Radio Advertising: A Waste of Money!

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Last week I attended a Chamber of Commerce networking event. It was a terrific evening with a large group of business people across a wide range of industries – from retail through service and B2B as well.

One group that I joined was discussing the challenges of marketing and the ROI they expected vs. what they received.  Several people used mainstream media advertising, one was a social media fan and another expressed his disgust “advertising, what a waste of money”. That’s when the discussion really became interesting!

Several of the group then got onto the ROI bandwagon using the old phrase “I know only half my advertising works, problem is I don’t know which half” and inevitably the conversation switched to “old media is dying and new media is the way to go” (their words not mine). All in all, a rare and brutally frank insight on what business people think about us and what we sell.

I just wish I could have recorded it!

Why do they have that opinion?

It’s mostly our fault.

  • Too many media salespeople over-promise and under deliver.
  • Others don’t know what they are actually selling or how their medium works
  • While many don’t know the basic rules of advertising and how to apply them

As regular readers of my posts will know, I get to work with media sales people across all platforms, not just radio, and the comments above apply to all media equally.

It’s these shortcomings combined with a focus on getting the sale that causes most of the problems and perceptions held by business people when it comes to buying an advertising campaign.

What to do?

First, start having more honest discussions with your customers – find out and understand their expectations. Then clearly establish and agree on what you can deliver and what you can’t.

Second, read “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” – a book created for small business owners who are dissatisfied with the results they get from local advertising. It’s a unique peek behind the curtain.

Finally, gain a solid understanding of the rules of advertising. Learning these basics will help ensure your advice to customers isn’t based on myths but facts. A timeless classic to help is “Ogilvy On Advertising” – considered by many to be an advertising bible.

I’ll leave it to Mark Twain to have the last word “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising”

Good luck applying these ideas and until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]