Radio Results Blog

Effective Small Business Advertising: Consistency is Critical

Posted by Larry Julius on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 @ 02:41 PM

Dunbar Water sells water treatment filtration and purification systems in the Portland, Maine area.  The company has been using radio advertising consistently for the past five years despite lackluster results during its first couple of months on the air.  Dunbar decided to stick with radio because company President Kevin Kaserman understood he was making an investment in long-term results. Kaserman explains his decision in theSmall Business Advertising Portland Maine video below. 

When considering radio advertising or any other form of marketing for that matter, remember it is an investment.  Like all good investments, they take time and patience to produce consistent results over the long term.

For a small business to realize a return on an advertising investment it is important to be consistent in the following three areas:

1)  Frequency

According to an article published in the New York Times, thirty years ago the average American was exposed to 2,000 advertising messages a day.  An astonishing number; but, fast-forward to today and that number has more than doubled to 5,000 advertising messages a day!

Being consistent with the frequency of a message has never been more important.   Frequency is defined as how many times a target consumer needs to be exposed to a message before they remember it.   In terms of developing a schedule for a radio advertising campaign, factors like time of day, number of times per day and programming are key to maintaining consistent frequency. This topic is discussed at length in The Small Business Guide To Radio To Effective Radio Advertising.

Irwin Ephron, often considered to be the father of modern-day media planning, puts it best: "Audience exposure to an ad is no longer a given; it’s a probability of less than one. With multi-tasking and commercial avoidance, a large part of a [medium's] reported audience will not [hear] the advertiser’s message. That means it will often take more than a single exposure to reach a consumer with an ad. And that calls for frequency."

2)  Sustained Commitment 

When investing in radio advertising it takes time to build a relationship between a business and the audience listening to the message.   In our culture of immediate gratification, a short-term advertising test seems logical, but, as Dunbar Water discovered, it’s rarely enough time to generate results over the long-term.  Watch Kevin Kaserman explain why: 


As Kaserman discovered, trying radio for a month, then taking a month off and then going back on the radio will slow momentum in terms of building a relationship with the people listening to your message. Sustained repetition is key.  Studies by Radio Recall Research show radio commercials that include at least four or five brand mentions had a higher recall than those with three or fewer brand mentions.   

3)  Focused Message

Dunbar Water has successfully branded Kaserman as “Mr. H2O” and even use that as one of its web addresses. In today’s cluttered advertising environment, it’s crucial to focus on one overall message.   

According to studies conducted by Radio Recall Research, radio commercials that contain fewer than five ideas or concepts had a higher recall than those conveying more than five ideas.   Using a consistent message across all advertising platforms makes it even easier for people to remember the product or service. 

Here is a quick exercise you can use to make sure your radio advertising message is focused. Answer each of the following questions:

    • What is one thing you want your business to be known for?
    • Why do people recommend you?
    • What product or service do your first-time customers most frequently buy from you?

Your responses to the above questions are the perfect place to start crafting your radio commercial.  If you have the same response to all three, then don’t worry, that’s a very good thing!  It means you already practicing consistency throughout all aspects of your business. If so, then your core customers already understand your target message and that’s the message you should amplify using in all of your advertising including radio.  


Small Business Marketing Portland Maine

Tags: Effective Radio Advertising, Portland Maine Radio, Small Business Marketing