Can a weather sponsorship on the radio work?

Image courtesy of "digitalart" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “digitalart” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have customers who advertise in many different ways. Most do 60-second or 30-second radio ads. And the rest are weather sponsors. So, what does that mean? Well, a weather sponsor’s ads start out like this, “This (station) weather break is brought to you by (business name)…” Then, there’s 12 more seconds of whatever we want to say to the public. I never propose a weather sponsor if it’s not a good fit. Or if it doesn’t have a chance to work.

If you’ve thought about doing radio, but you didn’t think you had the budget…being a weather sponsor may be an option for you. But it’s not for everyone.

A weather sponsorship can work for people who just need to start somewhere. Yes, you’re looking for the magic bullet to propel your business into stardom. But there isn’t one. You must be smart and patient. You’ll most likely be overpromised and underdelivered to by a lot of advertising companies. And you probably have the notion that you have to advertise everywhere…but that’s a recipe for failure. Trying to “reach” everyone is not a good strategy. You’ll fail. You’ll spend a lot of money and get little to nothing in return. You need to reach an audience over and over. You’re trying to convince people to buy from YOU instead of somewhere else. And you won’t do much convincing with only one or two ads sprinkled around here and there. You need to “douse” your audience. And starting on one or two radio stations with a weather sponsorship will “reach” a lot of people – enough people to be able to make a significant impact on the number of new customers you see.

I would not recommend a weather sponsorship to a car dealer – too many competitors advertising heavily. I wouldn’t recommend it to a furniture store – same reason. But if you’ve got a business that’s easily understandable, you’re a specialist, you don’t have tons of competitors advertising heavily, or you don’t have to convey complex ideas to the public, then a weather sponsorship could possibly be a great option for you.

A good weather sponsorship message has to stand out though. I’ve heard way too many that just list the business name, throw in some “for all your _____ needs” clichés, a phone number, and that’s it. THAT kind of weather ad will not work. Just like a good 30 or 60-second ad, we have to use words and phrases that get people’s attention and can help people remember you when they need you.

Is it right for you? Can we make it work? I’m not sure yet. I need to ask you some questions first. Just because you get a lot more ads for a smaller investment, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. But maybe it’s the best possible use of your ad budget right now. Give me a call and let’s talk about it.

Heck, I’ve got some customers who ONLY do weather sponsorships. And when they grow…and their budget grows…they just add another radio station. It’s the perfect advertising solution for just the right business. Let’s see if you’re one of them.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Results Radio team member since 1998.

Ad writing / Ad strategies / Radio Sales / Digital Advertising options also

I’m a radio rep for Results Radio Townsquare Media. I write this blog on behalf of myself. Bottom line? I truly enjoy helping businesses get from their Point A to their Point B in an efficient manner. And Radio Advertising is just one of those ways that has worked wonderfully well for my radio clients. We have 8 radio stations within our group to help you reach the people you’re looking for.

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

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Can you double your revenues in one year?

What’s it gonna take?

Do you want to reach a lofty goal? Do you want to double your revenues? Do you want to be the most well-known business in your market?

Then, you have to ask yourself a tough question. “What’s it gonna take?” The answers aren’t easy. They might be painful. You might even think impossible. But they’re not. Write down your answers to the question, “What’s it gonna take?” Start today. Make a list.

You’ll have a much better chance to do something magnificent, if you ask that question, and start writing down the answers. Some will be absurd, funny, scary, crazy, and seemingly impossible. But those are the answers that can move mountains. The ideas that stun or get laughed at initially, are the ones have the greatest potential to make something phenomenal happen.

Have a glorious day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

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

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Is Radio Advertising Like TV Advertising?

She asked, “Is radio advertising kind of like TV advertising?”…

I said, yeah, except you can afford to buy more ads on radio, radio production is free, and it’s pretty tough to reach a solid number of people consistently with TV.

She said, “Sure, radio production is free, but is radio production really that good?”  I said, it IS at Results Radio. And you have to make sure you change your ads up at least every 6 weeks. You see the same local TV spots airing for 12 months or more because average TV production costs too much for the small business.  BUT “production” isn’t the most important ingredient in successful advertising.

She said, “It’s how many people you reach, isn’t it?”  I said, No.  Because does it really matter if I reach a lot of people, when I have nothing good to say?  The most important ingredient is a combination of a couple things.  #1:  What you SAY in the ads… AND  #2:  The overall strategy (how will you position yourself in the minds of the public).

She asked, “So, you’re confident that you can help me grow my business?”

