Radio Advertising Questions and Answers

I was emailed these questions about radio advertising the other day the other day…

  • Do you write the promotions?
  • Do you research the reach? Or, have suggestions on where we could push our product?
  • How many ads is good to have in rotation?
  • How many people can we reach?
  • What time of the day is best to run our ads?
  • Cost/per ad during the week?
  • How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends?

All great questions. And usually the answers to those questions are the core materials in any media rep’s presentation. Which is why their ad campaigns will probably fail. At Results Radio, our “presentations” are a bit different. We focus on figuring out how we’re going to make your advertising actually work.

So, let’s add a couple questions to that list above that are more important…

  1. How will we make it work? (what’s our strategy?)
  2. How will we measure success?

These are more important because the other questions above won’t matter, if we’re not going into this campaign with the expectations of making it work… and knowing that it’s working. Right?

Let’s answer those questions up top first though

Do you write the promotions? Yes we do. At Results Radio, that’s what we train on most heavily. The words that are written and then spoken that go into people’s ears are what makes or breaks an ad campaign. And that is why we spend so much time figuring out what to say in your ads. Because that’s the core of making your ads work for you.

Do you research the reach or have suggestions on where to push our product? I’ll have to clarify this question with the business, but I think they’re asking something about demographics. Yes, we suggest the stations that will work best based on the people you’re looking for. But you need to understand that particular stations don’t own an audience. Meaning, most people listen to an average of 2.5 stations. For example, if you’re looking for “car parts type of people”, aka motorheads or “truck people”… can you imagine the different types of radio stations they could be listening to? Sports, Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Top 40, 80s, 90s, Modern Country, Classic Country, Talk Radio, etc., etc., etc.!

So, you pick a couple that seem like a good fit, and you start there. Or whatever works with your budget. And if you can’t afford to buy enough ads to run each month on the biggest of the stations, then you pick a station with a smaller audience that you can afford to talk to month-in and month-out. You’re trying to win a group of people over, one station at a time. Once you start seeing growth, then you can afford to add another radio station to your mix.

How many ads is good to have in rotation? You can air multiple ads that rotate at whatever percentage you wish. Most businesses don’t need to rotate different ads at the same time, but if you have a few different products to push… maybe you rotate 2 or 3 at once. But you also have to make sure you have enough ads airing each week in order for everyone to hear each of those ads enough times.

How many people can we reach? You can reach about 90% of the adults in the radio stations’ coverage areas if you’re advertising on enough stations. But that doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. Remember when I said the average listener listens to 2.5 radio stations? Well, that means if you advertise on 2 radio stations, you’re theoretically advertising on about 5 stations. Cool, right? When it comes to actual numbers… there are some ratings out there on most stations. But the thing is… the number of people that are surveyed for radio station ratings is very low. Like, grossly low. So, the level of accuracy is low. So, one year a station can be listed as the #2 rock station, and the next it’s #8. How does that work when nothing else changed in the radio market in the last year? Radio rankings are hit or miss. There’s a disclaimer on those rankings that mentions something like, “use these ratings at your own risk”.

How many people are we reaching? It all depends on the popularity of the station. It could be anywhere between 5000 people to 40 or 50,000 people depending on the station… and the time frames in which you’re running those ads. If you’re only running ads during a morning “drive time”… you’re only reaching a fraction of that total audience.

What time of the day is best to run our ads? You want to reach the entire audience if you can afford it. And it costs less per ad to run ads all throughout the day. You can never predict when someone is listening. We all have different habits when it comes to radio listening. Some listen from 6 to 7:30 every morning. And then not again until 2pm or 5pm. Others listen periodically throughout the day, some all day long at work. Others only when in their cars. That’s why it’s a fool’s errand to only want to run ads during certain times of the day. You’ll pay more for the ads, and you’re hitting a smaller audience in the end.

Cost per ad during the week? This depends on the popularity of the radio station, the length of the ad, and the time frame they are airing. We’ll have a discussion about actual prices face-to-face.

But let me drop this little nugget on you… It doesn’t matter how much an ad costs if it doesn’t work. Even the cheapest ads are still expensive if you don’t see any results.

