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6 Principles To Make Radio Work


Here’s a marketing approach to designing a radio commercial based on some important questions from my friend and insightful marketer Tad Hargrave Using these marketing steps will help you structure a commercial that works.

You must help your client’s target audience to understand:

1. They have a PROBLEM. It's either going to be a current pain or something they want but don't have (which is a problem to them). It's a need they have that's unfulfilled. It's a result they want but don't have. It's a goal or vision they're working for. It's a problem they want to solve.

2. It MUST be solved. Even if people know there's a problem, they won't move, they won't act if they think it's just something that "should" be solved. This is not an intellectual thing – it's emotional. REMEMBER: All decisions are made for emotional reasons and then justified with logic.

3. It CAN be solved. This is crucial. Imagine someone with crippling lower back pain. They know they have a problem. They know it must be solved, but if they believe that "there's nothin' that can be done about it" then you are stuck. You must powerfully and elegantly educate them to see that it can, indeed, be solved.

4. It must be solved NOW. The truth is that people will procrastinate unless they sense some urgency. You must be ethical in handling this one and know that the more urgent they perceive the need to be, the more likely they are to act. Sometimes urgency can be: "There are only 20 spaces left." Or: "If you enroll before this date you get a free bonus report" etc.

5. YOUR CLIENT can solve it. Everything so far is a set up for THIS. You must show them that your client is qualified and credible. They must both like and trust the advertiser. Again, giving them the experience directly through referrals, case studies, and testimonials is the most effective way to do this.

6. Your client can solve it BETTER (more quickly, more conveniently, cheaper, etc.). They can believe that they have a problem that must and can be solved now but . . .why should they choose YOUR CLIENT to help them solve it? That's not a rhetorical question. Until and unless you clearly give them a reason, then you shouldn't be surprised to see business going to the competition.

Sometimes you have to think like a marketer to create commercials that work. Can you get everything possible from all six steps into 30 or 60 seconds? No, but in a complete campaign you can. Thanks to Tad, now you have a set of questions to give your campaign structure.

Long ago, Jeffrey thought marketing meant shopping for groceries. Now he knows better. Hedquist Productions, Inc. Phone 641-472-6708, email Or visit If you’d like a free teleseminar, visit