This year marks the 92nd anniversary of the first radio commercial. I imagine that it is also the 92nd anniversary of the phrase, "I tried radio advertising once and didn't work." But don't tell that to Portland, Maine real-estate agent Cathy Manchester whose home sales doubled after using radio for one year. Or to Michael Storey the owner a Southern Maine landscaping company whose sales increased by 45% with the help of radio advertising. Or to the owners of Motel 6 who used radio advertising exclusively to expand from a single location in Santa Barbara to more than 1000 locations across the country (and each one still leaves the light on for you). The fact is, after 92 years the test is over and the results are in: RADIO WORKS for a lot of small businesses. So, why do we still hear, "I tried radio once and it didn't work."
Where Radio Campaigns Break Bad
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.
Target Your Prospects By What They Do...Not What They Look Like
A successful marketing objective includes a singular, well-articulated target consumer. It should not try to be all things to all people and 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. Just ask any of the small business owners below:
To learn more about how to make radio work for your Maine small business we have created The Small Business Guide To Effective Radio Advertising. The guide includes 5 steps for success including advice on how long your radio campaigns should run; how to choose the best radio stations to use; and how to create a compelling commercial.
Free Download: Guide To Effective Radio Advertising