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Old 30th January 2008, 04:07 PM   #11
PressureProsInc
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Jackie, that would be my concern with trials. You can effectively cut your own throat and prove the rhetoric correct. ("Yeah, I tried a one week free trial with WNBC and I didn't get squat from it.. radio advertising doesn't work")

I hear what Logan is saying about guarantees but they just cannot be offered in advertising as there are no gurantees. The biggest obstacles I face when speaking to advertisers is that they cannot throw anything at me but generic numbers. I don't give a flying fart about national averages, what your station does or how many people listen. Tell me how businesses similar to mine (ie other contractors) advertise. What kind of return do they get? What's the cost of an average campaign? For how long will I have to committ?

Know your numbers when you go into a meeting. Everything else is just fluff. Make me understand that I will get out what I put in. If I stick one toe in the water and do it half heartedly, hoping on a wing and a prayer trial basis or a short term commitment, what do you think my results are going to be? Hopefully you see where I am going with this.

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Old 30th January 2008, 05:44 PM   #12
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I used to do a lot of radio. I had 4 stores spread around an area of 1.7 million. Even with 4 stores I was paying way more in coverage than I was getting response from.

As I ride around now I hear ads from a car wash or a beauty or tanning salon or another small business or professional with one location, often at the fringe of the major population and feel sorry for them. They are paying for a footprint that is way and I mean way beyond their local market and they are offering local services.

I'm not going to drive 45 minutes for even the finest fish sandwich in the world. Or the greatest smoothee. Or to get my car washed.

And I can't help but feel the person who sold them that air time knew it, as well. How many dry cleaners are you going to drive past, unless they have driven you away?

Now in a week or so the airwaves will be full of ads for valentine bears from Maine or wherever. Great. That's good advertising, good use of air time.

Scotty's C-store down on the corner of first and oak? Unless old scotty is a nickel a gallon below everyone I pass on the way there, I'll never make it.
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Old 30th January 2008, 06:12 PM   #13
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Default radio ads

Point taken! When I am selling my ads, especially with 18 to 20 radio stations in my inventory, I try to target area surrounding the client (within reason) and overlap the areas within the broadcast regions. Usually, I try to target clients with multiple locations since I try to sell the ads in 5 to 6 radio station blocks. I know our prices on our ads are much lower than what radio stations charge because we are only trying to re-coup the cost of preparing the forecasts. Therefore, I can sell 1,000 spots for about $6,500. In Dec, I spoke to one potential radio ad customer and asked him where he draws most of his customers from and what his target market area was. At that point, I told him my stations would not fit his target at that time, but we were negotiating with other stations to bring them on. I am actually getting ready to contact him again, since we are awaiting the signed contract from some of the stations in a area that would really benefit him. But I guess like any sales, you have the sales people who lie to make the sale (and then have unsatisfactory customers) and the few who try to work and establish the relationship with the client. Our business philosophy on our weather products, carries over to our radio ad sales, we are a weather forecasting company that prides itself on exceptional customer service and product customization. We strive to build long-term relationships with our clients. We are willing to do whatever it takes to provide the best possible service to all our clients no matter how large or small they may be. Thatís why service is part of our name!

We know a happy, satisfied client will bring us more in sales in the long run than one we try to make a quick sale with. Up until November, we did not do run any marketing campaigns. Our business has grown because of our satisfied customers telling others!

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Old 30th January 2008, 08:19 PM   #14
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Ken - Thank you sooo much for the sample script. I really think that it will go a long way to helping with some of the people I'm trying to reach. You are right, I'm much more comfortable selling to those who have an initial interest in what I have to offer...I don't like to sell, I like them to buy...it's what I've learned and what I know. (The bosses don't get that and think I do a bit too much research, approach things too citified and am not aggressive enough - but while they'll write that up in my job evaluation they don't bug me too much because I've been the top of sales in all but one month since the station launched)

A free trial I can't do...that would involve station management and there's no way they would go for it - plus the factors mentioned above about the statistical improbabilities of a short campaign working well unless it was to advertise a major sale and was tied in to one of our internet campaigns. A remote can work well to prove the power of radio in a big way...but again, can't do it for free. Discounting I can do within a certain parameter of guidelines...but not a totally free campaign.

However, we open up to barter 3 times a year with the integrated online auction. That enables clients (new or existing) to trade product, services or gift certificates in trade for an advertising campaign. It's a good deal in that the business is providing the product at wholesale for the campaign, but it's still not free.

