Advertising Age is a weekly must-read by major marketers and advertisers. A headline in the September 30th edition read, "Why Marketers Need to Reevaluate Radio, the World's Most Popular Medium." The article was written by Benjamin Palmer, the chairman of Barbarian Group, a major New York advertising agency that boasts clients such as Pepsi, General Electric, and Samsung. According to Palmer, "Over the past few years, digital marketers have been so focused on display, better ad-tech and creating experiences on the ever-expanding list of social platforms that [they have] managed to largely ignore a traditional medium that's becoming increasingly sophisticated right under our noses (well, our ears): radio."
As an example of radio's sophistication, Palmer cites "Little Caesars' Do Not Call, an integrated radio and online campaign that explored customer curiosity and reverse psychology, relying on radio to do a lot of the awareness legwork in the beginning." To learn more about this campaign, see our recent blog post: Radio Advertising + Online Media Delivers For Maine Pizza Stores.
Experts Agree That Radio Should Be Integral Part of Maine Small Business Marketing
H. Luke Livingston is the president of Maine's Baxter Brewing Company a craft beer brewer headquartered in Lewiston. Livingston, who was included on The Forbes Magazine "30-under-30" list of entrepreneurs, asserts that radio should be a primary component of the marketing plan of any Maine small business. Livingston says, "Perhaps more so than anywhere else in the country, Mainers are fiercely loyal to anything made or produced in their home state; anything profoundly Maine – both where they shop (or what they shop for) and where they get their news and entertainment. So when the two dovetail—when a local product is advertised on that Mainers’ favorite station—the likelihood of the listener to reciprocate that “support” is impressive; a palpable Mainers helping Mainers mentality." Livingston goes on to say, "Additionally, the cache of Maine-made products, consumables or services is the first gift sought by any tourist visiting our state. And radio is most-likely the first exposure a tourist would have to advertising as they drive across the Piscataqua River Bridge. What better advantage is there than being first?"
Radio Offers Multiple Advantages
Tom Talbott has more than 30 years of marketing and advertising experience. He is president of Talbott Marketing in Gorham, Maine who has done work for Hannaford Brothers Supermarkets, Patriot Subaru, and The Arlberg Ski & Surf Shops. Talbott is also a partner in Zombie Blast Energy Shots, a new player in the multi-billion dollar energy drink business. Talbott believes Maine small businesses can benefit as he has by using radio advertising. According to Talbott, "Radio offers multiple advantages that we employ consistently. I particularly like to use radio on a consistent basis throughout the year, hammering away with a strong message to sell the key benefits of the client. The spots are typically placed in prime, and while we back off on daily frequency, we make up for with consistency. We want to be that comfortable pair of slippers when it comes time for the customer to come into the sales funnel."
Talbott goes on to say, "Radio allows us to change production quickly and easily, so we don’t burn out on a message. It’s fresh and timely, but always on point. Our sound is upbeat and straight forward information, minimizing cliches and overused phrases. We don’t use humor, as it is hard to keep one-upping, and the joke burns out." Finally, Talbott says, "Radio is just as targeted as TV, newspapers, or magazines, by working with formats, be it music or talk. We value the fact that we can reach the masses consistently, and whether they are in the frame of mind to buy or not, we can reach them. We want to get their attention and cultivate the interest, which will either bring them to the store, or to the website, which is essentially an extension of the store. If they see our name on a Google ranking, we want them to already be familiar with who we are. We’re looking for the I’ve heard of them response, which gives the consumer confidence to look further into what we can offer. Radio is not just about shouting out about a sale on Saturday, it’s about building recognition and credibility, meaning trust."
Radio Advertising Is The Smartest Decision We Have Made
Allison Tevsh Zittel is the Director of Finance and Marketing for Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Maine’s two-foot gauge railways for the education and enjoyment of the public. According to Zittlel, "Radio advertising has been a key factor in the success of our annual holiday event, the Polar Express. As a small non-profit, we are often are limited to print and social media as our main venues for advertising during the year, but for the holiday season, we expand our budget to include radio. This investment allows us to reach a much wider audience around the state, in a key demographic for the museum. It’s the smartest and most effective decision we have made for promoting our event, and the ticket sales reflect this year-in and year-out. For the money spent, radio allows us to reach more people than any other outlet we have explored, and that investment has resulted in a 20% increase in ticket revenue each year since we began."
Meet Other Maine Small Businesses That Have Used Radio Effectively
- Real Estate Agent Cathy Manchester Doubled Her Sales In A Year
- Drive-In Owner Ry Russell Increased Facebook Fans By 571%
- Landscape Contractor Michael Story Grows Business By 45%