones that were looking for answers to questions…and also looking for a business they might be able to trust. That group of people is mucho grande! That group of people is at least 10x the size of people who are ready to buy at this instant. So, his philosophy is to provide content online for those in the gathering information stage. Win them over BEFORE they decide to buy. Awesome! He gets it. But what nobody has taught this business owner is that the right kind of radio advertising is one of the best ways to win this huge group over. (It all depends on what you SAY to these people in your advertising)

Many business owners have only been told that your advertising must bring you instantaneous results…and that every penny you spend must be trackable. That’s great, but first, most advertising professionals don’t even know how to give THAT to you. So, you end up wasting money month after month, chasing something you’ll probably never find – Results that pay you back – Return on investment greater than what you invested in the first place.

So, back to radio…and that huge group of people you’re forgetting about. Using radio to talk to people 1) before they need you, 2) while they’re in research mode, and 3) when they’re ready to buy, is what will make you go, “Oh, yeah, this is nice.”

But that’s the tricky part. I’m not saying it’s Radio that is the Magic Key here…it’s talking to people like you actually care about them. It’s sharing a message of helpfulness and getting people to trust you before they’ve even met you. RADIO just happens to be one of the best mediums to get that kind of message across. People are listening consistently to radio. At all times of the day!

So, when you’re wondering how to take your business to the next level, and go after that big group of people you’re forgetting about…give me a shout. I’m here to make this process as easy and stressless as possible.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

I write ads, prepare radio schedules, create strategies for your ads (so you can stand out from your competition), give online and other marketing advice, and will keep your advertising fresh and new. I hear a lot of ads that air for 6 months or more before they’re changed out. That’s way way too long…and it’s not doing you any good. You have a lot of things you can share with the public that will help you become a trusted resource to them. Then they BUY. Let’s do that!

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You Put Ketchup on Your Fish Sticks?

I was 7 years old. My sister and I were staying overnight at Aunt Jackie’s and Uncle Dave’s. But I need to give you a brief glimpse of who Dave is…before I get into the fish sticks.

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Salvatore Vuono” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dave had a sprint car photography biz back then. He had a darkroom in the basement. A dark darkroom. So, every once in a while I would tag alongside him while he developed his photos. Eventually, he taught me how to develop photos in complete darkness. The steps to take, the chemicals to use, the timing, the care, the precision…everything. I thought it was pretty cool. I respected Dave. He was fun. He let me try stuff, ya know?

Dave’s a Vietnam veteran. I think he saw too much. I’d love to ask him about it sometime…but I’m not sure if he’d be up for that.

Dave built cars, raced cars, fixed cars, and adored cars. He always teased my Mom saying he wanted me to drag race. Oh…I could only imagine. I never got into racing though. Mom always said something like, “Over my dead body.” Ha.

Dave was an Air Force recruiter for a while, too. He’d send me photos of awesome jets and bombers from Abilene, Texas, and cover every inch of the back of the photo with all the specs of those planes. I was in heaven. I’d memorize every detail and hang’em on my bedroom wall.

You probably understand by now that Dave did a lot of things. He wasn’t afraid to give something a whirl. To just “go with it”. It’s a quality that works for some, and for others it scares them to death. Some of him probably rubbed off on me…except I’ve really only been dreaming about things…not DOING them. Some day, right?

So, back to the overnight stay. Aunt Jackie made fish sticks. We each had some on our plates. Then, Dave grabs the fat, glass ketchup bottle, globs a pile on his plate and proceeds to dip his fish sticks in ketchup. Immediately, I said, “You put KETCHUP on your fish sticks?!?!?!?!” …with a scrunched up face. Dave said,

“Are these YOUR fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Am I telling you to put ketchup on your fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Then, maybe you shouldn’t worry about it.”

Wow.

I’m 38 years old. And I still remember that exact moment. But why? Was it a shocking event? Was it disastrous or monumental? No. I think there’s some deep, meaningful thing there that might have changed my life just a little bit. Even if it was just steering me a degree or two back towards “the road”…it meant something. Why else would that memory be burned in my brain?

I’m thinking that I was getting to the age where I might need a few extra attitude adjustments. Or “checks” on my mouth. Is THAT moment why I’m more open-minded today? Is it part of the reason I respected my elders growing up and still do today? Or why I don’t judge as harshly as others seem to?