I am. If you have the inside of your business running pretty smoothly, I can help. All advertising does is speed up what was likely to happen anyway. If you’re already creating happy customers, good advertising will help you create more of them. If you’re creating unhappy customers, advertising will bring more people to you and your unhappy customers will increase along with bad word of mouth. So, make sure you’re churning out happy customers that will come back to you when they need you…then you can be confident that good advertising will get you to your goal.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

What Is Advertising’s Magic Bullet?

What’s the magic bullet when it comes to making your advertising work?

What’s the one thing that will really punch your business up to the next level and blow the doors off of every other marketing tactic you’ve ever attempted?

  • Is it 10,000 Facebook fans???
  • Is it 35 billboards scattered across the city???
  • Is it cheap prices???
  • Is it “reaching” 100,000 or 200,000 people with your message???
  • ?????????

In my experience with helping local businesses attract new customers…it’s all about your STORY.  It’s about putting emotion into the radio ads that people can relate with and really feel. When you let people know that your business is operated by real people with true passion and understanding…good things happen. You’ll get new customers when your integrity and “realness” shines through.

So, the magic bullet isn’t anything tangible. It’s not how many people you’re reaching. It’s all about portraying your passion for helping your customers.  It’s about getting people to say, “Hey, that’s me! That’s exactly how I feel.”

But there’s more to doing that than just saying, “Hi there. I love what I do and I can’t wait to help you today!” There are ways to get your advertising message across that cuts through people’s internal B.S. meter. Yes, we have a B.S. meter in our brains. The more intelligent a person is…the more sensitive their B.S. meter. And everyone’s meter has become more sensitive in general when it comes to advertising messages…because we’ve been lied to in advertising. We’ve seen and heard ads that are intentionally deceptive. Our guard is up. It takes a heck of a lot more today than it did 15 or 20 years ago to make your advertising really kick butt. And by MORE, I don’t mean more advertising budget, I mean a better advertising MESSAGE.

I’m still kicking and screaming in this crazy business because…

My mission is to help small business owners cut the fat from their advertising…and create something real that their future customers can hold on to.  I don’t want your advertising to only work on the people who need you now.  I want your advertising to affect people deeply enough to remember you 6 months from now.

If you’ve never experienced advertising that brings you new faces consistently…let’s get together and I’ll share with you how it’s done.

And if YOU have found the magic bullet in business, advertising/marketing, etc…please SHARE!  : )

Thanks for listening! 

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, 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.

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

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, 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.

Traditional Media for Small Business (brick and mortar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

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

605-940-7984

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

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.

The Best Golf Ball Whackers in the World Still Have Swing Coaches

The best golfers in the world still have swing coaches.

The best opera singers? Voice coaches.

And, when you start a small business, you’re advised to get coaches, too: retain a lawyer and an accountant immediately, right?

But your marketing? Your strategic planning? You can handle that on your own, right?

Maybe you can even get your spouse to help. He’s pretty creative.

I see it quite a bit. Either a Sioux Falls business owner handles the marketing, or even the spouse is often given that role. They think, “It can’t be that hard to get our name out there.” Sometimes the Office Manager is in charge of “marketing”. Or they hire a “marketing person” that has a bachelor’s in communication that was never taught how to make local advertising actually work for a small business.

If this seems at all familiar to you, then I may have touched a nerve.

So, what is a good marketing person? A “marketer” for a business is supposed to take a product or service to the public in the attempt to make a few bucks. But often, the marketing person knows nothing about advertising. They try this and try that. And in the end, they might figure out that some things work better than others, but they still haven’t found what REALLY works.

TELL ME if this sounds attractive to you or not –  What if people REMEMBERED you in their time of need for what you offer? What if you didn’t need to offer discounts and coupons in order to attract new customers?

Well…that’s what I do for local businesses in and around Sioux Falls. It’s not something that’s done overnight. It takes a lot of thought and research and “digging” to create the right message to attract new, profitable customers, consistently. But it doesn’t seem like work…because it’s what I love to do.

The next time you say to yourself, “I wish advertising worked better,” I’d like you to call me. There are businesses that are struggling all over the area. They’re trying anything and everything to attract one new customer who is probably the wrong customer that doesn’t give them any repeat business.

The radio group I work for has a different philosophy on advertising than what you’re used to hearing. And it’s a difference that tends to be working out pretty dang well for our small business clients.

A small business owner told me this the other day…

“I’m tired of being flat or down or barely squeaking out a profit year after year. You’re telling me that you can help me grow to where I want to be?”

I said, “Absolutely.”

IT MAY TAKE MORE than just advertising, but I’m here to help and advise and offer honest feedback in your quest for the growth and success you’re looking for.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

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

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.