The Cost of Radio Marketing vs. The Cost of Not
Why should people buy your products or services?
This fundamental question is at the root of most business decisions. As business owners, we feel the answer is self-explanatory. We’re often the chief salesmen, and some of us have invented the products we sell. Being that close to and confident in our products, we often feel that our products sell themselves. For this reason, we sometimes don’t invest in marketing to the extent we need to sell effectively.
But times change. Consumer preferences and demands shift, and their environment changes.
Just look at how the pandemic has forced us all to change how we do business. The business imperatives of customer and worker safety have led to business closures. Consumers look for new places to frequent, and businesses without a significant enough marketing footprint lose out to the competition.
You really can’t avoid spending money on advertising and marketing your products. If you think about the costs of not marketing, they far outweigh the resources you’ll spend on ads and similar marketing support activities.
Building brand awareness
Consider radio advertising.
Businesses invest in radio ads to build awareness of their company and their brand. Whether consumers are listening to the radio while commuting to work or listening to their favorite station on their smart speaker, they can learn about your company and the products you offer. With thoughtful radio ads, you can impress upon consumers what your business is, and, just as important, what your brand stands for.
If you don’t define your brand, the competition can – and will – define your company, either indirectly or directly. If your competitors are trying to differentiate themselves with a brand image that’s hip, rival businesses will define you as dated. If your competitors are pushing safety, they’ll imply that your products are unsafe. And if you’re not on-air, that impression can cost you consumers.
Acquiring new customers
Research shows that, overwhelmingly, new customer acquisition is a result of multiple consumer touchpoints. It’s not enough for a consumer to hear your ad once. They’re much more likely to convert to customers if they’ve heard your ad repeatedly.
But if you’re not on-air, consumers will only learn about your products at the point of sale. But what if you only sell out of a brick and mortar location? Say you provide auto repair services. How will consumers know you exist and where to go if you’re not on-air? With more people at home than ever before, businesses are investing heavily in advertising. Your potential consumers will definitely hear your competitor’s ads. If you’re not on-air, they’ll become your competition’s customers.
Growing your market share
If consumers are unaware of your business, you certainly can’t grow your customer base. In fact, rival companies will expand their customer base’s at your expense. You know that no matter how long-lived are your relationships with established customers, you lose some every year. Even if you add just enough new customers to keep your sales flat, your business could easily be jeopardized by a downturn, unexpected set of expenses, or a rival’s success.
The pandemic itself has exposed many businesses’ marketing weaknesses. Plenty of small businesses struggled to quickly ramp up their online and other marketing activities when public health measures began to result in business closures. Some small businesses were unable to do so quickly enough to survive. Mom-and-Pop shops who had relied on carefully cultivated lists may have lost customers for a number of reasons, including loss of income or illness. These business owners found themselves quickly having to acquire substantial numbers of new customers to make up for lost sales.
Others, who already had a significant, multifaceted operational marketing plan were able to grow their market share during this time. They had made strategic long-term investments in marketing and as a result, have not only been able to weather the storm, but to thrive as well.
If you make the investment in marketing, you can not only stave off normal customer attrition but also actually grow your sales. Increasing awareness of your brand takes time, but as more people learn about and hear about your business, such as through oft-repeated radio ads, you’ll likely start to see an uptick in sales. Without this kind of investment, you’ll limit your sales, growth, and upside potential.
Before you spend money on advertising, you should spend some time identifying consumers likely to buy, evaluating what kinds of messages may move them to purchase, and designing effective creative pieces designed to do so. When you approach advertising with specific targeting in mind, you’re much more likely to get a positive return on your marketing dollars. Alternatively, if you don’t think through who and how you’re targeting consumers, you’re likely to develop an ineffective ad.
The best way to get started is by working with an experienced media partner who can help you assess your marketing needs and identify the radio channels appropriate for your brand. Having an experienced partner to help you understand your options can help you make smart investment decisions that will help you grow your sales and business.