I don’t put all of that “education” on Uncle Dave…my parents did a heck of a job raising a kid that knows the value of hard work, love, and discipline. I’m sure it’s a series of little events from the time we’re toddlers until the day we die…that makes us who we are. I’m glad Uncle Dave participated in a few of my “little moments”.

Whether it’s in your business, your advertising, or in your life…there are things worth worrying about…and there are things that you shouldn’t be throwing such a fuss about. You may be ready to take some leaps of faith, but your friends or family are holding you back. They say it’s too risky. They say you’re a fool. They say that your advertising is too “in your face”. Are you asking THEM to do the things you want to do? Nope.

I say…let’s go ahead and put ketchup on our fish sticks!

That memory floated to the surface a few days ago and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I suppose I was meant to share it then, eh?

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

Wouldn’t you rather be remembered… instead of a random option among your competition? I help businesses “say it better” in their advertising. Your advertising MESSAGE holds more power than any other element in the advertising “formula”. 

Is Buying Radio Advertising Like Buying A Car?

Flat tire of old car image courtesy of "Toa 55" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flat tire of old car image courtesy of “Toa 55” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you buy a car…you don’t ever have a question whether it will work or not. And if you have doubts, you can test drive it. But I still think most people take more time in buying a vehicle than buying radio advertising. And with still much of the radio advertising I hear…there’s no way those ads are working. But you still buy radio ads without a glimmer of hope? And this isn’t just RADIO advertising, it’s ALL local advertising. A lot of the local, small business advertising is pretty nasty.

If you needed a good vehicle to get you from point A to B…you wouldn’t buy one that didn’t have an engine in it, would you? Then, why buy advertising that doesn’t have an “engine”?

Have you purchased so much local advertising that hasn’t worked, you’ve completely given up hope of finding some that does? You don’t have to keep throwing money at the next shiny, new advertising or marketing gimmick, praying that something sticks. I know I’ve written this hundreds of times – it’s not WHERE you advertise, it’s what MESSAGE you’re spreading within your advertising.

Don’t spend another penny until you’ve nailed down what kinds of things you can say in your advertising that people actually care about and will pay attention to.

Think of how fast everything online is changing. Think of all the social media things you could be doing. Should you DO all of them? Nooooo!!!! Pick a couple, and do those WELL. Don’t move on to the next “big thing” just because it’s new. You never figured out how to do the last thing right, why switch tracks and start the process over again? I’ve seen it in radio advertising too. Someone switches radio stations all of the time because they believe THAT is what will bring results – a better audience. They’re all people. You just haven’t found anything worth a darn to say to all the people. (let’s figure that out)

There’s a formula in advertising that works. But if you don’t put the lion’s share of your effort into your advertising strategy and message, that formula dies.

Wouldn’t it be awful if buying a car was like buying advertising? You wouldn’t ever be sure if it could even drive off the lot, let alone get you home. I’ll make it easier on you. I’ll help you be confident in a plan before you’re ever asked to write a check. I don’t study how to sell something one time. I study how to make your advertising work – and keep working. And working. And working.

After you and I talk, I feel that you’ll take a big breath of relief. “Ahhhhh.” And then say, “Finally. I think we’re on to something.” (instead of having to look up to the heavens asking for your advertising to work this time).

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

 

You’ve Bought Radio Advertising Before? Oh No.

You’ve advertised on the radio before. So, you know what you want. Ok. But is “what you want”…the best thing for you?

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Salvatore Vuono” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sioux Falls has a ton of advertising options. You may have already “tried” a bunch of those options. You may have “tried” a bunch of different radio advertising schedules. You may even feel you’ve met nearly every advertising sales rep in the city! Wow, I hope not. That would make ME want to sell everything and move to the mountains!

Do you feel that advertising is a necessary evil? You say, “Well…let’s try another stint on the radio. Can’t hurt, right?” Then, you call up a radio station (maybe me) and ask about the rates.

Now, here’s me. I don’t know much about your business yet. And the number of radio advertising options are pretty high. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing (if you actually plan on making your radio advertising work). Rates don’t really mean much if you’re not buying into the right plan. Or the right IDEA.

My first thought is… “Do we know what to SAY in the radio ads yet?” No. We don’t. Do I know your competitive landscape? Do I know why your customers buy from you and not the other guy down the street? No.

