How Can All the Radio Stations Be #1?
Are you confused by all the information you receive from various radio stations? Do they all tell you they are #1 and you don't know who to believe? Most of them probably are #1 so believe it or not, they aren't lying to you. The question is, "What are they #1 in and is it a group of ears you want to reach?"
Quite often a radio "Account Manager" or "Account Executive" which are pseudonyms for radio sales person, receives a call from someone who states they are gathering information for someone else, the real decision maker, someone who is looking at radio as a possible advertising medium. They ask for an information package to be mailed out to them; or faxed over if it's urgent (Ha!). When the rep asks questions that are essential to the provision of any information pertinent to the situation (demographics, psychographics, time frame, budget etc.), the caller says they know nothing. They were just told to call stations and gather information.
Being an obliging rep, the information is sent or faxed as requested ?.and then nothing happens 95% of the time. The decision maker receives the rankers, profiles, sales packages, announcer and program information and can't figure out how to make a decision?.so they buy print instead. Both sides of the prospective transaction lose.
The information each station sends out will of course focus on their strengths. As mentioned earlier, many will be #1 in their target market, which really confuses the issue. If the prospective client thinks that everyone is their target market, they may chose to buy the station that has the highest cume audience (cume - unduplicated listeners who tune to the station for at least 15 minutes a week). The price per commercial is usually quite high and discourages new advertisers before they start.
Even when the decision maker is the one gathering the information or meeting with the reps, they still often end up confused by all of the data. The secret to gathering the information you need, is to ask the right questions. How do you ask the right questions?
You ask the right questions of yourself first and provide as much information as you can about what you want to accomplish with this advertising and whom you need to reach. Make a list of the characteristics of your best customers. Define the age group, the kind of radio they are likely to listen to (talk, rock, easy listening, news, etc.). Identify any psychographics that may be pertinent.
No matter how much you would like to think so, everyone is not your customer. There is a group that is more likely to use your services or buy your product and they are the target to focus your efforts on.
When you request information, be specific. State unequivocally that you only want information that is relevant to the consumer characteristics, you provide. All the information must be based on the same criteria, to provide a basis for comparison. How else will you determine which station reaches your best customers at a cost effective rate?
Bigger isn't always better, so choose your audience based on the criteria you set, and work with the creative team at the station to write and record messages to captivate your customers.