How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends? My recommendation for “ad frequency” depends on your competition and your “share of marketing voice” within your industry. If you’re placing ads all throughout the day (let’s say 6am to 8pm), then you’ll need anywhere from 19 to 25 ads per week… at least 3 weeks per month if we’re trying to brand your business (make you the business people think of first in your category). But if your business category has a lot of competition advertising, then you need to adjust your ad load a bit higher to make sure your “share of voice” is high enough to make an impact on the radio listeners. You don’t want to be “drowned out” by your competitor’s ads.

So, those are my basic answers to those questions… but they aren’t comprehensive by any means. The questions asked in a face-to-face meeting and extra research on how much local marketing their competition is doing, gives much more insight into the radio scheduling tactics that would need to be implemented.

But you must know… the actual MESSAGE that we put into the ears of the radio listeners is what will ultimately determine the success of a radio advertising campaign. If the radio script that is written is just an afterthought… your radio marketing plan will fail. No doubt about it. But if enough time, research, and thought is put into the writing… “mountains” can be moved.

And… I’ll address those two questions I added to the list…… next time. 🙂

Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

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

“Where Should I Advertise?” is the WRONG QUESTION

If you’re finally ready to shake up the world and make big things happen with your advertising… BUT… your first question is “Where should I advertise?”… then, you’re asking the wrong question. You’ve just skipped about 6 steps.

You should be asking yourself, “What can I SAY to people that will cause them to want to do business with me?” Only then… should you ask the question of where to advertise.

People don’t care about what you have to say in your ads until you’re saying something that’s relevant to THEM or something that entertains them. And what usually entertains people is Humor or a good Story. We all love a good story.

When you want to finally make your advertising work… let’s sit down and discuss your situation. I’ll help you understand the most important factors that make advertising work, plus all the little variables in the formula that can make or break an advertising campaign.

But beware… because I will talk to you about the mighty benefits of branding your business. If you only have the marketing mentality of “I need a fat and instant ROI with every ad investment I make” …then you will be disappointed and forever chasing something that really doesn’t exist. Not profitably anyway.

Of course, there are exceptions – but I’m writing to all those local businesses who have tried just about every kind of advertising and nothing has ever worked worth a crap. You’re frustrated, fed-up, and ready to flick the next Media Salesperson you talk to right in the brain.

Advertising that always brings instant results is the kind that only plucks the low-hanging fruit. Meaning, it’s just the tiny group of people who only need you at this very moment. And most of your competition is advertising TO THAT VERY SAME TINY GROUP…. giving you an even tinier slice of that low-hanging fruit.

But when you advertise consistently with a relationship-building message that engages emotions and causes people to like and trust you, then you’re advertising to that extremely LARGE group of people who may not need you now, but most of them will in the future. When you “brand” your business properly, those people will remember you when they need you. They’ll be more confident in doing business with YOU… even when your competitors try grabbing them as low-hanging fruit with their intermittent advertising.

When you BOND with people in your relationship-building ads, they’ll remember you because of how you made them feel. Because you spoke to them about THEIR NEEDS… not yours.

If you only “shoot from the hip” or “roll the dice” periodically with your “Act Now!” type of advertising, you’re just hoping and praying that people choose you based on luck… or price. Sounds like a bad bet to me.

So, I said that you need to figure out your message and your strategy FIRST. But you might not know how to do that. That’s ok. But neither do most other media people. Most of them know how to place a media buy and that’s it. And those salespeople hand off some client notes to a “creative” person, and they come up with a pile of garbage that doesn’t work.

I’ll help you with your advertising strategy. Your message. Your plan.

“Trying this… and trying that”… is getting a little old, isn’t it?

We’re not right for everyone, but for those that fit… we do some pretty amazing things for their bottom line.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Email: duane.christensen@townsquaremedia.com

Call or text: 605-940-7984

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

What Successful Radio Advertisers Have To Say About Digital Advertising…

Oh, it warms my heart! Sometimes when I bring up our Digital Advertising options to clients, they say something like… “why would we do that? we love what radio does for us.”

Some specific comments to me have been:

“Do you think we need it?”

Where I will say, “I just wanted to make you aware of our capabilities, just in case YOU thought you needed it. When it’s time to add to your budget and continue with your growth, I would add another radio station before I added digital. And they said, “We love our radio.”

“Every time we start a new ad, I know about it the first day it airs, because someone mentions it to me. I don’t think digital advertising is where it’s at.”

I asked if I could give them a hug after hearing that one.