Image courtesy of "Master isolated images" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Master isolated images” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Questions. I need to ask questions to offer the best solution. Not just give you a “package” that won’t work. I need to know more before I can recommend a plan for you. Would you like to draw a one-time crowd? Or would you like to become a household name in Sioux Falls? What would you like your advertising to accomplish? Why do you think you’re a big deal? Do your customers feel you’re a big deal? Would you like more of those happy customers? If I asked your customers about you…what would they tell me?

I love to work with Sioux Falls small business owners who want to make a mark. Those who want to serve their customers better than anyone else could, and those who have a goal and want to know how to reach that goal. I don’t really ever feel comfortable being an order taker. I almost always find a major flaw in someone else’s advertising plan. Those flaws could be any number of things that can sabotage a local marketing and advertising campaign. Such as the length of the ads, the competitive strategy, the message in the ads, the number of ads scheduled to air, etc.

If you’ve bought radio advertising before…I want you to forget what you’ve done before. Because if you were doing it right, you wouldn’t have stopped. You wouldn’t have called someone else. So, try your best to erase from your memory what some other advertising person has told you in the past. If you truly want to get it right this time and stop being unsure, skeptical, confused, or frustrated with your local advertising, then, we’re going to start from scratch. We’re going to have a bunch of conversations before I let you spend any money on advertising. We’ll get it right, first. We’ll have a plan. A plan that will carry the potential for good things to happen. Growth. Good word of mouth. Buzz. Increased profits.

When you’re ready, just call.

Thanks. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m kind of a big advertising nerd. And I’m confident in the power of radio when it’s done right. The spoken word is impressive when you choose words wisely. You can arrange them in a way that can be subtly persuasive, aggressively entertaining, or peacefully comforting. Let’s find the right words to use for your small business. I am a salesperson, ad writer, and marketing guy for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I started there in 1998 (while still a punk) answering phones and scheduling radio commercials on an old DOS program (green and black screen). Yikes. I’ve learned a heck of a lot since then.

I even published a small business advertising book in July of 2012. You can check it out here if you want >>> Take A Bigger Slice (on Amazon)

Ph: 605-940-7984

Email: duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Web: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

 

 

Small Business Advertising: Horsepower & Flavor

What if you decided to give $20 to the first 100 people who called a special phone number? No strings attached. You call…you get twenty bucks.

  • So, would an online ad work to advertise this cash giveaway? Absolutely.
  • Would newspaper work? Yup.
  • Would Radio work. You bet it would.
  • TV, Billboard, or Facebook ads? Dang right it would.

All advertising mediums give you access to an “audience”. You get access to PEOPLE. When you buy advertising space or spots, you are renting an audience. Some ad mediums just have bigger audiences than others. It’s part of the reason why one might cost more than the other.

Image courtesy of "M - pics" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “M – pics” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, doesn’t that help you realize that all advertising mediums can work? All you’re trying to do is reach people with a persuasive message.

Think of it this way…

The Porsche 911 Turbo – everything about it drips performance, class, and testosterone. But what if the legendary Porsche engine is replaced with something you would find in an old Yugo? Performance just went down the toilet. It’s the same with your advertisements. The MESSAGE IS THE ENGINE. The message is what drives your advertising success. Without a message that has “beefyness” to it…you might as well save your money.

But before you just pick an ad medium to get your message across, you need to understand that each have different ways to be most effectively used. Some allow you to use a lot of words. Others are for short, direct messages where the point you’re trying to make doesn’t need a lot of explaining. Radio and TV can tap into emotions and make a huge impact when used properly. Personally, I like Radio most of the time versus TV for small businesses. It’s easier to produce an ad. And cheaper. Plus, you can make people visualize whatever you want in a Radio ad.

The greatest branding gets us emotionally involved. Print and Internet advertising can make things happen pretty fast when you use a picture of a product, a punchy headline addressing a problem, a possible solution, and a sweet bonus offer at the end. They each have strengths and weaknesses and

Image courtesy of "lemonade" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “lemonade” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

have different rules to be followed regarding placement, the number of ads you buy, and the length of time you run those ads.

