Cathy Manchester is a veteran real estate agent in the Portland, Maine area. Prior to adding radio to her marketing mix, her team of agents was selling a respectable 100 homes per year. About a year ago, she wanted to take her business to the next level. To achieve her goal she consulted with high-volume agents across the country who were selling 200-500 houses per year. According to Cathy, "One of the things I found that was consistent with them is they were all using radio." As a result of her research, Cathy added radio as a primary component of her marketing. Over the course of her first year using radio, Cathy's sales have doubled.
Cathy's success using radio was not immediate. According to Cathy, "It took a couple of months to get started." This was the same conclusion that Kevin Kaserman of Dunbar Water described in a previous article "Effective Small Business Advertising: Consistency is Critical." But once the calls started coming in, they turned into sales. Cathy says, "It's a rarity when radio calls don't turn into business immediately." Cathy tells the complete story of her radio success in the video below.
A contributing factor to Cathy's success using radio is the commercials themselves. Cathy uses each station's personalities to endorse her agency in live commercials. Here is an example of one of Cathy's commercials delivered by Mike Violette, host of The Morning News on WGAN:
As Cathy found out, radio listeners have a "parasocial relationship" with their favorite radio personalities. Research into this relationship by The USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism reveals:
- 75% of respondents turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air
- 79% of respondents listen to that radio station because their favorite personality is on the air
- 85% of respondents change the station less frequently when their favorite personality is on the air
- 72% or respondents talk to their friends about their favorite personality or what they heard on the program
But most importantly for Cathy Manchester and other advertisers, this study finds: More than half of radio listeners have considered or purchased a product/service advertised during their favorite Radio personality’s show.
Cathy offers this advice to other small business owners who are considering using radio advertising, "If a company uses radio effectively, their business is going to take a HUGE leap and they're going to have to be ready for that. If they're not serious about taking their business to the next level, then there is no reason for them to use radio. But if they are serious about taking their business to the next level, then radio is a great venue. It is one of the few venues that people are still paying attention to."
Learn more about how radio can be an effective marketing tool for small business. Download a free copy of The Small Business Guide To Effective Radio Advertising by clicking on the link below.