How Many Ads Must I Run?

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson.

It’s the age-old question

How many ads must I run? How many week/months must my advertising schedule continue?”
We bump up against these questions on a daily basis. Especially now, as our clients are thinking more short-term and are concentrating on budgets, being able to answer these questions is paramount. We want to create campaigns for our clients that will produce results, that will help them to regain and increase revenue.
We should not be concerned about budgets. (Really?) We should be concerned about schedules. We should SELL SCHEDULES NOT BUDGETS. Our clients rarely understand how to use radio effectively. They have no idea what they SHOULD invest with us. Or, they have a wrong idea because we’ve allowed them to spend too little in the past. We are often too timid to ask for the investment required to fuel an effective campaign.
This is not a new discussion. In 1885, Thomas Smith wrote a guide called “Successful Advertising in 1885″. His ideas still have relevance today, especially in the crowded marketplace in which our clients operate. He referred to print media, the dominate vehicle in that age. Maybe it’s a little outdated, but you will get the message: Repetition sells!
Here’s what he had to say:
The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbours if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
the twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.
The recipe for successful radio advertising is

1. enough repetition weekly to reach a minimum exposure threshold of three,

2. long enough (at least 52 weeks) and

3. a relevant message. When all of the elements are in place, radio campaigns will move our clients forward.

Our goal: To hear, “My radio advertising is working great!”

About The Author 

Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe and Central Asia.

Pat has spent her entire career creating a culture of over-achievement for her stations. She began her career in radio sales, becoming one of the highest billing sales people in her market. Her career advanced to General Sales Manager, and then to Market Manager. Since starting BBI 7 years ago, she has helped hundreds of radio stations to find, train and grow great quality sales people and managers.

Pat was the recipient of two prestigious educational fellowships from the Educational Foundation of the National Association of Broadcasters: a fellowship to the Executive Development Program and a fellowship to the Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

She publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly, is the author of A Road Map To Success In High-Dollar Broadcast Sales and is a contributor to Valerie Geller’s latest book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator’s Guide To The Internet Age.

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