Is there a Magical Success Formula for effective radio advertising?

Everyone concedes that the most effective advertising is word of mouth. Yet in today’s complex, highly mobile society, it would be short-sighted to rely on word of mouth alone to connect with your best prospects and to keep your business from going out of business.

Advertising no matter how good, cannot sell an unwanted product: in fact, advertising a poor product may help kill it off more quickly. Advertising cannot change a firm mindset for or against a brand. Attitudes less firmly fixed can be modified or completely changed over time, but only through consistent, continuous advertising. Sales always lag behind reputation changes. The increasing complexities of retailing, the diversity of competition, customers changing shopping habits and the continuing squeeze on profits, have made it vitally important that every advertiser gets full value for every advertising Rand spent.

Many advertisers who are today selling on price cutting, have lost sight of the value of brand building as a selling tool for long-term results. Greater success can be achieved by focusing on the best prospects and what they want and then communicating with them via the media to which they are the most responsive.

The rule goes like this, The right product at the right price, at the right time, in the right place, and to the right customer.

RADIO is ideal in two areas of sales – Impulse Buying and Building Repeat Business. Radio commercials remind shoppers of a need, even though it has not been top of mind and also encourage advertisers to return to a brand where they have had a positive experience.

Frequency is the key to learning and remembering and when the total budget remains the same, as more radio is added to the mix, frequency and reach continue to grow. So don’t make the mistake of allowing for other media first and then applying what is left over to your radio campaign.

The Magic Success Formula goes like this:

  • Share of Voice x The Impact of Your Message = Your Share of Mind
  • Share of Mind x Personal Experience Factor = Share of Market
  • Share of Market x Market Potential = The ROI that you can expect

Some Rules:

  • For a message to enter your mid-term memory, it needs to be repeated at least 3 times within 7 days. 
  • The more memorable the message, the less repetition is required. Therefore, the best way to save money is to create messages that are highly memorable. NB: Any limited-time call-to-action offer quickly fades from memory when the “limited time” window is closed. This is why you cannot build a brand with direct-response advertising.
  • To become a household name and enter long-term memory, you need to hammer your message into the mind of your target at least 3 x per week.
  • The key to absolute category dominance is to maximise the Impact of Your Message and the Personal Experience Factor of your customers.

In other words, you’ve got to have remarkable ads and deliver an awesome customer experience.

Once a branding campaign achieves a breakthrough, it will work better and better the longer it remains on air. Then you wake up one morning and the competitor in second place is so far behind you that they don’t even show up in your rear-view mirror.

Radio always delivers when done right.

Written by Rivak Bunce, MD of United Stations.

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