We can take advantage of a study done by the Journal of Advertising Research, which will not only help your sales team become more effective as marketing partners for their clients, but if — wish I had the confidence to use “when” — Radio ever starts marketing our product again, will help us create and manage more effective campaigns for new listeners too. Here are the 5 Top Strategies which, when followed, are most likely to increase sales, profit, and ratings:
- Focus on hard objectives, such as specific market-share gains, as opposed to soft ones, such as brand awareness. If you use direct mail, you should plan a campaign that is not only measurable in terms of response, but in effectiveness. How much did your cume grow in the weeks during which the mailing dropped?
- Focus on penetration — winning new customers/listeners — rather than loyalty. I’m not saying you should take your P1 listeners for granted, but they already love you. Yes, you can allocate resources to make certain that love is reciprocated, but use your main marketing budget to attract new cume.
- Influence consumers emotionally rather than rationally. I’ve been preaching this for a long time. The best radio marketing expert I’ve ever worked with in the US, Carolyn McClain, is a genius at creating spots that make an emotional connection. If you’ve never spent an hour talking to her, you should. She’ll teach you more in an hour than you’ll ever learn in most books about business marketing.
- Create ads with “Talk Value.” These days your ad has to be emotionally engaging enough to generate some WOM among your target. I’m sorry, but your standard music video spot is so mundane and predictable, there’s no way it can punch through, unless you add a really unexpected twist. Be noticed, and be creative enough — different enough — to generate some buzz. Stop using the same tired concept.
- Include TV in the mix. As expensive as it is, if you have a good spot, and a realistic marketing budget, TV works. Most radio stations, and local businesses, falter here because they don’t budget enough money to produce great creative to begin with, and they don’t spend enough to make the campaign effective. Add a media planner to your team, someone like Thayer Media, and then pay attention to the expert advice you’ve paid to hear.
Your sales department should be long past the days of selling spots; they should be selling results, and if they follow each of these rules, they will be more effective partners for your clients, which will produce more repeat business, and on and on.
And if you’re preaching marketing as the way to survive and thrive in this recession, practice what you preach. Budget for a real marketing campaign for your own station. This is the time your stations can grow, but only if you have the courage to make that happen.