(By Pat Bryson) If there’s one thing that the last three years have made crystal clear, it’s that businesses today must be prepared to serve their clients in two universes: one brick-and-mortar and one virtual. Yet even today, many businesses are still not ready to do so and lose customers to their competitors who are.
When businesses use radio or some form of digital advertising, the messages are usually directed one of two ways: to get potential customers into the store or to direct them to their virtual space, most often their website. When a prospective customer comes into a brick-and-mortar store, our clients can physically interact with them. They can begin to develop a relationship and hopefully make a sale to them. Radio is the prime vehicle for creating traffic for our clients but most of our ads will also have the client’s URL included.
Over the past few years, some clients have shifted their advertising dollars into the digital space. Digital became the “shiny new object.” In the past year or two, we have seen dollars moving back into “traditional” media, especially radio. Why? Because sometimes relying only on their digital advertising didn’t work as well as they thought. Often, they got “likes” but no sales. Recent studies have proven that radio is the accelerator for most other forms of advertising. In the final analysis, it’s all about sales. Which form of advertising would move the revenue needle? They all can, if done properly and if the client is prepared to capture potential customers where they contact their business and turn them into sales.
Here’s what happens with much digital advertising: a digital strategy that may include social media posts, Display, Adwords, SEO, SEM, or Geofencing, is employed to send potential customers to our client, usually to their website. As you may have discovered, many of our clients’ websites are not very good. They are not engaging. They are difficult to navigate. Some are not even mobile-ready. So, what happens when a potential customer arrives on your client’s website? We ask our clients, “What do you want them to do?” “How do you CLOSE THE CIRCLE?”
“Can they buy off your site?” (Usually, a small percentage of our clients do e-commerce.)
“Do they call you?”
“Fill out a contact form?”
“Come into your brick-and-mortar store?”
When you ask your clients these questions, they may stare blankly at you. THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CLOSE THE CIRCLE. Potential customers come onto their website and leave without our client having a chance to make personal contact with them. They lose them at “Hello.”
To be successful in 2024, businesses must have a strong presence in both the virtual and the physical world. And their marketing must tie the two together. They must close the circle. They must develop ways to have one-on-one contact with their potential customer’s money.
That’s where we can come in with campaigns that include messaging for the virtual and brick-and-mortar worlds.
Radio is an accelerator for digital, TV, and newspaper. Used correctly together, we can increase results for our clients. The more we know about how to coordinate both the virtual and the brick-and-mortar worlds, the more help we can be to our clients. We become their “go-to” person for all things marketing.
It begins with closing the circle. Do you know how?
Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue. She is the author of two books, “A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales” and “Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” available on her website. Read Pat’s Radio Ink archives here.