“I don’t remember one digital ad I’ve seen recently. But I could name at least a dozen different businesses who I’ve heard on the radio in the past week.”

I said, “That’s interesting because it’s so much easier to brand a business with sound than with sight only. There’s a whole lot of neurological mumbo jumbo proving it. I’ll send you a short, but interesting article on the power of sound.”

“Online ads are just in the way when I’m trying to read an article. It’s annoying.”

I told them that I agreed that online ads can be annoying, but we could do digital ads that would complement their radio and they would allow us to “touch” people in another way, and also link to their website. Which they replied, “We want people to call us, we don’t even care if they go to our website.” And I said, “Exactly. I’ll shut up now. I just wanted to see how you felt about it.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m ok with digital advertising, as long as we have a solid enough radio campaign to go along with it. The best kind of advertising for a local business is the kind the brands you in the brains of the people. So, when they have a need for what you do or sell, they think of YOU first.

For example, if someone needs their carpets cleaned, but they don’t have a regular carpet cleaner they trust… do you want them to type “carpet cleaners in Sioux Falls” into Google to see all of your competition? Even if you are ranking #1 on the first page… or even buying Google Ads… you’re still right there with a whole list of competitors. OR… would you rather they immediately think of YOU when they need their carpets cleaned and they simply type YOUR BUSINESS NAME into Google and contact you directly?

The power of good branding is so much more beneficial than obsessing about ranking the highest on Google.

BUT… a good SEO plan and website is also beneficial. What if a person didn’t quite think of your business immediately, and they typed “carpet cleaning” into Google? Do you think they’ll choose someone they’ve never heard of? Or will they see your name, remember the radio ads, and call you because they have a good feeling about you and they feel like they know what you’re about? Right. They’ll call the business they’ve heard of and they’re familiar with long before they call anyone they don’t recognize or know nothing about.

Did I just get way off track? Yes. But that’s the nature of marketing today. You have so many choices, and it’s confusing. Do you know what I think you need? I think you need a good marketing person in your corner that you can trust. Someone who will honestly answer the questions you have… and who has the “stuff” to actually make your advertising work.

Someone like that could quite possibly be priceless. Am I that person? Maybe I’m a good fit for you, maybe I’m not. But my goal is actually to BECOME PRICELESS to my clients. And that doesn’t happen by just slinging “Ad Packages” or cheap rates. It comes from being a good marketing resource, and it comes from making advertising work. Which is what I obsess about for my clients every day.

And it’s also why I have clients who say things like… “We love radio. I say we double-down on THAT.”

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

(image by: https://pixabay.com/)

Record Month!

Radio Advertising Success

No… not me.

Even better… it’s one of my clients who had a record month!

And the best part, they give credit to the Radio advertising they do with me.

But it wasn’t that way in the beginning.  I remember weekly conversations.  One week radio rocks.  The next week it sucks donkey.  Cancel.  No, double my schedule.

And all through their growing pains, I kept preaching, “This is going to take a little time. You’re on the right track, but be patient.  You’re in a long-term purchase cycle industry.  We just have to keep saying it better than your competitors do.  You’ll start earning trust with more and more people in time.  We need to let your strategy sink into people’s brains. Patience, grasshopper.  Give this ball a chance to start gaining momentum.”

This client also isn’t afraid to put a few dollars out there.  They had to.  They have a massive amount of competition in Sioux Falls.

Uff Da.  There were a lot of times it was stressful and frustrating for me.  They would threaten to cancel or reduce their radio schedules every other week.  But I had faith.  Faith in our radio stations and faith in the strategy and ads that we were sharing with a whole bunch of people every single day.  I knew it was just a matter of time until there was a tipping point.

So, how does this happen?  What kind of ads work?  Why radio?  How much should someone spend on advertising?

The owner was courageous.  He wanted to “say it different” in the ads.  He wanted to be bold and shock people a little bit.  Those are the best kinds of business owners when it comes to creating a radio campaign.  Too many want to “water down” their message and make sure it doesn’t offend anyone and make it sound just like every other ad.

The radio ads were sincere.  The owner voiced most of the ads.  Or parts of them.  The ads had headlines that make people stop what they’re doing… and listen.  This was retail, and we knew their business had a better product to offer consumers.  All we had to do was gain their trust.  But it took time because the industry was full of big national brands pushing their fluff all over every media outlet… for decades.

