Boondocks is a 9,000-square-foot live music venue and bar in Springfield, IL, and it was recently recognized at the 51st Annual American Country Music awards as Nightclub of the Year. Since the venue opened in 2012, it has used two Neuhoff Media markets consistently to market the venue and advertise both national and local acts.
The owners of Boondocks, Carole and Pat Keating, are very smart marketers. In addition to airing commercials on the Neuhoff stations, they have used Neuhoff for e-marketing campaigns, on-air artist interviews, contesting, ticket giveaways, jock appearances, and station event partnerships. They have used radio to the fullest to solidify their business as the premier music venue in Central Illinois. For this advertiser success story, we interview Boondocks co-owner Carole Keating, Neuhoff Media LSM Andrew Harby, and Neuhoff Media Account Executive Kelly Greeley.
RADIO INK: WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE RADIO WOULD BE THE MEDIA TO USE?
KEATING: WFMB is the premier station in Springfield for country music. We started with our partnership early on, and it grew bigger and bigger. Obviously, the people we bring in are the artists they’re playing on the radio every day, so there’s a natural match.
Kelly is an amazing salesperson, and my friend. She’s helped us put together commercials for our artists, artist interviews, and promotions using social media.
They are our radio station. Their customers are our customers, people who listen to country music every day. We’ve reached so many people with them because they have so many listeners, young, old, and everything in between. They reach a wide audience. It was natural for us to partner with them.
RADIO INK: KELLY, TELL US ABOUT A PROMOTION OR TWO THE STATION DID WITH BOONDOCKS.
GREELEY: So many acts have appeared at Boondocks, such as Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Maren Morris, Sam Hunt, Randy Houser, Gary Allen, Kellie Pickler, Tyler Farr, and Here Come the Mummies. One promotion was hosting two concerts at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Chase Rice with John Pardi and Billy Currington with Kelsea Ballerini!
We didn’t know what to expect with such a large venue, and when we saw people lined up as far as the eye could see, we were a little nervous, but Carole and Pat always know what they’re doing. My favorite promotion was the fundraising St. Jude’s Songwriters Night at Boondocks. It was a very intimate setting, with listeners of all ages attending! It’s sometimes nice to have a smaller crowd rather than be among thousands of fans.
RADIO INK: WHAT IS ABOUT NEUHOFF MEDIA, KELLY, AND ANDREW THAT MAKES THE RELATIONSHIP SPECIAL?
KEATING: They really add a personal touch. Kelly is very creative. We go to lunch often and we sit and brainstorm ideas. It’s personal. There are other radio stations in our area, but I choose to work with them because it’s like family. They are a part of our family now. They do a great job.
RADIO INK: ANDREW, TELL US ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
HARBY: We use Pat, Carole, and the entire Boondocks team to connect with our audience, and we feel we provide value back to them. Pat and Carole are always open to new ideas and willing to try different things. We do a lot of ticket giveaways with them. We have a lot of their artists on our air. They give us access to some of the artists that we might not have the ability to get in front of.
At the end of the day, it’s about connecting with our listeners through radio as well as having a venue here in Spring eld that allows us to connect with our audience on a personal level, not just over a microphone.
RADIO INK: CAROLE, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE RESULTS YOU’RE GETTING USING RADIO?
KEATING: One way we can gauge is, each week we give away tickets to our shows, so you can tell by that guest list how many people are participating in their contests. We see results that way. There are times we’ve asked people when they come in what radio station they listen to, how they heard about us. It always comes back to WFMB.
RADIO INK: HOW MUCH OF A ROLE DOES SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING?
HARBY: Social media is huge. Of course we use our WFMB social network and listener club. Pat and Carole have also done a great job investing in their own social networks and have grown their Facebook numbers to over 40,000. They also have a huge e-mail database to help get their message out. When they have a new concert, not only are we blasting it out on the largest Country radio station in Springfield and through our social networks, they’re doing the same with what they’ve built.
KEATING: I agree with Andrew. Social media is so huge for us, between the artist page, the artists’ marketing companies, the radio, and our social media; I think the four of them have been a huge success for Boondocks. It all works together.
RADIO INK: CAROLE, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ADVERTISERS THAT ARE NOT USING RADIO?
KEATING: WFMB has really helped us build our brand at Boondocks. We are so well- known in our area now. Radio has helped us do that. Kelly has done a lot of ads for me. I know every morning we have a presence on the radio. People are hearing about us a lot. We’re rst and foremost in people’s minds by their listening to the radio and hearing our commercials every day.
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