November 27, 2015

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01/20/03 Have You Been Promising Results?
“Our station is Results Oriented. We believe in Results. Use Radio and your company will make sales and get Results.” Ever make a sales pitch like this one? Ever make this pitch to the wrong business?

The promise of instant traffic, or “results,” is not appropriate in the case of many business categories. If you’ve been promising these people instant results, then you’ve been misleading them.

If a plumber airs a fabulous Radio ad, will it make people’s pipes leak? Of course not, but aired consistently, such an ad will ensure that the plumber’s name is the one that listeners remember when a plumber is needed.

So what does an informed Radio salesperson say?

We absolutely guarantee the exposure you’ll receive. But we can’t guarantee the outcome. What you get from your Radio campaign, and how soon you get it, will depend on several factors:
• How many people need what you sell?
• How often do they need it? (Restaurants see results much more quickly than jewelry stores.)
• How well known are your competitors?
• How strong is your offer?
• How deep is the reach of your Radio schedule? (How many persons will hear it?)
• How much weekly frequency does your schedule deliver?
• How many weeks in a row has it been airing?
(Week 30 delivers a great deal more than Week 3.)

The unmined gold for Radio is selling to people who need top-of-mind awareness but who know better than to expect instant results from their ads. These people will commit to 52-week Radio campaigns. But you’ll never discover this new ocean of prospects by listening to your competitor’s station. You’ll find them in the Yellow Pages and in local newspapers and magazines. Many of these prospects are service companies that a large portion of your listeners doesn't need at any one moment, but all of them are potential future customers.

Radio today is used mostly for product movement, but it’s even better at creating top-of-mind awareness — branding. The key for any business is to own the first brand place in the consumer mind, to be the company that comes to mind when the need arises. Radio is word-of-mouth advertising on steroids. In fact, Radio is All Mouth. (Hmmm… our next industry slogan?) However, few Radio stations understand how to use Radio for branding. They know even less about how to pitch a branding campaign or even to whom to pitch it.

Ask any business owner, "Who in your business category has the greatest share of mind among consumers?" The owner will give an opinion. Then, whip out a top-of-mind awareness survey and show the owner where the company stand vs. the competition. Many TOMA categories are dominated by no one, so they’re wide open to anyone who will step in and fill them. Can you find a prospect or two who are willing to sit on the throne of the king? They will need you to show them how to do it — good copy, frequency and 52-week annual advertising. Yes, they can still use Radio to drive traffic for special events, but top-of-mind branding must be the ongoing focus if the client’s business is to grow.

You have the best tool in the world for building brands. Now, what will you do with it?

— Eric Rhoads

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