‘Don’t Surprise Me’


(By Jeffrey Hedquist) Today people can – and do – prepare for every aspect of any experience, big or small. Whether they’re taking a vacation across the globe or dining at a neighborhood café, people have a low tolerance for surprise. 

For many people, experiences are more important to them than things. And today, they can and do prepare for experiences – big or small – to avoid surprises. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing, it’s a thing. 

How can our client’s commercials help them prepare for experiences? By engaging their imaginations. 

Create interest 

Examples: There’s over 55% growth in mobile searches for “menus.” Describe an enticing entrée then send diners to the client’s site for more. There, they could opt-in for a discount, free dessert, drink, or a secret recipe. 

If the client has a “best” rating, talk about the reasons why. 

If your client is a tourist destination or entertainment venue, describe what the experience will be like, and why (if so) it’s listed as a “must visit” in your town. 

Build stories around the products, services, and results a buyer would experience from your client. 

Build confidence 

Mobile searches for “wait times” have grown 120% over the past two years.

Use your commercial to talk about the best times to visit. Direct listeners to the client’s web site. Describe the maps, guides, agendas, and events listed there. 

List items to bring, what to wear, appropriate ages. 

Describe how comfortable they’ll feel with this information before they visit your client. 

Rebut potential objections and answer potential questions. Make your commercial campaign a series of interesting FAQs. 

Explain affordability 

Describe any specials, sales, discounts, free services, perks, ways to save, how to be a well-informed shopper. 

The more you help your client’s potential visitors, shoppers, buyers, or participants prepare for the experience, the greater their comfort level will be and the more trust you build. Then, buyers’ surprises will only be the good ones.

Jeffrey Hedquist, “Advertising’s Storyteller” has won over 700 awards and brought in millions of dollars for clients. His articles, ebooks, seminars, and coaching have helped stations nationwide prosper. Got a question about radio marketing? Email [email protected]. Read Jeffrey’s Radio Ink archives here.


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