(By Lisa Thal) I recently had an a-ha moment when coaching one of our newest team members. We were preparing for a new-business meeting. She did a great job discovering the valid business reason we were meeting, and, with her persistence, it was enough to earn the appointment. I asked for her thoughts on what we would share in the meeting. She replied that she wanted to share how advertising on our radio station can impact the client’s business.
This client currently advertises on TV and in print. Busy with deadlines and a growing to-do list, I wanted to give her all the answers to save myself a lot of time. But I stopped and thought, “Slow down and teach.”
One of the greatest impacts we have as leaders is to teach others. I realized what came so natural and easy to me was based on the 32 years of teaching and growing I gained from others in my career. I get it: we have more demands with shorter timelines than ever before. The single most important thing we can do to ensure our industry stays relevant and growing is to coach our team and teach our clients!
Yes, it’s back to the basics. We need to teach our team how to effectively communicate with our clients on how radio can impact their business — how we will get them the results and ROI they need! There are three components that will ensure our advertisers will invest more of their ad budgets into our media versus mdismissing us and saying, “I tried radio and it didn’t work.”
There are three keys to a successful radio campaign:
1. The right station. We must understand who the key customer is to recommend the station that can reach them most effectively. Radio does a great job of targeting that key consumer. If your station does not reach that consumer, then recommend another station that does. Most of us work within a cluster of stations that among them have the audience the client desires and needs.
2. The right message. Creating an effective campaign is critical to the client’s success. I will repeat, creating a campaign, not a commercial! We must slow down and understand that radio tells a client’s story best. Listeners want information on how products and services can save them time and money, or solve an issue they may be experiencing. Today, make a commitment to helping your clients tell a more creative story — versus telling the listener how long your client has been in business. People buy on emotion, then back it up with logic.
3. The right frequency. Let’s all agree to get rid of packages off the shelf where you just insert the client’s name. It’s time to build an effective campaign that allows the listener to hear the messaging enough to take action. We need campaigns that make sense for the businesses we are working with. Radio is a champion in reaching consumers in their cars and while they are working. We need to remind clients about their customer journey and how radio is there navigating, at the beginning and at the end.
Consumers and clients have so many options when it comes to making a purchase. Understanding your client’s unique customer journey will help you better understand how their customers find them. To do that, we must realize the customer journey has two components:
Push marketing: the beginning of the customer’s journey. It is the awareness stage where the consumer identifies that they have a need. Radio plays a major role at this stage by pushing out creative messages to engage the consumer. Interest has been created, and now it’s time to start pulling them into your client’s business.
Pull marketing: decisions are being made, and it’s time to make sure your client pulls the customer to their business. Radio helps drive consumers to your client’s website, and it improves the client’s SEO, SEM, PPC, mobile, and retargeting. But for that to happen, consumers must be aware of your client, so they have a chance to do business with them.
I often use the following restaurant analogy with clients: “I am going to have lunch or dinner today. If you don’t invite me, will we have lunch or dinner together?” During the pull phase, the consumer will make a purchase, and our goal is for them to choose our advertiser. Our work continues as radio reiterates our client’s brand and builds loyalty for the advertiser.
We have been given the great privilege of sharing with our advertisers how implementing radio the right way can have a major impact on revenue for their company. Please join me in slowing down and teaching — our future depends on it!
Lisa Thal is the general sales manager for Hubbard Interactive Cincinnati. She’s also the author of Three Word Meetings: A Simple Strategy to Engage, Inspire and Empower Your Team. Get it on Amazon.com.