When a Maine small business owner invests in an advertising campaign on Portland radio, the first job of every commercial is to be heard.
Unless an ad is heard, it will fail. In a previous article, Famous First Words: How To Start Your Commercials On Portland Radio, we talked about how to grab consumers by the ears.
Once a radio commercial is heard, its next job is to be remembered. Unless an ad can be recalled at the point of sale, it cannot contribute to a ringing cash register.
Before we can talk about how ads are remembered, we first need to talk about forgetting.
Every second, humans are exposed to 11,000,000 pieces of data. Our brains, however, are only capable of dealing with about 50 pieces of this data at a time. So, if my math is correct, we forget approximately10,999,950 things every second.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, was a German psychologist who, during the 19th century, pioneered the experimental study of memory. He is most famous for the discovery of the "Forgetting Curve". This curve, demonstrates how rapidly our ability to recall information decays over time.
According to the Ebbinghaus Curve, unless people make a concerted effort to remember, the ability to recall information drops by 40% after just 20 minutes. By the end of one day, recall drops to just about 25%. As time continues to elapse, recall diminishes into oblivion.
When advertising on Portland radio, Maine small business owners can utilize effective strategies to overcome Mr. Ebbinghaus's curve.
The first of these strategies is repetition. In advertising speak this is called frequency. According to Ebbinghaus, repeated exposures to a message will increase recall.
There is no magic number of exposures that will cement a memory in our brains (No, despite popular myth, the magic number is not 3. Click here to find out why). According, however, to Erwin Ephron, the father of modern-day media planning, the more frequency the better. "Today," said Mr. Ephron, "serious students of advertising understand there is no formula answer to the effective frequency question. They believe most exposures are reminders."
A recent study by Nielsen, in fact, does indicate that when advertising on radio, higher levels of frequency create an exponentially greater lift to sales.
The study, conducted over a three month period late last year, revealed that a radio advertising campaign conducted by an auto aftermarket retailer delivered $21 in increased sales for every $1 spent on commercials.
According to Westwood One who commissioned the study, Nielsen matched its Portable People Meter panel with credit and debit card spending data in order to compare purchases of those exposed to the radio campaign with consumers who were not exposed. The results continue to demonstrate radio advertising's jaw dropping ability to improve a business owner's bottom line.
Although, in this study, every exposure contributed to sales lift, the greatest lift derived from listeners who heard the retailer's commercial 7+ times.
Many advertising experts, including Mr. Ephron, believe simple repetition is not enough. Because, according to Ebbinghaus, recall plummets drastically after exposure, advertising can become most effective when exposure to a commercial occurs within close proximity to the time of purchase. Mr. Ephron referred to this phenomenon as "recency."
Another study, reveals that radio advertising is the best tool Maine small business owners have to achieve recency.
Data provided to trade publication Inside Radio from cross-platform measurement service USA TouchPoints clearly demonstrates the link between radio and retail.
According to the publication, "Radio’s ubiquitous in-car presence is such that more purchases are made within 30 minutes of radio listening than are made after tuning to satellite radio, streaming audio and downloaded music combined. USA TouchPoints reports that 13% of the time that purchases were being made, radio was listened to in the same half-hour, compared to just 3% each for satellite radio and streaming audio. And 45% of the 18-64-year-old population made a purchase and listened to radio in the same half-hour during the week, which is five times higher than internet streaming audio."
Inside Radio goes on to say, "Radio’s proximity to the point of purchase is especially evident in the automotive category, which has seen a steady migration of ad dollars from traditional media to digital channels. More than one in five (21%) of automotive supply purchases, which include anything to do with automotive products such as buying gasoline, are made in the same half-hour when the customer was listening to radio. 'Because of the high percentage of time in the car that people are listening to radio, when they are stopping for gas or purchasing windshield washer fluid, they were just in their car and they were just listening to radio,' says Matt Hird, senior research analyst, USA TouchPoints.
So, when it comes to being remembered by consumers who are ready to buy, the key for Maine small business owners is frequency. According, to research, the more the better.
More Great Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Creating Ad Campaigns That Drive Sales For Maine Small Business Owners
- 5 Numbers Every Maine Business Owner Should Know About Portland Radio
- Maine Small Business Owners Learn The 3 Rs Of Advertising
- Definitive Proof! Radio Ads Work For Maine Small Business Owners