My client started focusing ad dollars where they knew it was making an impact.  Radio was at the top of the list.  So, now, instead of spreading marketing dollars across dozens of media choices, they put their dollars into what they knew was working.  And then, they weren’t overspending either.  Now, they just needed to be patient and let their ad message start sinking into more people’s brains.

The ads never say anything like, “for all your ________ needs.”  They never say anything cliché that goes in one ear and out the other.  Each line in their ads has the power to make people reconsider where they were going to make their next purchase.  There is no wasted ad time.  No fluff or filler, just to make sure the ad timed out correctly.  Stories were told, testimonials were included intermittently, and the same overall strategy was kept throughout the campaign.  And guess what… there’s no phone number or website address given in the ads.  Ever.

Because of deep competition, my client needed to have enough “share of voice” in the market.  Meaning, they had to have enough ads on each radio station, so they weren’t drowned out by their competition.  They couldn’t just trickle a few ads here and there to the radio audiences.  They needed to start “owning” mindshare.  And they needed to be in people’s ears frequently and consistently.

A 52-weeks per year radio schedule was crucial to making this record month come to fruition.  We needed enough radio ads getting attention and making a positive impact with people each and every week.  And we needed to keep the radio ads fresh.  The longest any ad has ever aired was 3 weeks.  Sometimes, an ad would run for a week and we’d get a better idea and freshen it up.  Sometimes an ad would be so impactful, we knew it wouldn’t have to run as long or would “burn out” with people fast.  If we let it run longer, it would start annoying listeners.  So, we switch it out with a different ad that came at listeners from a different angle of some sort.  We had to keep telling their story in different ways because not everyone responds the same way to every ad.

This is highly competitive retail.  So, the ad spend was upwards of 20% of revenues when they were spending the most.  But once they “dialed in” that Radio was the best generator of new customers, they scaled back spending to between 10 and 12% of revenues.

They have a lot of market share to continue to gain, so, I’m predicting many more record months coming for them over the next couple of years.  It’s going to be exciting to watch it all unfold.

If you want your advertising to make an impact, you have to be passionate about it.  You can’t just throw some dollars to the media wind, and hope something sticks.  You need to be active in your marketing efforts.  I know you wish you could just insert your ad dollars into a vending machine and automatically get a decent return on that investment.  Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.  And if you think it should… you’ll have a really frustrating and unfruitful journey in regards to trying to attract new customers.

If you’d like to discuss how this works in further detail, just give me a shout.  I love helping good, local businesses who love their customers!

Thank you.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio | Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

Radio Sales

 

 

Take Your Old Advertising Ways To Slaughter

Still advertising the old way?

Hog Trailer

You’ve advertised for years and years, maybe decades… and you’re still not happy with your advertising and marketing results.  Then, the “new guy” (in the form of online advertising), steps onto the playing field, and you’re like, “Finally! Advertising that I can track!”   But lo and behold, you found out THAT was a crock of malarkey, too.

No matter WHERE you have advertised and no matter who has been in charge of it… it’s always failed, right?

The old way: advertising that looks, sounds, and wreaks like every other advertisement out there.

There are a few different kinds of “old way” advertising.  One example is just cramming a bunch of bullet points about your business into a radio ad (or any kind of ad for that matter) and then “picking the right station” to be on.  Doesn’t work, right?

Note to self: Stop doing it that way. Take that method of advertising to slaughter. Kill it. Be done with it. Aren’t you fed up?

Another example of “the old way” of advertising “CREATIVE”. That’s when it’s humor or special effects or any other kind of creativeness shoved down our throats in an ad… but there’s really no tie from that creativeness to your business.  No relevance. And that means people might remember the “funny stuff”, but they don’t remember YOU. We’re flooded with “creative” ads that don’t work any better than the first example I gave.

Note to self: Stop doing this, too. Slaughter the “old way” of what you think advertising should look or sound like.

I built my wife a website a few years back. She’s a Realtor. I added a page on the website called “4th Dream Home Story”. She has received comments from a few new clients about that exact page of the website. They think it’s cool.  My wife said, “When people read that, it’s like it allows them to trust me a little bit before they’ve even met me.”  I said, EXACTLY!

That’s the power of telling a story. Of sharing a personal story. They won’t remember all the other “stuff” on the website, but they’ll remember that. Plus, it ties into real estate – even better.

