Squandering Our Competitive Advantage

When writing and producing commercials telling our listeners how great advertising on the radio is, one of the downfalls to these spots are phone numbers…THEY DON’T WORK! We even tell our clients that phone numbers don’t work. When was the last time you pulled your car over to write down a phone number? Never. After all, it seems everyone listening to the radio is carrying around a computer in their hand in the form of a smart phone. The best thing that has happened to radio in a generation is the internet and websites.

 In the old days, we pointed a listener to the front door (address), which really only works if you’re two blocks away and happen to be going to the advertiser’s business. Then there was the phone and the ten digit number that made it ring. That brought the advent of vanity numbers, as they were supposed to be easier to remember. But there are only so many vanity numbers available. And let’s be real for a moment…unless the number is 1 800 BABE, they’re all pretty tough to remember.

Websites gave us another place to point the listener to, a place to find out all about the advertiser’s business. It quickly caught on, and now your 60 second or 30 second commercial on the radio climaxes with “visit us at (insert website here)” -- which if the listener then goes to that website, just turned that 60 or 30 seconds into a couple more minutes, if your website is engaging enough. Which brings us to the common sense part…

 If we own our own website and we (meaning radio stations) make the bulk of our money from Advertisers, then why is there not a more prominent place at the top of the page for a business decision maker to click on and find a contact to get his or her advertising mojo on?

 Let’s face it…we are in the entertainment business. It’s what we do. But the arm of that entertainment business that monetizes it, is advertising and sales! Why is there not a dropdown box somewhere on the top of our web pages that says, “advertise with us”, and in that dropdown page are account executives’ contact information? As a human being, I just might like the name Joe, or Stan, or Susan, or Joan, which would cause me to click on that name; or better yet, provide profile pics. The point is, with today’s competitive market, you need every advantage you can get. Burying that advantage way down at the bottom of the page in fine print only cripples our competitive advantage. And last I checked we are still in the business of making money.

That’s why we in the “entertainment” business have ratings.

Thanks for listening…err reading!

Von Coffman is the Creative Services Director for the Bonneville Radio Group in Salt Lake City, UT. He welcomes your correspondence at von@voncoffman.com.

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