Sunday, March 29, 2009

Building A Radio Advertising Campaign-1

In this fast paced world, it seems we all want things to happen NOW. And we can get many things a lot faster than our parents and grandparents.

Everything from rotary dial telephones that hung on the wall, to waiting for a letter being delivered from across the country, are all but memories of a slower pace. Microwave ovens were not common in my childhood days, I could go on and on, but the point of this is that there is a process in building a strong, solid advertising campaign.

I learned this process over 20 years ago when I transitioned from the on-air side of radio to the advertising side of radio. And these days again I'm in the position to share this with others.

Listening to the radio is a personal experience. It's something you often do by yourself, perhaps while driving back and forth to work, or maybe even at work. The best radio programs are the ones that remember this and the best commercials on the radio remember the relationship aspect too.

Today, I'm going to show you a 4 step process to building an effective radio advertising campaign. Remember these letters: I.B.; G.B.; S.B.; & R.B.

They stand for Intangible Benefits, General Benefits, Specific Benefits & Re-created Benefits. Each is a stage that you should go through in your advertising campaign. And if you skip or rush the process, your campaign weakens.

Right now, I want you to think about the 1st phase. Intangible Benefits.

Think about the many factors of your business that fit this catagory.
Write them down.
Mull over your list.
Refine it.
Add to it.
Put it away for a day or two and examine it again and dig deeper into the descriptions of these intangibles.
The first part of your advertising campaign will be built around these.
(By the way, I.B. could also stand for Image Building, but it is these Intangible Benefits that are often at the root of your Image.)

As you review your list, you will find some things that set you apart from your competitors. Cherish these items, after all your business has a personality and that is what you are uncovering.

Your first ad in building your brand will be focused on those Intangible Benefits. Unfortunately, most radio campaigns never explore this.

Next time, we'll look at the G.B.

Your Comments and Questions are always welcome.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How to Buy Radio & TV Advertising

Last week, I told you about avoiding the ratings jargon when buying advertising on Radio & TV.

Let's dig a little deeper and see what you should do, starting with Radio.

You need to select a radio station that has listeners that are likely to become buyers of what you have to sell. For example, if you are a plumber, you want to reach home owners, not renters.

Think for a moment about who a homeowner is. Age: most likely over 25, by then they are done with college and settling down and starting families. Families are more likely to have plumbing problems than singles, because there are more people using the shower, bathtub, toilet, sinks, etc and the more they are used, the more likely a problem will develop.

So, in my town there are 20 radio stations, of which 15 reach adults 25 and older. The price of commercials vary depending on when the ads are scheduled and some stations will want to charge you more because the ratings services say they have more listeners than the other stations.

We are habitual people. We get up at the same time nearly every day, travel the same route to work, listen to the same one or two radio stations as we are going to work, listen to another station while at work, and when we leave to head home, we listen to the radio again. Nobody listens to all 20 radio stations each day, or each week. I listen to maybe 4 besides the ones I work for, depending on the time of day and my mood.

So, take advantage of these habits and buy an advertising schedule that reaches a small group of people everyday. Pick what we call in the radio business, a daypart. A daypart is a 4 or 5 hour time of the day.

Make sure your ads are in one or two dayparts, like mornings and mid days for example.

Use radio to create top of mind awareness for your business so that when the toilet overflows, the family that is trying to get the kids off to school and out the door to their jobs will already have you in mind.

On the TV side, buy by the show. Everyone has favorite shows that they watch week after week. Make a commitment to be advertising week after week on those shows that match the viewers to your customer profile.

Be Very, Very Careful and Cautious about buying Deal, Packages and Promotions that do not fit these criteria.

Your questions and comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Side Step the Confusion

As a business owner, have you ever had someone try and sell you advertising based on ratings?

Since I work in the radio business, we have access to Arbitron and the computer software known as Tapscan.

Television broadcasters use Nielsen and other services, and originally these services were to determine # of viewers, listeners to make Programming decisions. They were not for justifying advertising rates or schedules.

However, that is what they have become and that's too bad. Instead, use some common sense.

