On July 25, 1925 WCSH-AM, became the first radio station in Maine. Since that day, Maine small business owners have depended on Portland radio to successfully advertise their goods and services.
A lot of things have changed over the last 93 years. WCSH no longer broadcasts from the lobby of the Congress Street Hotel (notice the station's call letters). Also, the spot on the AM dial once occupied by WCSH is now home to WZAN, the local ESPN radio affiliate.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is that hundreds of Maine business owners still invest their advertising and marketing dollars on Portland radio stations. Here are the top 3 reasons why.
1. Massive Reach...Every week 700,000 adults in southern Maine tune-in to a Portland radio station. This is substantially more people than watch local TV, read a local newspaper, thumb through a local magazine, or stream an online service like Pandora or Spotify.m
Reach is a critical component of any advertising campaign. According to a recent Nielsen study, when it comes to driving sales reach is one of the top 2 critical components for driving sales. Radio is, by far, the number 1 reach medium and the number one reason advertising on Portland radio is so successful for Maine business owners.
2. Extraordinary Recall...Maine small business owners are confident that when their commercials are broadcast on a Portland radio, their advertising will be remembered when it comes to buy. This belief is supported by the research.
Local Ad Recall, a research company that measures the effectiveness of advertising, found that brand recall was 516% higher for companies that advertised on the radio vs. companies that did not. Consequently, Maine businesses that advertise on Portland radio have a much better chance of being remembered by prospective customers than companies who don't advertise on radio.
Consumer insight company Nielsen found similar results. Across several different business categories, on average, radio advertising improved recall by 82%. The businesses measured were a health and beauty company; an information technologies company; an auto aftermarket retailer; a motorcycle company; and a mobile app company.
3. Eye-Popping Return On Investment...Over the past few years, Nielsen, a company that tracks both our media consumption well as our buying habits, has done more than 20 studies to determine what type of return a business owner could expect for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising. In every, case, radio advertising's return-on-investment, was, according to Ad Age, "Eye-popping."
The most recent ROI study, released this month by Nielsen is no exception. According to Westwood One, the company that commissioned this latest study, a radio campaign for a men's personal-care brand produced $11.96 in sales-lift for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising. Wow!
"To determine sales lift," says Pierre Bouvard of Westwood One, "Nielsen Catalina Solutions matches Portable People Meter panel data and shopper card data from NCS and Nielsen Homescan. This creates a household match of actual AM/FM radio listening and their purchase habits.
Mr. Bouvard also noted, radio advertising's overall effect on the brand's sales. "Households where men were exposed to the AM/FM radio campaign saw an 8% lift in sales for the parent brand. The growth in sales was driven by more spending per trip."
According to Nielsen, among all of the studies conducted, radio ads produce a very impressive 6 time ROI. According to Ad Age magazine, these findings indicate that advertisers can expect higher returns-on investment from radio than TV, digital, or social media.
RADIO ADVERTISING ROI BY BRAND CATEGORY
First Hand Confirmation From Maine Business Owners
Case in point. Scott Libby, owner of Royal River Heat Pumps in Freeport, credits his radio advertising campaign and its catchy jingle with doubling his sales in just one year. "When it comes to reach," says Mr. Libby, "radio is second to none."
Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, has had similar results utilizing radio as part of her company's marketing mix. "When we began advertising on the radio several years ago," says Ms. Manchester, "our business doubled! We went from selling 100 homes a year to approximately 200 homes each year! Radio advertising continues to provide a steady stream of well qualified customers for us!"
Jon Goodman, who is the front man of Time Pilots, a Maine based wedding band also experienced accelerated growth when he started advertising on radio. "It would be fair to say," says Mr. Goodman, "that our wedding business has tripled."
Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick, also lets reality not perception guide her company's media and marketing decisions. "We have been using Portland radio as a primary marketing source for about 10 years now." said Ms. Dodge. "We have seen very measurable results and are able to target our audiences more effectively."
"We are also more effectively able to market specific brands to a specific audience which is sometimes harder, and more expensive, to do with other mediums, said Ms. Dodge. "Radio is a very cost effective way to get your message out to the people you want to hear it."
More great reads for Maine business owners:
- What Amazon Knows That Some Maine Business Owners Don't
- 150,000 Reasons To Advertise on Portland Radio
- TV Networks and Maine Business Owners Depend on Radio Ads For Results
- This Is Your Brain On Radio. Advice For Maine Small Business Owners.
- Target The Heart: Advertising Advice For Maine Small Business Owners