In the Promotional Products Professional group on Facebook recently, someone asked if radio advertising works. Of course we are all quick to defend our medium, as we should be, however, despite not being the most effective ad medium, some companies do well with radio advertising. Why do some find greater success than others? There are various reasons. but most often the companies reaping the rewards don't use radio alone, but instead use a sophisticated integrated marketing strategy. In the post, 4imprint was mentioned as a distributor using radio ads. And it's true - they use radio, yes, but they also use TV, direct mail, catalogs, and promo as a means to reinforce their marketing message. They invest in advertising that helps them tell their story in the places their target client will get the message. Somewhere on social this week I read a post that said, "Investing in your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business." Advertising is part of this process, and absolutely imperative, because as another favorite quote of mine states, "You could have the best pizza on the planet, but if no one knows about it, you aren't going to sell any of it."
A key factor in your success will be understanding this principle: No matter how fiercely we love and are ready to defend promo, there isn't any one medium that works to build a brand all on its own. Not everyone likes getting lumpy mail, not everyone is on social media, not everyone commutes and therefore won't see a billboard, some people have spam filters set so high it's impossible to get an email through, and many people use streaming music so they won't hear radio ads. The advertising medium that is the most effective is the integrated marketing strategy that reaches people where they are and tells a brand's story to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Don't dis it 'till you try it . . . Sometimes, a radio ad is what it takes.
It's kind of like losing weight. It takes more than one change to get fit. Someone in a training class I was in said "You can't out exercise a bad diet." When you decide and commit to get fit, you set a goal, commit to planning and controlling diet, planning and doing exercise, staying hydrated, maintaining healthy habits, getting enough sleep, and more. You measure results weekly and adjust your habits to guide you to the results you're seeking. Marketing is no different.
To be effective with any marketing campaign, or even just help your client pick the right product for their needs, get to know your audience and research to determine what it will take to reach them. Know your desired result. Build a marketing plan, or choose a product that will help you reach those specific people and attain those specific results. Why?
If you don't know who, or why, you can't establish how. Plan your work, and then work your plan.
I do also, however, truly believe that everything you do should have a tangible branded product as reinforcement. If you decide on radio, have a promo that gets mailed to the target audience or distributed at a complementary live event. If you hire a plane to fly over the beach with a banner, have someone walking the beach handing out a related promo. If you have a billboard, distribute giveaways to the businesses in the surrounding area to that billboard so people pick them up when visiting those businesses. The thought process being to create and distribute something that reinforces the message you are trying to send, and get that message in the hands of the people that matter. With the right product, people can also see, touch, and feel the marketing message they are hearing on the radio or seeing on a billboard. If they hear it they may not remember, but if they hear, see, touch and feel it? How can they forget!
By: Charity Gibson, PromoKitchen Chef, Peerless Umbrella