Radio Doesn’t Work

This is a true story.  I was on a call recently and I wanted to share it.  The names and business have been changed to protect the identity.

The client was adamant.  Radio simply did not work for his business.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard that of course.  In this case, the client had a somewhat non-essential product that retailed for between $250-$400.

I believe in radio and our ability to solve problems.  I love a challenge like this.  So here’s what happened next.

I asked the client if he would allow me to do a promotion for him to prove radio.  If I could prove radio worked, he would agree to buy a year long schedule for a certain amount.

He was listening.

I offered to trade advertising for 5 of his items at full value.  And I would run a promotion telling listeners that on Thursday two weeks from now, they could win one of the items simply by listening to the radio station and calling when asked.

There’s was just one twist.

I’d arrange for the calls to come to the business rather than the radio station.

So for two weeks I would promote the idea Thursday May 23rd, you could win a $500 piece of gear.  I’d spend my own money and air time to promote it.  All the client had to do was answer the phone on the appointed day and take the orders.

“But, but,” he sputtered, “I can’t handle that kind of volume of calls.  What happens when I’ve given away the five items?  I don’t have the people to handle all that.  There will be hundreds of calls”

First, I replied, you should have some kind of deal mechanism in place, so when you have made 5 winning customers happy, that will get people to come in for a special deal at your store they could have only received by calling you. Maybe capture names and phone numbers because you know they are calling and have a need for your product.

Secondly, though, I’m confused.

I thought you said radio didn’t work.

Really is a true story and one that points out a problem.  Buyers move through the stages of the buying cycle everyday. .

You can run a very effective radio campaign on most radio stations in Billings for between $16.67 and $23.95 a day.  If your message doesn’t move them to action now, it might simply be they aren’t in the market for your product.  Not that your media choice doesn’t work.


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