First Go at Radio a Miss? 3 Steps to Success with Your Next Campaign


Advertising is both an art and a skill. If your first radio advertising campaign failed, it could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps you didn’t select the right station or daypart to reach your target audience. Maybe your creative missed the mark, be it a matter of tone, content, or a confusing call-to-action.

Don’t let a lackluster or dismal first outing dissuade you from leveraging Chicago radio in your marketing mix. A lack of results can provide plenty of lessons. We’ve put together three steps to help you turn your radio advertising around.

1) Determine What Went Wrong.

You may find this a daunting task, but it’s important to ensure you improve for your next campaign. There are several areas to consider, each with questions you should ask yourself.

Your Goals

  • What were you trying to accomplish with your radio advertising? This influences the types of results you need to look for.
  • If you were trying to build brand awareness, did you give the campaign enough time? Building awareness can be a slow process, and impatient advertisers often undermine themselves by cutting campaigns short.
  • If you were trying to drive sales, did your creative support that with an engaging tone and clear, easy to follow CTA? If your creative was muddled or dull, or if your CTA was confusing, customers may have ignored the ad or not understand how to follow through.
  • Also, if trying to drive sales, did you support your radio campaign with cross-channel messaging on social media, digital ads, or other channels? The path to purchase is fragmented, and customers need to go through many touchpoints to be influenced by a marketing message.

Your Reach

  • Was your aim too broad with your last campaign? Trying to reach everyone can often mean you don’t effectively reach or influence the right people.
  • If you developed a target audience, who were they and how much did you understand about their habits and interests? Not doing research into these areas could mean that you advertised on the wrong station or at the wrong time to actually reach them.

Your Budget

  • Did you put your budget first? If you start investing in advertising without a clear budget that you absolutely stick to, you could easily end up overspending.
  • Did the ad buy seem too good to be true? Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
  • Did you understand how radio is priced? Check out our post on the subject to learn more.

If you’ve gone through these questions and you’re still unsure about what went wrong, the next step can help.

2) Partner Up with Chicago Radio Experts.

A good media partner is not only experienced in radio and up to date on the latest regulations, best practices, and tools in the market. They will put that expertise to work to help you hone in on your target audience and craft a campaign that features the right station and mix of solutions to achieve your goals—whether that includes on-air recordings, on-site activation at live events, social media support, digital promotions, or all of the above.

Here are a few of the things you should look for from your media partner:

  • They show real interest in understanding your company by asking thorough questions about your goals, services, customer pain points, and previous marketing initiatives.
  • They know your industry, and determine your current position in it by conducting competitive research.
  • The strategy developed is customized to your unique needs and goals.
  • They develop messaging and creative that resonates with your target audience.
  • They set clear objectives, track your results, and regularly report back so you have a real understanding of how your campaign is performing.
  • They communicate regularly throughout the campaign and make adjustments as needed to maximize your ROI.

3) Hold Your Partners Accountable!

The role of your media partner is to drive your success, which means they need to act with your company’s best interests in mind. Certain practices indicate that a media partner isn’t putting your success first—namely bumping your spot, running long commercial breaks, and reneging on promises made.

Radio has a long history of proven results for Chicago advertisers. If your last campaign failed to deliver, that isn’t a sign that you should drop radio. It’s a sign that you need to make a change to your approach. The steps we’ve covered above will put you on the path to a winning strategy.

Check out even more tips from the Hubbard Chicago radio experts.

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