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What Advertisers Want


I have an 8-pound cylindrical automotive part about 11 inches long and 6 inches in diameter with a pulley on one end. 
Ill often lug the ugly brute into a seminar and ask the audience, Would anyone like to have one of these for their car? Of course, no one wants it.

But then I go on to explain the features. Its cast in lightweight aluminum, has an output pressure of up to 200 pounds, a pulley thats guaranteed for life, and its sealed at the factory to be maintenance free.

Then Ill ask again, if anyone would like one of these in their car, with no takers.

The want and demand only occurs when I start explaining what the gizmo doesthe benefits it delivers.

This unit is part of a system that will keep your car cool and comfortable on the hottest summer days. Motorists can roll up their windows and tune out the heavy traffic noise and dust, and ride in quiet temperature-controlled comfort.

All of a sudden everyone in the room wants one of these in their car. Its a compressor, the main component of an automotive air conditioning system.

Far too many radio presentations talk about their features, or the features of their proposal, rather than focusing on what they can do for the client and the benefits they can deliver.  

And "traffic" and "awareness" are not benefits! Your prospects know they cant send their kids to college with traffic and they cant pay their mortgage with awareness. Traffic and awareness are features that can deliver the benefits business owners want increased sales.

We conducted a survey of 540 locally owned and operated businesses to determine why they advertise. 82 percent said to increase sales. Yet less than 10 percent of the radio presentations we see address how the station will deliver this benefit.

And literally none of our respondents said they advertise to achieve a certain cost-per-point or quarter hour average.

Many sales people claim they want to "partner" with their clients, but they wont partner or deliver the benefits their client wants increased sales. Instead they claim their only job is to build traffic or awareness.

These same salespeople will build ridiculous campaigns that generate hordes of unqualified traffic or build unrealistic customer expectations. Then they blame their client because they couldnt sell anything under those circumstances. Thats not "partnering."

Before you write your next presentation, take some time to uncover the exact benefit your prospect expects. It will probably be increased sales. Then clearly outline how your campaign will deliver that benefit.

Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc. and producer of SoundADvice, the radio e-marketing system and advertiser seminar that is persuading local advertisers across North America to drop their print advertising in favor of a radio-Internet media mix. He can be reached at 

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Indeed, Wayne, you have articulated the exact reason to advertise. However, my bet is there are many salespeople who are terrified - I mean, those who would rather suck on a .45 than say those words.
I am convinced that a majority of radio salespeople do not have the confidence that their station - not necessarily the medium - can deliver the product required to influence an audience sufficiently to deliver those promises.
That's a matter for Programming to address and I'm pretty sure it isn't.

- Ronald T. Robinson

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