Living in a small town rather than a metro location does mean that no one really has to drive far to get to a location - (there's no such thing as two locations of anything unless you count neighboring towns and I always encourage dual locations like that within the listening area to work together) so I'm not worried about overselling to small business...

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Old 7th February 2008, 05:37 PM   #15
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Default Keys to radio advertising....

The fact is, there are a lot of sales people who sell their clients short when it comes to Radio Advertising, especially when it comes to small business. Many just want to take the money on the small buy and run, never to return again to keep that client on the air and happy. This will always result in the bitter "Radio did not work for me" attitude.

Radio advertising is an investment. It takes 3 key things to work, cut any of these out of the mix and IT WILL FAIL -

1 - The right station (one that hits a businesses target customers, and the most of them) NOT just the station with the "highest ratings". They may have the broadest audience, but not targeted.

2 - A compelling and effective message that stands out and sticks in the minds of your target customers. A good production company can deliver this. You may want to stray away from the "radio station's free production services". As they may be "free" and recorded by "professionals", most of the time the copy writing is done carelessly, and is recorded even more carelessly by a jock before their air shift. This is not the case ALL of the time, but its what I've seen first hand more than anything else.

3 - A commitment to advertising for a set period of time. AT LEAST 3 WEEKS. A more realistic commitment would be 13 weeks. You will likely NOT see results within the first week or two. You are creating top of mind awareness, and with that FREQUENCY is required. Try to buy specific day parts, morning drive or afternoon drive. Don't let the station randomly place your commercial just anywhere.

Hope this helps!

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Old 20th May 2008, 02:50 PM   #16
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This was an interesting thread to follow. Radio tends to get a negative run because of how it is often sold. It's usually the sales person who is responsible for a the negative opinion the advertiser has of radio. The message is so critical. Many companies get excited about direct mail but they must put an attractive offer to recieve response. With radio, the business owner will often mention location, store hours and how long they have been in business. The sad part about that is the sales person allows this to go on the air and soon you have an advertiser that is disappointed with radio advertising. I sold radio for 15 years and had tremendous success for a large number of small business owners, most of whom only used radio. Radio, used right in the appropriate sized markets is an awesome tool that creates a trust and builds a relationship with the consumer that is hard to match.

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Old 5th June 2008, 03:50 AM   #17
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I run a medium business and for me, the fare is you can not indentify whether the radio is helpful or just a useless advertising.

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Old 11th June 2008, 08:09 AM   #18
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I backed off because my salesperson said not to expect much for the first three months, and that it would be about 6 months before my ads would reach their full potential. Although the plan was well thought out and they appear to understand my needs, the big cash outlay before I see results was a little frightening. No ad plan gets immediate results but radio seems to take hold slower than most.

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Old 12th June 2008, 08:14 AM   #19
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Expectations are all about what you are trying to acheive. If you are having the biggest weekend event of your stores history...waiting six months won't cut it. If you have hopes of creating a dominate position in the mind of your local consumer so they will choose you when they need your specific product or service...six months is short. Some businesses ask, "How long do I need to advertise?". The answer is, how long do you plan on being in buisness?. If you want to see measureable results fast, adjust your message to create that response. If you told everyone via your radio commercials that when they came to your business, you'd give them a new $100 bill, no strings attached...you'd see the power of...not just radio, but the power of the message you share.

You can adjust your messages to create instant results but do you want to be known as the place to get a "deal" or do you want to be the place folks pay full price and know they are getting the best "value". Radio offers a unique opportunity to create a relationship with the listeners and share your entire story with them.

You can get instant results with most any media, radio included, if you are willing to cut your profits for a promotion. Even McDonald's has said over the years that their promotions work better when they have long term image advertising in place.

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Old 12th June 2008, 11:29 PM   #20
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Your salesperson was likely selling you on a branding campaign as opposed to a direct response campaign...which considering that you specialize in higher end premium foods - does make sense to an extent.

Without knowing what price they were quoting, the size of the audience or the number of repetitions per week you were considering...it's hard to say exactly- but I'm assuming it was a long term, low repetition campaign...

Another factor that would affect how long a campaign is what other methods of messaging you are currently using. The more ways a prospective customer hears about you will increase the responsiveness of the radio ads.

In a case where you have such a highly niched target market...initiating a customer loyalty program with direct mail or email would likely be highly effective and more cost effective than radio.

Then again...in another post you were talking about the delivery service you offer -and I bet that is unique enough a service that using your radio ads to promote that would have the ads working much faster.

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