3 Steps to Tune Up Your Automotive Radio Advertising


Competition is fierce across the auto industry, but it doesn’t get any fiercer than in Chicago. Your sales team can seal the deal with car shoppers once they’re through the doors, but first you need to stand out from the sea of other Chicago auto dealers.

As we’ve shared on our blog before, radio advertising has a proven track record among Chicago businesses. It can provide the reach and repetition that’s necessary to build brand recognition, and a powerful boost to your digital and social media marketing efforts. But not all radio stations are created equal, and the creative execution and strategy behind your radio spots can have a lot to do with whether or not your campaign is successful.

Today’s post explores three steps to kickstart or tune up your automotive radio advertising.

1. Act on Audience Insights

You know your demo. You understand that women influence most automotive purchases today, are interested in practical features like safety, and want to build relationships when approaching their car-buying experience. At the same time, you recognize that nobody likes to be put in a box. But does your radio advertising reflect what you know about your customers and what makes you different as a car dealer they can trust?

Make sure you’re not saying what every other dealer across Chicagoland is saying in their radio spots, or trying to be everything to everyone. Audience research should be conducted regularly and then used to empower your sales team, build the best mix of media, and guide your marketing strategy—including your radio advertising.

2. Build Stories Around Your Brand Differentiators

Radio gives you a unique opportunity to write for the senses and connect with listeners in creative, emotional ways. It’s a mass reach medium, but your commercial shouldn’t speak to everyone—the overall feeling, tone, and message should fit your specific brand and focus on your specific Chicago car shopper’s needs.

How do you deliver exceptional customer service? What can car buyers find working with you that’s missing from the other guys? Take this award-winning radio spot by Chevy. They didn’t list features or facts. They found an interesting way to position their latest model as more advanced and desirable than the competition. The back and forth of a phone conversation between an “inquiring customer” and Toyota dealership is simple but effective.

3. Use Radio and Digital Together

Using radio and digital marketing together provides the opportunity to strengthen branding by sharing your message and giving your audience a consistent experience across channels. There has been significant research on how marketing ROI builds when adding platforms—what’s referred to as the “Kicker Effect.” ROI increases with each added platform up to five, at which point ROI is 35% higher than when using just one platform.

You can put radio to work to get found online, increase website traffic, and boost your social media results. Use your homepage or a campaign landing page URL in a clear call-to-action towards the end of your radio commercials—don’t bury it in a lot of sales copy, and be direct about what customers can find online.

Whether you’ve had disappointing results with radio in the past and want to start fresh, or you’re just now examining radio for the first time, the steps above are a great place to begin. To talk with an expert about the details, click here and set up a conversation. 

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