Valentines Day … a surprise again!

It never fails to amaze me.
Today I have briefs for Valentines Day.
A brief from a restaurant…a brief from a hotel.
What?!

It’s only 4 days to go and you’re wanting to be on air tomorrow?

The respective sales execs don’t seem to get it. They’re just happy to take the money. But for these clients it’s just too late.

Radio works with repetition. Your message needs to be hear a number of times before people start to respond. There’s a mathematical formula. It doesn’t guarantee results, it’s not based on science (although some people try to convince you it is) but it seems “about right”that a message needs to be heard about 4 times before people start responding. Thant doesn’t mean no one will respond after the first broadcast…but it seems to optimise at around 4. As long as the message is right (not just the creative approach… but the offer… WHY people should respond)

Andbecause people listen at different times you need to make sure your message is spread to hit those different people.

I now get up at 5.45am. Go to the kitchen to start breakfast… in there with the radio on. At 6.30 I switch to a BBC station for the news. If you always have an ad at 6.35… every morning… you will miss me completely. I am a creature of habit! The same is true for most people.

One of the big mistakes that advertisers make is putting all their effort into maybe a 15 minute section of breakfast every morning for a week… doing a promotion is great, but the selling message will be missed by the majority of the WHOLE station audience. By all means do promotions, but put a foundation down of compelling radio commercials. After a while you can do something and rewarding for the listener as a promotion.

A lot of advertisers think that people listen to radio the same way that they do. People have all sorts of listening habits. When you run spot ads ask your station for a “run of station”or “total audience” package. Or if you work with some stations in the UK, they can model your target group to give you spot ads that hit specific groups, ages and social economic groups of listener. You may be surprised that the answer is not always “peak times”.

The most successful radio advertisers have a compelling and believable offer or message. And although they may not be on the radio ALL the time, it sounds like they are!

Waiting for our favorite radio advert.

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Repetition Builds Reputation

I knew my mother was mad at me. Her Irish eyes flash. Then comes the phrase that I hate. “How many times have I told you….” Insert the appropriate completing phrase.

You can choose from several. Not to throw dirty socks around the room. Not to throw food at my sister. Not to eat sweets before dinner. Any parent will know, to get a response from your children you have to repeat and repeat the message.

David “Giff” Gifford, a US Radio Sales Guru tells clients, “What you say times how many times you say it is the only thing that works in advertising today! Repetition builds reputation!” It’s true! And one of the great benefits of spot advertising is that you can deliver the same message over and over again. You can run the same creative across multiple stations. You know that the same message is being heard several times by the average listener. In the USA someone came up with a figure, the average number of times the average listener would have to hear a message before they respond to it. It was 3.42 times. Of course there is no “magic” number. It then depends on your message. If there is no reason to purchase, you may hear the message 250 times before you act on it. If it’s an amazing, never to be repeated offer, you may see a huge response after just a few spots have aired. The secret it to be on the radio all the time. You could start your campaign with a heavy schedule, then after a few weeks reduce the spots to a fairly light weight campaign. When you have something new to offer, or a special event or sale, go back to the heavy weight schedule. You can also use a combination of longer creative treatments and shorter reminder commercials. Ask your radio sales person about the different options.

And a note to my mother, I would have stopped throwing my dirty socks around the bedroom years ago, if you’d given me a really good reason not to!.

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