By Holland Cooke
I asked my pal, longtime radio seller, now retired: “How often were you asked, ‘How much would you charge for ONE commercial?’”
“Many times!” he guffawed. “I told ‘em ‘Keep your money! It won’t work!’” And he would explain to the prospect that repetition is the key to radio advertising.
Pitch like your happiest advertisers
Smart reps schedule commercial flights using the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Optimum Effective Scheduling formula (OES), because “message retention and recall begins after three exposures.”
Don’t stop there. I don’t know WHEN I’ll need to buy a tire, but when that next nail finds me, I know WHERE I will buy, because that retailer advertises enough to own “tires” in my mind. Purchasing a whole car is more foreseeable, and I’ve read that it takes many buyers 90 days to pull the trigger. So, if the copy is just right, always-on always works.
Programmers: Are you selling your station, on its own air, with the frequency we preach to clients? And – no matter how often you freshen your imaging – is the benefit statement as consistent as the many ways “Liberty-Liberty-Libbberty” assures us “you only pay for what you need?”
Sales 101: “Your best prospect is…”
Say it with me: “…an existing customer.”
To be clear: Nothing you say on-air will add cume, because the only people who hear your imaging are already listening.
Hey, who wouldn’t want a bigger budget for billboards over the Interstate? But it’s…the Interstate. Many who give it a glance (at most) don’t even live here. Some of those who do might give you a try. And whether they do or whether they don’t, there’s very little you can do to keep them sitting in a parked car, listening. So how can we invite them back more often?
Tip: On-hour news appointments, “a quick [name of network] update, throughout your busy day” as the world we live in has listeners wondering “What NEXT???” This is increasingly useful for music stations, with music now commoditized by non-broadcast competitors.
Rip me off
On-air promos accomplish three things:
— Defining the station, labeling your button in the listener’s mind.
— Asking for more occasions of listening, thus the newscast tip above.
— Listeners REMEMBER having-listened. Not just opportune in diary markets, where we want diarykeepers to round-up. 😉 In PPM markets, awareness drives use. So, in both cases, ratings are a memory test. And this matters even if you don’t subscribe to ratings, because advertisers need prospects to hear that tire commercial multiple times.
So, it’s worth your time to review all imaging and promos now airing. Of each piece, ask yourself: What does this accomplish? Does this convey why/when/how the listener should/can listen more often?
To hear 21 examples of imaging work I’ve done for client stations, click “DO listeners understand why to spend more time with you?” at HollandCooke.com
I asked my bud, who sold a lotta radio for a lotta years: “What if the request to buy ONE commercial was a pop-the-question surprise, to air when the hopeful groom knew she would be listening?”
“Ka-CHING!” he winked, “and I’d nick him good! You know what that ring cost?”
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Your Trusted Voice: How to Attract New Clients More Efficiently than Competitors Who Spend a Fortune on Advertising.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke