Ways To Do Radio WRONG

Ways To Do Radio WRONG

Here are some great ways to make sure your radio advertising does NOT work for you…

“Let’s try it for a couple of weeks and see if it works.”

If you’re going to do this, it better be a Help Wanted or a Sale ad and you better have about 8 to 10 ads running a day. Radio’s big strength is constant, consistent brand building. And be prepared not to be completely Wowed for 2 to 4 months. And then you’ll be elated at the end of Year 1. But that’s only if we take a tedious, creative, and intelligent approach to the message we’re putting out to the public. My specialty is figuring out what we need to say in your ads so your radio advertising works…and you grow because of it.


“We just want a straightforward Radio Ad with the facts.”

I heard this one the other day. He’s a fairly new HR guy. They’re doing some Help Wanted advertising. This local company has been using radio for recruitment advertising for about 8 years now. And it’s worked for them because we’re bold and creative in their radio ads. But the new guy just wants something “straightforward”. And we’re changing the ads from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Ok, I’ll give him a break. He’s new. He doesn’t know that we went through this trial and error phase 8 years ago. The fact is…people like to be entertained. Especially when they’re listening to the Radio…because that’s why they turned it on in the first place. So, if we weave a persuasive message into an entertaining and Non-Ignorable radio spot, it’s a win. It gets heard more often. It gets remembered more often. Radio listeners get weary of radio ads aimed only at their logic. When you add emotion and entertainment, that’s when the real results show themselves.


Not taking your competition into account.

If you create a radio campaign without “strategy” in mind, your ads won’t work as hard as they could for you. So, you have to think about how you compare with your competition. Where are they strong, where you are not? Where are you strong, where they are not? We need to “open a wedge” where you stand above your competitors. We need to highlight the points where you shine…and those points need to be things that a good portion of the public really cares about. For example, I recently got a bank on a consistent yearly radio plan. They’re a smaller bank with multiple locations that 1) answers the phone when you call, 2) is small enough where the employees know who you are, and 3) cares more for the individual. Our strategy is to highlight the shortcomings of the big banks – like customer service and always having to wrestle with automated phone systems…and then explain why you’ll be happier at a smaller bank. We’re using humor and also reminding people of how it used to be and that they can have that level of service again. We’re also going to incorporate some good testimonials into that mix of humorous ads soon. If we just gave a laundry list of services and cliché lines about customer service and a knowledgeable staff, the ads would never get any attention. They would be ignored. And the radio advertising wouldn’t work. It’s not about the advertising medium you choose, it’s about the message and the strategy within your ads. And radio is one of the best places to do that.


Getting too technical about demographics and the radio stations you choose.

Most radio stations would work for a good, local branding campaign. Yes, some might have a few more listeners that seem to be in your “wheelhouse” of the demographics you’re looking for… but barely. Don’t try splitting hairs. Consider a demographic range for many radio stations… 18 to 35… 25 to 45… 35 to 60+. That’s a pretty big range. You know why? Because you can never tell what kind of music someone enjoys. Or whether they prefer Talk Radio over a station that plays music. And most people have 2 to 4 favorite radio stations. There’s not one radio station, TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, or social media channel that OWNS an audience. People are people. All you have to do is make sure you’re saying something in your ads that people might actually care about. THAT is when your advertising will start working. It’s not about WHERE you advertise. It’s about what you SAY in your ads. I don’t mean to be a broken record about that (well maybe I do), but it’s the most important thing that business owners and “marketing people” need to understand. Your advertising results depend on it.