Radio Hed Logo 2by Jeffrey Hedquist

Radio advertising can accomplish the unexpected. Common sense would tell us that no matter how you try to advertise to them, people won’t be motivated to purchase unless they have a perceived need - some event or change in their lives that generates the “I need a…” response.

That assumes that the advertising is informative, that it reaches people on a conscious intellectual level. Unfortunately, many of the radio commercials airing are designed to do just that, ignoring that fact that we make our buying decisions emotionally. So create commercials that engage us emotionally.

Kids going back to school, marriage, birth, moving to a new home are all major events that generate needs for… stuff.

It is then that our shopping habits become… flexible. For example, studies have shown that when someone marries, he or she is more likely to buy a new type of coffee. Moving into a new house means there’s a greater likelihood of purchasing a different kind of cereal. A divorce increases the chances of buying different brands (and perhaps a greater volume) of beer. These new choices can last for years.

Advertisers have access to lots of research and data that allows them to target people precisely at these times. But reaching them with a left-brain message in print, email, or mobile may not motivate them. The way to motivate them isn’t with more information. They need to be touched emotionally. We need to remind ourselves that there’s no medium that does that more effectively than radio.

Is our success dependent on reaching just that percentage of people experiencing a major event?

The crafting of the message is the most important element of a successful campaign. When it’s ignored, we do a tremendous disservice to the advertiser and to the reputation of radio.

Think about your own experience as a consumer. Have you ever been reached by a compelling message and been motived to buy, in the absence of an event in your life? I certainly have. We’ve created campaigns for dozens of advertisers who have generated sales from customers who weren’t in the market at that time for what we advertised.

Example: You may not be motivated to contact an auto glass replacement service, no matter how enticing the promoted discount, unless you have a damaged windshield.

But if you learned about the possibility that beneath the seals in your windshield, rust may be lurking, eating away at the frame, endangering your life you might pay attention. And if your auto glass replacement advertiser offered a free inspection to make sure your windshield was safe, you might be motivated to come in, especially if it were part of a campaign of commercials that educated listeners on auto glass.

Some of the respondents would learn that their windshield integrity was compromised and would have repairs done, hopefully by your client. If everyone who came in for a free inspection were gifted with a discount coupon to use whenever a repair was needed, there would be more future business generated.

Also, now that your client has the respondent’s contact information, they can send newsletters, emails, and offers to help stay top of mind and remind the visitors about other services they may offer – detailing, painting etc. Or they could include offers from affiliate companies that might be of interest to the respondents. Simple ways to create business from prospects who weren’t ”in the market” for auto glass repair services.

Help your clients become known and trusted before the audience members experience a life event, before they are needed. Consistent emotionally engaging ads will help motivate the percentage of listeners who are in the market to buy now and will build trust with those who will be ready to buy in the future. That’s why even if you’re advertising a sale; don’t ignore the audience who will be the future buyers.

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