So, try to remember how it is that you form really tight relationships with people. Is it by spewing a bunch of facts and boring figures to your friends? No. You tell stories. You’re emotional. And that’s how you win over new customers, too. You make friends with them by creating ads that show you’re human. You bond with them through your ads. You want them to relate to what you’re saying. Be vulnerable. Shit, tell them about a bad divorce, or a influential parent, or the time you were stuck in an elevator with the Beach Boys.

Entertain them. Don’t sell them. “Selling” is for short-term goals that are short-lived. Building relationships within an audience is how you’ll win over the vast majority of them. Tell them something in your ads that will make them think, “Hmm, seems like a nice person.”

You’re afraid to be the spokesperson for your company? You need to get over that. Be the passionate business person you are… and win over a bunch of people by being YOU. And if you can’t read a script to save your life, I understand. Then, let’s sit down and just talk. I’ll record your raw passion for the business, your stories, and more. And it will turn into a radio ad that will be better than anything that was ever scripted.

Take the ineffective old ways of advertising (what you “think” advertising should look and sound like) and leave them by the side of the road and hit the gas. You don’t owe them anything.

Duane Christensen – Local Marketing Guy

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984       duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Duane - Helmet 2016

Emotionally Engaging Advertising

How emotionally engaging was the last digital ad you saw?

Everything Apple, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Macbook And Apple Watch

Photo by Stokpic

Not very, right?

I’m not saying digital ads have no benefit… I’m just saying they don’t have much on their own.

A good radio campaign will engage your prospect emotionally.

First, let’s understand why emotion in advertising is king.  If we didn’t buy emotionally… every person would drive the ugliest, cheapest car that effectively got them from Point A to Point B.  We would all wear the same generic shirts, pants, and shoes.  We would never get excited about a new 60-inch TV, we would just say, “That’s overkill.  It’s unnecessary.”

But you know that’s not who we are.  Emotion is involved in almost every decision we make.

Back to emotion in advertising…

Doesn’t it make sense that we create ads that are emotionally engaging, then?  Of course it does.  Yes, a picture can create emotion… but what happens when a voice tells us a story and engages us in something that we can relate to?  What happens when you put the proper music to match the mood we’re trying to set?  Theater.  And that’s what good radio is… a theater of the mind.

Logic in ads can only go so far.  Emotion is what will take it farther than you thought was possible.  But what if you’re a pencil pushing, logical, type of business owner?  About half of you are.  Well, that just makes my job a little tougher is all.  I have to convince you that people are emotional beings and that you’re going to get more bang for your buck if you choose advertising options that can deliver an emotional and engaging message.

How easy is it to dismiss a digital ad?  Pretty easy.  That’s why you have to put even more work into digital ad “creative”.  And your digital ad should just be another memory anchor of your “sound” advertising.  You know… the emotional kind.  It should all work together.

Not satisfied with your digital advertising immediate results?  Stop trying to make people buy now.  Be yourself, be sincere, be emotional… and people will begin to remember you and eventually love you and do business with you.  You can’t force success.  It’s earned.  It’s for sure not a magical “digital” formula.

Whenever you’re asked to buy any kind of online or offline advertising, just ask yourself:  Is it emotionally engaging?

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, SD

P.S.  I actually sell and create digital ads and campaigns (not just radio).  But I’ve never sold them by themselves without an emotionally engaging radio advertising strategy to be the primary driver of the complete marketing campaign.

Your On-Hold Message Needs Help

on hold messageThe on-hold message for your business matters.  And your on-hold message needs help.

I was recently on-hold for a few minutes the other day.  It was a local business.  Their on-hold message is what gave me the idea to write about this topic.  But I WILL give them kudos for trying to make an on-hold message that stood out from all the others. Yet I would have preferred some run-of-the-mill classical music.  Here’s why…

They had a radio jingle as part of the message.  They also had a voice telling me a few things.  They talked about the services they provided and the products they had. Which is predictable. (Remember? Predictability puts a choke-hold on marketing effectiveness)

Then, the voice kept saying, “Thank you for calling. Your call is VERY important to us.”  I heard that about 5 times within about 3 minutes.  Yes, I know my call is important to you, whoever you are. And then the jingle would cut in occasionally… which seemed very out-of-date and was kind of annoying.  (that’s the thing with jingles – they can either do wonders for a business, or turn people off)

So… what’s my advice on your on-hold message?

