Where to start? How to start? How long do I run on the air? How do I measure it? These are the key questions to developing a marketing strategy using radio. They don’t really come up until we have crossed over ‘Objection Mountain.’
When our team first reaches out to a business, we have to navigate ‘objection mountain’ and overcome those objections before we can even think of collaborating with a business owner about an effective and targeted strategy. It is important to share the facts but for us it is even more important to listen. The objection itself is a preview to the business owner’s mindset and to serve him/her properly, you must hear and respond to what the objection is. The most common objections are:
- “I tried radio and it doesn’t work.” This is the basic objection and there are a number of reasons for it. The client may have used too little budget in the wrong place on a station that doesn’t reach their customers or potential customers. It is critical to probe and find out what station they used, what message they shared, and how often that message was aired. In many cases these business owners have bought a ‘package deal’ that delivers a low unit price, but not a strong targeted plan to reach the demographic they want. Many business owners have been trained by smaller, inexpensive ‘ads’ on secondary radio stations or in small specialty local publications that offer a good price, but not a great deal of ‘reach.’ Spending time discussing the details will uncover why the campaign didn’t work and how to proceed going forward.
- “The cost of radio is too high.” This is another popular roadblock, however, it is not really ever about the price. It is about the effectiveness. A business owner won’t complain about the price if the return on investment (ROI) is strong. The cost objection is best met from an analysis with the business owner of the various metrics of a sale in their business. There are many opportunities where radio can take the budget conscious client and deliver a suitable campaign that respects what they can truly spend. This may mean they dominate a day or a daypart. It may mean a ‘fixed-position’ sponsorship that may occur once a day, but at the same time. The cost ‘is too high’ is only relevant to what the client’s goal and how we help them get there.
- “Send me the plan. I will let you know.” This objection is a nice way of telling you don’t call us—we will call you. Like most objections it is another way to test the rep’s commitment to their ability to help. This is a time for comprehensive questions like “I can send you anything you want, but what is it specifically you need to see or want to see?” The rep that is focused will follow up the client’s answers in search of an appointment on their calendar. “I can gather and share what you asked for in advance of our meeting. At that time, I can further explain the benefits.”
- “We are all set with our advertising. Thanks for thinking of us.” This one sounds so warm and friendly but it is just a way of keeping you at arm’s length. It is important to acknowledge that they are doing well and to find out what is working so well for them. Even the best advertiser hedges their bets against the constant changing marketplace and consumer proclivities. The businesses that have had the most success stay active and brand their name and products when they have already reached a critical mass level.
- “I don’t listen to your station(s).” This objection is one that is easily dismissed with the idea of “your customers and potential customers do listen to my station(s) based on your demographic target, our country station or rock station fits your customers perfectly!” When a group has a cluster of radio stations, there is usually one or more that fit a business owner’s needs. We don’t need you to listen to us—we need to deliver your customers who do listen to us.
The questions at the beginning of this piece can reasonably be answered after you have climbed and conquered ‘objection mountain.’ The most important takeaway about radio advertising, whether it is with us or someone else boils down to these three things: message (saying the right thing or making the right offer), frequency (the number of times you air this message), and key benefits (what makes you unique or this offer, special). We can help you find the answers and move your business forward!