Ask for the cume numbers of a station that you are considering advertising with. If they have more listeners than you have customers, it could be a good fit. Because all the advertising is supposed to do is invite the listeners to become your customers, and the ads are like invitations.

Increase the Frequency of the ads and you increase the likelihood that your "invitation" will be noticed, and people will respond.

You don't need to understand the confusion of broadcast sales terms such as Cost Per Point, or Average Quarter Hour, and if that is what the media reps are trying to get you to buy, kick them out.

Side step the Confusion and have them sell you on Your Terms, such as how many customers do you need to generate in order to get a Return On your advertising Investment?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Word to Learn is Value (part two)

Just a few more words on the topic of VALUE.

People attach a VALUE to everything they trade for their dollars.

My wife mentioned to me that she really liked the Wendy's new fish sandwich, priced around $4.

My wife complained at the little burger she got off Wendy's VALUE menu. Her exact words, "Where's the beef?"

No matter what the price, we want something for our money that we feel is fair. Otherwise we feel ripped off.

I felt ripped off a couple years ago after buying a used Mercedes. Not by the guy that sold it to me, but by the multiple repair shops that charged me to fix a problem that they didn't really fix.

These days I take it to an import dealer who gives me a loaner, not a rental. (The last time I dropped my car off, they gave me a brand new red Jetta to drive that only had 35 miles on it!) It may cost a few dollars more, but they give VALUE by repairing my car right the first time, (and the loaner is pretty cool too.)

So, selling cheap stuff doesn't mean you can sell crap. Just focus on VALUE, no matter what the price tag and you'll be a winner.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Word to Learn is Value (part one)

I've been thinking about this for quite some time now. With the economy now in the dumps, this makes more sense than ever.

Think about the word VALUE.

Not values, or morals, but VALUE, as in getting your money's worth.

As a business person, or as a consumer, we all want VALUE for our money.

How we measure VALUE, is very subjective except when we don't get it, we know it.

The other day, I was shopping for soap and found 7 bars of Irish Spring for $3 at a dollar store.
To me, that was VALUE. If I bought it at a convenience store, it would have been $7.

I spent 5 bucks with tip for a white chocolate mocha last week from the FireFly Coffee House. I got what I wanted and it was GOOD. It also is a good VALUE, in my eyes.

I got a bill a couple of weeks ago from a plumber that I called 4 months ago to fix a backed up toilet. He spent 2 hours at my house and didn't fix the problem. So I had to call another guy who spent 1 hour and fixed it.

The bill for the plumber that fixed it, $160. The bill from the plumber that didn't fix it, $130.

I'm fighting the $130 bill because there was no value. The other guy, I recommend to others.

So here's my question and challenge to you:

What are you doing to provide VALUE? Are you sure? Would your customers agree?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Do Something

A lot of businesses seem to have a case of marketing paralysis right now. And the reasons are many. Actually they are really excuses.

Last year I was hearing:

  • I want to see how the election turns out.
  • I need to see how the Holiday season treats us.
So far this year:
  • I am waiting for the President to take office.
  • I am waiting for the stimulus bill to be passed.
  • etc.
  • etc.
  • etc.
So what is happening while you wait? Consumers are still spending. They are buying food, they are going to work, they are spending what they have and they are not going to spend it with you if you continue to sit on your hands and your advertising wallet.

More excuses:

  • There are too many choices, how do I know what form if advertising I should do?
  • It is too expensive if it doesn't work.
  • Our budget is being cut.
  • My Mom won't let me.
Time for a fresh slap in the face. You have more control over your destiny than anyone else. Stop whining and take action:

  • Start with your internal marketing and fix your short comings, including improving your attitude and the attitude of your employees.
  • Pick a form of advertising that builds relationships. Stick with it, it will take some time, but the results will pay off if your content, message, and offer are good.
  • Remember this word: VALUE. That's what everyone wants no matter what you are selling from computers to toothpicks.
  • Talk to an outside expert who will be straight with you about what you need to do. You are too close to your situation to see the big picture.
We are now in the final 10 months of 2009. Stop your thumb twiddling and start moving, or the last excuse will be a REAL reason: We are going out of business.

Your comments are always welcome.