With the advent of Google Marketplace, and Bid-4-Spots a lot of business are plugging radio advertising into their marketing plans and that’s great news, because radio advertising is one heck of a targeted way to reach your prospective clients. Here’s the downside; many of those businesses are unprepared for what it takes to launch a successful campaign. What is being “up-prepared”? Not having a realistic marketing budget planned out, not understanding how to target listeners on the right stations with the right message, just wanting to “test” radio advertising and not really being committed to a radio campaign. Radio advertising doesn’t work if you are not fully prepared to go full steam ahead. Radio works over time, not overnight.
So if you are one of those businesses considering radio advertising, give yourself a little test. If you answer “no” or “can’t answer” all of the points with a positive green light, give yourself the opportunity to “learn” before you get started.
What kind of marketing budget do you have? Although market size dictates spot rate, an advertiser in a smaller market should expect to spend on average of a couple thousand a month, over a period of at least six months. Do you have that kind of cash structure to allow yourself the luxury of making a commitment to that kind of expenditure? If you don’t, radio may not be the most efficient marketing vehicle.
Who are you trying to get to buy your product, or use your service? It’s not about the format, it’s about the audience and how many sets of ears (the right ones) will hear your message. Top rated stations pull in more listeners and charge more for their spots. Arbitron rates most cities across the United States. Go to www.arbitron.com to find out more about your radio market. These are 12+ ratings and although not specific enough to fine tune a radio buy, they are a good starting point. Station account executives can and should interview you about what you want to accomplish. In the creative process, we use a “creative brief” to address specific needs. An account executive should use a CNI, “customer needs interview” to find the right stations and the right frequency for your specific needs.
Does your industry use radio as a marketing tool? Are there studies available about consumer trends and behaviors specific to your industry? Learn what is working and what isn’t. Get smart about your industry before your contact the station. Another great resource on radio advertising is www.rab.com; The Radio Advertising Bureau has limited information available for non-members and an incredible amount of marketing information available for members. You will also find a ton of books available for purchase.
When preparing for a marathon, runners take months to prep for the big day. You don’t just go out and pound the pavement for 26.2 miles without getting ready. It’s the same for radio advertising. Without training your marketing will run out of steam, and if you finish, you’ll come in dead last. I don’t know many businesses that like to finish last…do you?