Lowering Expectations

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Two travelers met in an airport terminal.

“Where are you going?” asked the first.

“Don’t know,” replied the second. “I just buy a ticket and get on a plane.”

“Well, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?”

Most advertising campaigns are not much different. We sell a client a schedule to “increase sales” and the client is hoping for “more traffic” and “some new faces”, but without a specific goal, it’s impossible to know when the ad campaign is a “success”.

The difficulty lies in the difference between reality and the client’s expectations. When an advertiser runs a schedule with your stations, will he be satisfied with 10 responses?  One hundred? One thousand? If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. To that end, the Return on Investment Calculator (shameless plug) can help both you and the client arrive at a realistic, measurable goal that defines an adequate return on his advertising investment. Without such a benchmark, both you and the customer are likely to be disappointed.

But beyond a measurable goal is the requirement for a message from the advertiser that is worthy of a response. Some clients think that by “just getting our name out there” they’ll see an increase in business. And they might achieve that goal. But if the message is on target and compelling, they’ll realize a much larger return.

Several years ago, one of our top-rated stations ran extremely heavy schedules for two non-competing advertisers: an auto dealer and a furniture store. The schedules were such that many of their ads ran back-to-back. The following week, the auto dealer reported dismal results; sales were horrible and Radio didn’t bring in any customers. The furniture store meanwhile reported excellent results; a record-breaking week that was the best in their history.

The difference was the message content. The furniture store offered excellent value and a compelling message. The auto dealer’s message was “come buy a car from us.”

Fixing an advertiser’s expectation of results and crafting the message they will send are two critical parts of success in Radio (and in any advertising medium). Without these goals in mind, neither you nor the client will know when you’ve arrived.