Never Ever Lie In a Radio Commercial.

I was taking a brief from a client. I asked my usual question… “why should people come to you?” He thought about it for a moment and then said “There’s 50% off everything.” I asked him “Really?”. He answered “No, but if I say there is, it’ll get people down here and then I can sell to them.”
Aside from the moral corruptness of his attitude, it’s also business suicide. He would cause so much ill feeling that people would stop coming to him, tell their friends not to go, and possibly involve authorities like Trading Standards.

I think it was David Ogilvy who said “Tell the truth, but make it fascinating”.

You don’t have to find a “U S P”… a Unique Selling Proposition… you have to find a CSP.. a compelling selling proposition. It doesn’t have to be unique, but it should be something your competitors are not talking about. Own that in the mind of the listener. In Kenya everyone associated Safaricom, the mobile phone operator with per second billing. They were NOT the first, but they were the first to talk about it.
You can be first (It’s better to be first than to be different Reis & Trout), but always be truthful.
Find reasons for the listener to do business with you, and avoid the clichés.
“We’ve been in business X years” Why should the listener care?
“We offer great customer service.” In what way? How is it better?
“We’re simply the best.” So is Tina Turner.. now, in what WAY are you the best. Prove it! And show me why the listener should care and believe you.

If you make an offer by word of mouth, through your radio advertising and the customer is delighted, you will also have created your second wave of word of mouth advertising. Delighted customers (especially in this world of blogs and forums) tell other potential customers about their experience doing business with you.

Never lie! OK Bill?

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Speak to the Listener


I was standing outside a shop in Nairobi one day, when suddenly the church over the road sprung into action. They had obviously invested in the most powerful speaker system their tithes would stretch to. They had turned the amplifier past the “loud” setting to the “incredibly loud and distorted” setting. Now the preacher was screaming at me. It’s not just religious groups that think you get a person’s attention by shouting. How wrong they are. You attract people to you by being warm, inviting, sincere, honest and open. If you want to attract a member of the opposite sex you don’t shout at them. If you’re a sales person in a shop, you don’t rush up to the customers and yell in their faces!! But many people think it’s OK to shout at the listener to “get their attention”.

In radio advertising you don’t get the attention of the listener with an intrusive sound effect like a klaxon or alarms, you do it by demonstrating how the product or service can meet one of their needs. Listeners are already listening. That’s why they are called listeners. They may, however be “zoned out”. That is they may not be concentrating on your advertising message. That is, unless you meet them where their mind is at. Have you ever been to a party, and someone at the other side of the room mentions your name? You hear it through all the chatter and music: Why? Because the person is talking about something that interests you. In this case, YOU!!

Many advertisers think that if they talk about things that interest THEM, that people will flock to them, but telling isn’t selling. It’s not what the advertiser wants to SAY. It’s what the listener needs to HEAR.

Some marketers say that part of the advertising process is to create a “desire”. I think that’s rubbish. People already have desires, wants and needs. Successful advertising demonstrates how the product or service fulfills that particular need or desire.

So think… why DO my existing customer base already do business with me?

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