Just remember that the message is what drives advertising success. Give your message some FLAVOR! Are you going to serve up some high school cafeteria turkey loaf? Or would you rather give them a piece of Mom’s blueberry pie that causes them to sit back, shut their eyes, and roll them back into their head? If you want above average advertising results, you have to advertise with horsepower and flavor.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media (marketing rep)

http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

Patience and Diligence When Starting Your Radio Advertising

  • What should your radio ads sound like?
  • What kind of style?
  • Who should voice them?
  • Should you use humor or no humor?
  • Emotion or intellect?

These are all good questions. And they are questions that won’t get answered all at once. The more I talk to you, the more the answers will surface. Or sometimes smack me in the face. It’s amazing how many times I’m talking to a Sioux Falls business owner, and I’m asking questions left and right and listening, wondering where the “gold” for the radio ads will come from. And then… from out of left field, they’ll say something that dang near makes me fall out of my chair. They’ll say something that could possibly be the shiny nugget to make it all work. Almost as if it was sent down from the heavens (and they don’t even know they said anything important).

And then, another and another, and pretty soon I have 3 to 5 pages of scribbly notes with circles and underlines and capitals and exclamation points.

sioux falls advertising

Image courtesy of “digitalart” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It doesn’t always happen in the first meeting. Usually not. But this is what you need to expect when you’re calling someone for local advertising help. You should expect it…you just won’t usually get it. So, LOOK OUT… Most will sell you an ad package and then give a few notes to a production person back at their office. They’ll say, “Make an ad out of this. It starts tomorrow.” Can you see where your results may be non-existent from this method?

I won’t start a radio advertising campaign for you if I’m not completely confident it will “move the needle” for you. If it takes a month to get it right, that’s better than pulling the trigger prematurely and wasting your money, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re a local Sioux Falls area business person who would love to stop “shootin’ from the hip” with your ad budget…and finally start making more from what you’re investing…then we need to talk. Are you just a teensy weensy bit competitive? It really helps. It’s almost required. If you’d like to grow your sales, an intelligent and creative advertising campaign would most likely make you a much happier human being. I’d like to help make that happen.

How much can you grow? How fast? What will it take? All good questions that I’d love to help you answer. Radio advertising isn’t a one size fits all sort of thing. If you’re sold a package by someone else and then put on “auto-pilot” …don’t expect too much for “results”.

What do I do for my clients who are on the radio right now? What would I do for YOU once you’ve started with an exciting new radio plan? I always have my radar up for the next great ad idea that can move someone a lot closer to doing business with you. We change the ads up about once a month depending on how heavy your ads are scheduled. There’s a limit to the number of weeks an ad can run before it gets “played out”. So, we keep it fresh – it’s in your best interest.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

605-940-7984

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

What Are You Saying in Your Sioux Falls Radio Advertising?

I live, work, and play in Sioux Falls. Usually, I listen to the radio for the music, the sports talk, or the news talk. Mostly the music. But once in a while I scan all the radio stations I can tune in… and listen to the radio ads. Because I’m a geek, I know. But you gotta know what’s out there, right?

Radio Advertising What You Say

Image courtesy of “stockimages” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Anyway, I realized that there are a lot of businesses being under-served. They need help. They’re being sold “radio” instead of being offered a way to grow their business – a way for their advertising to actually work. Can you imagine if you KNEW that your radio advertising was working for you? Instead of just thinking of it as a necessary evil. Wouldn’t that be nice.

The way to make it work is to FIRST take what you “think” radio advertising should sound like… crumple that up into a ball… throw it on the ground… and grind that into oblivion. Then burn it. There is a lot of radio advertising out there where I can pretty much guarantee that it’s a big waste of money. All because you’re not saying the right things in your ads. You’re not saying anything worth listening too.

People aren’t listening to radio ads like I do. Remember, I’m the geek that purposefully listens intensely to advertising – nobody else does that. You need to say something that inspires, is creative, tells a story, shares new valuable information in an understandable way, is authentic, or makes people smile… or all of the above.

When you say something worthy in your radio advertising in and around Sioux Falls… you’ll be shocked at what it can do. I’d name off all of the things I hear in ads that is utter nonsense and completely snooze inducing, but the list is too long.

How would your best customer sell someone on your products, services, your employees, or your company as a whole? Start there. Or call me. I’d love to talk about your local advertising woes… and help you out.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

Need more small business advertising advice? You could try this: Small Business Advertising Kapow

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

http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

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

http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/