At least once per week a small business owner tells us, "I tried radio once, but it didn't work". We have seen radio work very well for companies of all sizes. I have also seen radio fail miserably.
WHY RADIO ADVERTISING DOESN'T WORK
Radio campaigns that don't work usually have one thing in common: the lack of a well articulated marketing objective. The marketing objective is the singular guiding force behind a successful campaign. The marketing objective is used to determine the right radio stations to use; the times of day to advertise in; how long to advertise for; and what the commercials should say. Investing in a radio campaign without a marketing objective is like being lost in the woods without a compass and a map.
Fortunately, there are only two types of marketing objectives to choose from:
- BRANDING OBJECTIVES are used when you want your target consumer to believe something about your product or service. An example of a branding objective could be: Get working mothers to believe that my daycare service is the safest place in town to entrust their children.
- PROMOTION OBJECTIVES are used when you want your target consumer to take specific action. An example of a promotion objective could be: Get people who maintain their own cars to buy 3 quarts of motor oil at my store this weekend.
Often times, an advertiser selects one of the following as a marketing objective. Both can be advertising suicide:
- Create awareness
- Build store traffic
Neither "objective" provides strong guidance to build an effective radio campaign. Can you convert awareness into cash register receipts? Will attracting people to your store who aren't qualified prospects result in a successful campaign? The answer to both questions is a loud, NO.
A successful marketing objective includes a singular, well-articulated target consumer. Using gender and age alone is too broad to be effective. Instead, a marketing objective should target consumers by lifestyle. Some examples could be:
- Working Moms
- Shoppers With Home Depot Credit Cards
- People Who Will Retire Within 5 Years
- College Graduates Who Are Under-employed
Finally, a marketing objective should stem directly from a business's major operational priorities. This way, the business owners can ensure their marketing efforts are linked to the success of their enterprise.
Radio advertising does work with strict adherence to a well-conceived marketing objective.