Let’s Put Radio Advertising in Perspective

Selling Radio Direct with Pat Bryson

What CAN advertising do for businesses?

In their heart of hearts, businesspeople want to run an ad today and have teeming multitudes run into their store tomorrow screaming out our call letters.

Since they all start with “K” or “W” in the US at least, customers will find it confusing at best to attribute their arrival to ads heard on our stations. Also, it’s not their job to help businesses know how their advertising is working. Customers want to get their needs met in the most expeditious way and go on with their lives.

Measuring traffic flow is the best way to know if advertising is working. Over time, traffic should increase if advertising is effective. Note, I didn’t say “sales”. Once a potential customer crosses the threshold, it’s up to the business to sell them. Often, we get an interested potential customer into the store, but the “friendly, knowledgeable personnel” fail to sell them.

Most advertising is designed to work over time. Why? Because on any given day, the national average for people who are “hot” consumers (those who are planning on buying TODAY) is only 2%. “Warm” consumers (those who are thinking about buying and developing their criteria for a purchase) make up only 8%. That means that statistically, 90% of the population is “cold”. They are NOT planning on buying today and aren’t even thinking about it.

Our clients seem to think that every time one of their ads airs, everyone within their trade area is wanting to buy what they are selling. Not so.

The main objective of advertising should be to predispose the 90% and the 8% to buying from our clients when they have the need. And no one, not us nor our clients can determine exactly when that need will arise. Advertising’s job is to make sure that customers will at least go into our clients’ stores or call them, or go online to their websites and give them a chance to serve them. Otherwise, if our clients’ names are not in the customer’s mental file drawer, they will never see that person. The customer will end up in one of the national chains that does have space in their file drawer.

As we are in the sales process, we need to explain to our prospects how advertising works. The 2%, 8% and 90% also explain why advertising should be consistent and long-term. As advertising professionals, it’s up to us to craft campaigns that will work. Higher revenue awaits for our clients and for us.

Pat has a New Book