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Why Radio Advertising Could Be The Best Thing You Ever Did For Your Business

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In the marketing world, radio has earned the reputation of
being the odd step-cousin. You know the one. No one
knows quite what to do with him. Especially at family
gatherings when everyone tries hard to avoid sitting with
him. (After all, who knows WHAT he’ll start talking about.)

Much of that reputation comes from radio being tough to
track. On one hand, radio does work. Businesses do notice
an increase in sales when they add radio to the mix.
However, radio doesn’t test well. In surveys and other
tracking methods, radio tends to be the one with the dismal
scores.

A good friend of mine, who’s also a marketing consultant
but before that she sold radio for many years, has a theory
about that. She says radio works on a subconscious or
unconscious level. People remember the ad, but not that
they heard it on the radio. So, they tend to credit a different
medium for the ad, like the yellow pages. Yellow pages gets
a boost while radio drops a few points.

Regardless, radio should not be ignored because it does
work. And many marketing consultants will probably tell you
radio is an excellent medium to reach a local market.

However, I feel there are possibilities beyond merely
reaching local customers.

Internet radio shows are starting to take off in a big way.
That means advertising and sponsorship opportunities are
also taking off. In addition, “offline” methods have been
shown to be pretty effective at driving traffic online. If
increasing Web traffic is your goal, using traditional media
outlets to increase traffic should be a part of your mix.

If people already know you (which they might in your local
market) they’re more likely to be loyal. And they’re more likely
to send other customers to your site. Depending on the
costs of radio in your community, radio may be a very
affordable way to get a good viral campaign going. (A viral
campaign is when your customers send promotional items
about your business such as e-mails, articles, Web site
urls, etc. to their friends and family members.)

Below are some other positive reasons to use radio:

* Affordable — when you compare spot to spot, radio tends
to be one of the least expensive media out there. However,
one spot ain’t going to do it. To reach your target market, you
need to purchase several spots. That’s why radio can also
turn into one of the more expensive media. However, there
are ways to keep your costs in line yet still reap the benefits
of radio — for instance, buying less spots but running them
all in one or two weeks, so your customers are more likely
to hear your message.

* Psychological, if you voice the commercials yourself —
hearing your voice makes people feel like they “know” you.
(Hence the popularity of audio on Web sites. In fact,
marketing gurus claim just by adding audio to a site
substantially increases how many people buy.)

People tend to buy from people and businesses they know
and trust. Hearing your voice helps them feel as if they know
you. These psychological aspects may be another reason to
consider running a few radio ads in your local market even if
you have an Internet business.

* Speed — you can get your spot up and running in no time.

* Loyalty — listeners choose stations based on the music or
shows they like and they tend to be quite loyal to that station.
If you know what your customers enjoy listening to, it’s an
excellent way to reach them. (I include both music and talk
shows in this.)

* Good support medium — radio works really well when
paired with other marketing mediums (like print, direct mail
or television).

But for every positive, there’s a negative. In the spirit of being
objective, here are a few for radio:

* Background medium — radio tends to be on in the
background, which means it tends to be ignored. Generally,
your target market needs to be exposed to your ad more
times than other marketing media before they’ll act upon
your message.

* Little staying power — the lack of visuals again keeps radio
from “sticking” with people. At least, that’s what some of the
marketing gurus say. But, here again my marketing
consultant friend differs. She thinks it’s that subconscious
thing again.

And if you can write a spot that creates pictures in your
customers’ heads, you can actually work this to your
advantage. In fact, according to my friend, if the picture is
defined enough, not only will people remember it better, but
they’ll also think it was a print ad instead of a radio ad. (More
on the art of creating pictures using words in later issues.)

* Hard to track

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Written by admin

May 27th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Advertising

Tagged with , , , ,

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