It’s not what you want to say… it’s what the listener needs to hear

Nice Award!

He was very proud of his award. You have to admit it was big and shiney. It had pride of place in his company’s reception. And he wanted it to have pride of place in his radio commercials too. Now it was our job to talk him out of it. Why? Because that award means absolutely nothing to his customers.

You might have a nice bit of engraved glass that says, “The UK’s Most Innovative Small Business, Teapots and Jugs Sector, 2011”, but what does that mean to someone buying clothes pegs from you? Now tell me that you’ve developed a little stainless steel jug that doesn’t spill when you pour milk into your coffee and I’d be interested! But an award? So what!!

Many clients want to boast about their business, they may have awards and done things as a company that they are very proud of. But you have to step outside for a moment and think about what it actually means for the customer. Why should they care?

What the customer needs to hear is how the product or service will change their life or experience for the better. If you’re a restaurant owner who is constantly cleaning table linen because customers spill milk on them… would you be interested in that little milk jug?

How does a good car sales person sell you a vehicle? First they think about the customer, they take a brief! They find out about their life, their needs… and then they show them the vehicle that will fulfill their wants. It’s no good trying to sell a two seat sports car to a guy with a family of 6 and a caravan! It’s not about what the sales person’s needs… (hitting his target, getting rid of that two seater that’s been in the showroom for 2 years) it’s about the customer and selling what answers his or her problems. Can you get all your family in your current car? How well does it tow your caravan? Well this is the car that will do what you need it to do! Do they care that the sales person was Sales Person of the Month 6 months in a row? Not likely!

Think about the customer. And apply the Alvin Eicoff formula: Set Forth the Problem, explain the solution, demonstrate how your product and service best provides the solution. Not what you WANT to say! What the listener needs to hear.

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“I want my website in my radio ad…”

Yesterday the client sent back their re-written script. They were trying to drive ticket sales through about three outlets. Not a massive problem. But then they added the seemingly compulsory website address… “for more information”.

What more information do you need! The ad gave the event, the prices, and where to buy tickets, you COULDN’T buy them online. The web address was just a waste of time… and lessened the impact because now I was confused… am I supposed to go and buy tickets or go to the website? I now had less time in the scripts to sell the BENEFITS of going to the event.
The client just lessened the impact of their radio spots.

Oh… but that wasn’t the end of it. They wanted a SECOND web address! And on both they wanted to say www dot! There is a convention in radio advertising that you can drop the www because a) it’s assumed and b) it’s long and adds 2 seconds to an ad! Unfortunately in this instance we were separated from the client by an Advertising Agency. Not Creatives, or people interested in helping the client get campaigns that work… but in this case by an Account Handler that was just interested in the short term commission.

Dear Mr. or Ms. Client…. Just because you HAVE a web address, doesn’t mean it should be in your radio ad. What EXACTLY are you trying to get people to do? If I’m selling hotdogs I want people to come and buy hot dogs, not to visit my hotdog website, or even to “like” my hotdog Facebook page.

If you DO need a web address is… and you’re selling something there… and that’s your objective… them make sure you have a radio friendly web address. Don’t use hyphens, underscore or ambiguous words.

If I say “Rushton too be creative dot com” is that http://www.rushton2beecreative.com? Or http://www.rushton2Bcreative.com?

If you have a complicated address, think about buying another address where you can just forward to your existing one. For example http://www.simonrushton.com just forwards to this blog. I had a client who had an address that was a bit like this… (I have changed some of the exact details )

http://www.the_white_swan_canterbury.co.uk

Their offer was on their famous steaks. They bought the address which was something like
http://www.Iwantabigfatjuicysteak.com.

Much better for radio AND their campaign! We were able to say… “to print out your 2 for 1 voucher visit “I want a big fat juicy steak dot com””.

Web addresses can be great for radio, after all radio is the medium that internet consumers use while they are surfing the net. But think about what you want people to do. If you want them to visit your site, why should they? What is in it for them? Think about web offers, printable vouchers, or money off coupons sent to their mobile phone. Think about making your site usable for e-commerce, for online catalogues and ordering tools… not just some fancy graphics and flash animations put together by your nephew to “look cool”.

And please, please, please don’t try to put TWO web addresses into your ads!

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I just want awareness

Aware of it?

The Moon... seen it, not yet done it!

I have never been to the moon.
I am aware of it.
I see it in the sky quite a lot.
If you did a survey I expect many people are aware of the moon.
If you’re done a campaign on radio and you’re objective was awareness… then you would have close to 100% awareness at the end of the campaign. (and at the beginning, but let’s skip over that for now).
Well done.
However most clients don’t want awareness. When you ask them… “how will you measure the success of your campaign?” they usually answer, “By how many products we sell.” Ahhhh! So what you want is RESPONSE!
If you usually get 200 people a week through your showroom door… what you want is is increase that number of people, OR maybe double the ammount of money those 200 people spend. Increased sales is the goal (not even necessarily “footfall”… the same number of people spending a lot more can also be a good result!!).

As I’ve said before… “Branding happens” (Martin Healy). Let you commercials raise awareness, they will do that, but make sure they get a good response by giving an irresistable, compelling, unambiguous reason to come and buy from you.

If you want me to fly to the moon, with my fear of heights, you’d have to to give me a very very very good reason (and a few million quid!)

By the way… click the image above for evidence that NASA actually FAKED the moon landings. 😉

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