Radio advertising is still a robust source of advertising for mid-market companies, if they understand the peaks and valleys.
Despite many opinions, radio is an incredibly powerful medium. It’s a mobile medium that allows listeners to listen anytime and anywhere. It still offers the best overall reach, with 93% of Americans tuning in weekly. It reaches consumers throughout the day, primarily in the early mornings, during drive times and weekends. When they’re close to their purchase decision.
Since you’re a regional company national media doesn’t normally make financial sense. You need to cover several markets but can’t afford to buy nationally. The metrics just don’t work. Don’t allow your media agency to call a rep firm because it’s easier for them. It will cost you more and inadvertently utilize stations in some markets that don’t fit your brand well.
Start by making them work individually and strategically in each market. Set marketing goals by designing the correct creative, its message and tone. This may need to vary from market to market based on the behavioral patterns in each market. Make sure goals are established to gauge the success of the campaign in each market and company-wide. Use time restricted specific, measurable and attainable metrics to measure your goals. They should align with your broader business objectives.
There are several issues that a regional company should consider prior to launching their campaign. Improper planning will lead to mistakes that will likely undermine the results of your campaign and goals.
#1 Budgeting Improperly
Your budget is a determining factor but don’t go for quantity over quality. Make sure your creative, the frequency, and the flight fits your budget but make sure that there is as much quality as there is quantity or you’ll be wasting the budget.
When it comes to purchasing media, many companies look for the most cost-effective options. Often, a company will opt for less expensive rotators, which on the surface makes sense, but is that the smartest strategy? Many times, it’s not very fruitful.
#2 Selecting Incorrect Stations
When radio campaigns are developed, there is often a temptation to choose the most popular station with the largest listenership or your personal favorites. However, this strategy doesn’t always take into consideration three of the most important rules in good advertising. Know your audience and know where and when to reach them.
Based on audience research and data, select stations that target your demo even if they aren’t the largest in the market. While reaching your primary demographic is the priority don’t dismiss your secondary consumer group. Almost every brand has one.
Make sure to weigh competing stations based on your first and secondary demo, not just your primary one. You may find two competing stations that efficiently target your primary audience but only one that also does an outstanding job reaching your secondary audience. When money is tight, pick the latter.
#3 There is No Media Seasonality
There may be four seasons but that doesn’t mean they will all be as equally impactful for your brand. Know your brand, your seasons and your audience. Reaching your audience requires proper timing, dayparting and appropriate seasonality. Remember like most mediums, radio listenership fluctuates throughout the year. Use radio when it’s most advantageous. Use other mediums when they are their strongest.
#4 Ignore Streaming
Many advertisers know the power of radio but don’t consider the power and extended reach created through their digital streaming channels. It’s radio on the go, in the office, at the gym or while sunbathing. In certain respects, it resembles pure play music more than terrestrial radio. This is surely the case when a station has a very popular on-air personality. These opportunities will extend your reach and often at little additional cost.
#5 No Difference In Media Agencies
Your media agency can make or break your campaign. They all claim to be experts but unfortunately, like in every other profession there are good ones, bad ones and better ones. Everyone doesn’t have the same level of insight, analytical thinking, negotiating skills and willingness to work hard. You need all of them to successfully manage your radio campaigns.
A knowledgeable and trusted media partner will take the time to understand your business and your unique marketing needs. They’ll also leverage their knowledge of the markets, skills and experience to create a customized campaign that will help you achieve the goals you have set.
For these reasons your radio campaign may fail, there are others. So, make sure to avoid them and your campaign will have a much better chance of succeeding and aid you in reaching your business goals.
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