In a recent poll, 40% of small business owners ranked word-of-mouth advertising as their most powerful marketing tool. Although word-of-mouth has benefited from social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the transmission of word-of-mouth advertising is usually slow because it typically travels from one-mouth-at-a-time to two-ears-at-a-time. Radio in Maine, however, is like word-of-mouth on steroids. The advertising message of a Maine small business can travel from a single mouth to over one million ears in a very short period of time. Here are some great examples how radio puts its mouth where the customers ears are.
Time Share Company Spreads The Word On Radio
Earlier this week I received a phone call at the radio station from Jessie. She works cleaning, organizing, and staging houses that are about to go up for sale. She was at work when she heard the following radio commercial for a company that guarantees to cancel people's time share commitments.
Jessie, who does not own a time share property, called the radio station because she heard this commercial but did not catch the phone number. She wanted to share the information with her friend who she knew was trying desperately to unload a time share. Interestingly enough, this was only the first day this commercial was broadcast. So clearly, a radio commercial is powerful enough to ignite a word-of-mouth reaction the very first time it is heard.
Trucking Company Drives Word-Of-Mouth With Radio Ads
Another local Maine company utilizes radio word-of-mouth attributes to recruit new employees. Superior Carriers is a large, bulk truck carrier with its terminal in Auburn. The company has an ongoing need for experienced drivers with very specific types of licensing. It is often very difficult to reach these people with advertising since they spend a lot of time on the road, far-away from home. To help reach these elusive truckers, Superior Carriers often uses a radio commercial designed to specifically trigger a word-of-mouth campaign by appealing directly to the families and friends of these elusive truckers. Here is an example of one of those commercials:
Chris Stonick, President of Stonick Recruiting International, tells a similar story about a company in Chicago. According to Chris, "Sherman Hospital was looking to recruit an audiologist; speech pathologist; certified occupational therapist and physical therapist. They knew the audiologist would be the most difficult to find." Chris advised the hospital to use radio advertising in the Chicago area to find qualified candidates. The commercial worked and the hospital hired a qualified audiologist from Atlanta. But how did an audiologist from Atlanta hear a radio commercial in Chicago? He didn't. "His mom," says Chris, "heard the commercial in Chicago and called her son in Atlanta and told him about the opportunity. Two weeks later he was on a plane to his new job in Chicago."
Easy Time Share, Superior Carriers, and Sherman Hospital have discovered the value of creating word-of-mouth via radio advertising. This is the same lesson revealed in a 2007 Harvard Business Review article that said, "A corporation that accurately targets those who are likely to make profitable referrals will earn a better return on its marketing investment than its competitors that do not."
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