One thing I hear many people say they love most about being in sports media sales is that no two days are ever alike. And, while I understand what they mean, I will say that while the days are different, sometimes the conversations are the same.
Here are five of the top questions I am asked from clients on a regular basis and the answers I generally give:
Should I run 15, 30 or 60 second commercials?
The true answer is however few seconds you can use to get your message across. I wrote about copy recently and one of the things I see too often is clients (and sellers) who are trying to jam too much information in to a commercial. Who are you, why would someone buy your product or service over others, what’s in it for the buyer and how can they get more information if they need or want it. Get the listener to feel an emotional connection that makes them want more, so they call you, visit you or go to your website. Less is most definitely more when it comes to the length of spots. The last thing you want to do is pay for time when the listener has tuned out of your message.
Are endorsement ads worth the premium?
If the endorser is good at what they do – absolutely. A great endorsement ad will generate a much greater response than a great recorded ad. First and foremost, just for the placement alone. If the station does endorsement ads inside of programming, that’s where you want to be. Otherwise, you should expect for the ad to be played in the first position of the commercial break. Secondly, good hosts command a loyalty from their audience and you pay the premium to piggy-back off that loyalty.
The best I’ve ever heard is a long time St. Louis talk show host who goes by Frank O. Pinion. He is the master of blending content in to the endorsement ad so that he can have a conversation with the listener about the product or service and half the time you’re unaware he veered in to an ad. This makes his endorsement so much more effective and worth the premium – the listener hears the ads as content!
How long will it take for my advertising to work?
If the frequency and copy are good, you should expect results after 8-12 weeks of consistent advertising. Roy Williams (the Wizard of Ads, not the Tar Heels head coach) wrote a great article about the “chickening out period” (https://www.wizardofads.com.au/the-chickening-out-period/), which he says happens usually between the second and third invoice. It’s our job to set the expectations properly and, as a great friend of mine does, you should consider giving this article to new clients. Cut the objection off before it happens, because it’s going to happen. There have been far too many businesses who have run short term campaigns, not seen quick results and pulled the ad dollars, sometimes forever. It works, if you let it work.
How will I know if my advertising is working?
I’ll answer a question with a question: How’s your business doing? Is it better since you started a consistent advertising campaign, with the right message, to the right targeted market? If so, it’s working. With that said, as a business operator, you should ask every single person, you come in contact with, how they heard about your business, just as you should try and keep track of any other demographic information you can, so that you can continuously target the right audiences. What was it NBC used to say, “The more you know….?” Well, the more you know about your business and the customers you have, the easier it is to plan your advertising.
How much should I spend on advertising?
As much as you can afford. We all know that, depending on who you ask, the rule of thumb is somewhere between five and ten percent of gross revenues. If your frequency is correct, the message is on point and the audience is the right target for your business, you won’t ever regret spending more dollars than recommended to advertise – which is investing dollars to invite people to do business with you. On the flip side, you’ll regret the heck out of not spending enough. Buy what you can own, starting with a smaller net and then growing it to a larger one. Be consistent. Buy long-term. Don’t chicken out!