  • Tips
  • Advice
  • Stories

I would hang on every word of your on-hold message if you were giving me tips and advice regarding your industry or the products and services you provide.  And not lame tips that 85% of the population knows.  I’m talking about really interesting or even obscure information that would intrigue me and / or help me.

DON’T TRY TO SELL ME WHILE I’M ON HOLD!  At least don’t be so obvious about it.

If you told me a few customer experience stories…you’d have my attention.  As long as you don’t water them down.  I love to hear the specifics.  When you tell a detailed story…it means it’s real.  And then people know you’re not “full of it”. People also like to hear that they’re not the only ones who might be in the same situation.  Make them feel comfortable about calling.  Make them feel confident that you’re a business who cares about giving them a good end result.  If you can cause people to like you a little bit more because of a tip or a story you told them… then you’ve just moved them closer to buying from you, buying MORE from you, or buying more OFTEN from you.

All that from an on-hold message.  Can you believe it?  Believe it.  The communication you have with your customers matters.  The words you choose matters.  It’s not the “act” of doing something (direct mail, on-hold message, advertising, core customer emails, thank you cards, etc.) … it’s the manner in which you do it. It’s the FEELING you give someone about you or your company… that makes all the difference.  Make sure the sincerity level of your marketing communications is dialed up to a level 8, 9, or 10.

Do you think you should have a “professional” voice do your on-hold message?  I’d actually prefer if the business owner or someone within the business did it.  Because it cranks up the “Sincerity Level” another notch or two.  People want to do business with good, honest, hard-working people who care about their customers. So, show them that’s what you are.

It’s pretty much the same with all of your marketing communications.  Make it real.  Make it sincere.  Tell us something we might not know.  Tell us a story that can help get your point across.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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

More Marketing in Sioux Falls

How do I explain how to market a small business in Sioux Falls?

Ummm…that’s a tough one. It’s best left for a one-on-one conversation with you. Radio might not even be the best option. Whether it IS or ISN’T, I’ll tell you. I’ll be honest with you.

Marketing is about taking a product or service and trying to make a few bucks. Marketing for YOU could be getting in front of as many people as possible to share the goodness that you can offer. OR you might offer something more niche, where only a small select group is your target audience.

RADIO will help a business most when a large portion of the population will need what you offer at some time in the future. Radio ads are like an army of tiny salespeople.  What kind of businesses would benefit from a good radio ad campaign? Plumbing and HVAC, check. Grocery stores, check. Mattress or furniture stores, check. Fitness centers, check. Restaurants, check. Even psychological services, attorneys, dentists, lawn care, landscaping, or a sewing store can benefit from radio.

There are a few businesses in which I will recommend something different though. Maybe they’re exclusively targeting people who have a combined household income of  $200, 000 or more. Then, I’d say go with Direct Mail. Or maybe you’re a one or two-person shop. You might not be able to afford a radio campaign at this time. BUT… every situation is different. We need to have that one-on-one conversation to discuss a good plan for you.

RADIO is great because it can reach a lot of people. But the best thing about radio is how you can AFFECT people with a good radio campaign. You can change perceptions. You can make people feel most comfortable with YOUR business by saying the right things in your radio ads. Don’t settle for the same old radio ad that sounds like a newspaper ad read into a microphone. It’s not gonna work.

Radio advertising done right will cause the listeners to feel good about you. When we find the right things to say in your ads, you will experience a tipping point. Meaning, there is a building up period in which your messages are starting to stick into people’s minds. You’ll know when your tipping point has arrived. You’ll feel it. Your cash register will reflect it.

So, when you’re wondering about marketing in Sioux Falls… let’s see if radio is a good fit for your business. Let’s sniff around and come up with some amazing ways to get people to love your business. If radio IS right for you, I know that I can help you achieve your tipping point and start growing like you never thought you could. It’s exciting when that happens.

And when you look back on all those years of being frustrated with local advertising… you’ll wonder why you didn’t call that Duane guy sooner.  : )  But I’ll be honest with you. If I don’t think something will work, I’m not going to let you do it. I’ll help you understand what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s to your business growth!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Advertising blog

Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

I’m a marketing guy, ad writer, and business grower. I’m on a mission to help local businesses get more from their advertising bucks. I also wrote a  a no-nonsense book about how to take a bigger slice of market share with better advertising. It’s called “Take a Bigger Slice”.