Increasing Clientele Through Radio Advertising

Increasing Clientele Through Radio Advertising
Nothing turns strangers into clientele for local businesses like radio. Many Chicago businesses would struggle without the visibility that radio ads give them. Approximately 92% of Americans over the age of 12, or more than 240 million people, listen to the radio each week. reports that 25% of people who hear a radio ad for a business are more inclined to buy from them. In the Chicago metro area, that means you could potentially attract over 2 million new customers by utilizing radio ads.

Radio is a consistently high-performing marketing channel. The strategy for reaching a broader local audience to attract new customers differs greatly from national marketing. Consumers go through a process from awareness to deciding to buy. No matter where a consumer is in the consumer journey, local radio ads are highly effective.

Why Use Local Radio?

One hundred fifty million people across the nation are commuting to work in their personal vehicles each day. The census bureau tells us that commuters in Chicago drive to and from work for an average of four hours per week.

What are they doing while driving?

Listening to local radio.

That same radio is available on apps, smart speakers, desktops, & tablets.

Radio advertising works not only because it has such a huge reach but because it gives you the ability to target specific audiences. It makes local consumers aware of your business in an entertaining and creative way.

Loyal listeners of popular radio shows in your city are more likely to remember the local businesses mentioned during the show. But with a choice of host endorsement or a third-party ad, which should you choose?

Endorsement or Third-Party Ad

Radio hosts are the original influencers from long before the advent of social media. A radio ad on a popular show on Chicago’s top-rated stations such as WTMX 101.9, WDRV 97.1 or WSHE 100.3 can go a long way to bringing recognition to and raising awareness of your business.

However, a radio ad has a different impact than a mention by a beloved radio host. An endorsement from a widely followed radio personality like Eric Ferguson or Bob Stroud taps into the trust of their audiences, raising the perception of your business as a place consumers should frequent.

What do most people do when they need a suggestion to find a reputable and reliable product or service?

They ask someone they trust.

For many people, the local on-air personality is just that. It is a celebrity endorsement from someone they consider one of their own.

The influence of a radio host extends far beyond just the show. Radio personalities engage their listeners on social media, at community events, and even through podcasts. Even though radio ads during a popular show reach many listeners, the impacts of a host endorsement are greatly increased when you factor in the other ways they can engage their audience.

How Radio Ads Increase Clientele

Every consumer makes three largely unconscious steps before making a purchase. This process is known as the consumer or customer journey. Radio ads can be used effectively at any of the three stages of the consumer journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision


In the first step of the journey, the consumer becomes aware of a need or desire. They then decide whether that desire is a goal that should be prioritized. Once the buyer is fully aware of a goal and has established its priority, it is time to gather more information on how they can accomplish it.

Let’s say that a radio listener has decided to go on a skiing trip with friends, but they are aware that they should increase their strength and stamina to improve performance and prevent injury. This is where radio advertising can raise your brand awareness while providing useful educational content to consumers.

If you are a personal trainer, a radio spot talking about how to get ready for ski season gives the listener the information they need while guiding them to the next step in the consumer journey: consideration.


Our example listener knows that strength training targeting the muscles used in skiing can help them prepare for the rigors of the slopes. At this point, your listener doesn’t yet know what type of workout or trainer they need. Will a general workout at a local gym do the trick, or do they need a trainer that can customize a workout for their specific needs? How do they pick the right one?

Radio is the perfect medium for you to introduce yourself to the listener. Let them know about you, your qualifications, your business, and how you can create a workout to help your clients reach their goals. This is where radio advertising sets you up to be the best choice for the listener, making their decision easy.


While your competitors are also placing radio ads to target people getting ready for ski season, the one that stands out is the one that speaks to their need and how you can fill it. Maybe you offer extended hours or optional diet counseling to help your clients build lean muscle. At this point in the consumer journey, your radio ad differentiates you from your competition, helping the listener decide that you are their ideal choice.

Leveraging a Consistently High-Performing Marketing Channel

Chicago businesses can cost-effectively increase clientele by leveraging the power of radio. While radio has a huge reach by itself, the ripple effects created from the increased visibility are exponential, prompting increased traffic on the company website and more followers on social media.

Radio spots and endorsements from on-air personalities can significantly influence local audiences with city or neighborhood-specific ads that drive traffic into brick-and-mortar stores at any stage of the consumer’s journey

Share This


Stay on top of industry news and trends.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Posts



There's so much more to talk about.

They say word of mouth is the best advertising. Well, we’ve got a big mouth. But in a good way. A way that drives interest and demand in your business. Check it out!