July 31, 2014

Soundbites: Measuring Radio Results With Web Analytics

Adam: Welcome once again to BrandingBlog Soundbites, with Wizard of Ads partner Dave Young, from BrandingBlog.com. I’m Adam Lefler, hello Dave.

Dave: Hi Adam

Adam: Dave, today were sitting down talking about measuring radio effectiveness on a website.

Dave: That seems like a crazy idea, doesn’t it? [Read more...]

Talk to The Dog in the Language of The Dog

…About What’s Important to The Dog

That’s a Roy H. Williams phrase from a lesson on branding. It’s a reference to Pavlov’s experiments with dog salivation. The point is that if Pavlov had used anything besides meat paste, it would have been a lesson in how to annoy a dog instead of how to get it to react.

I wrote about some of the writing on the Duluth Trading Company’s web site about 7 years ago. As I was making the switch to WordPress, I’ve been revisiting a few of my old posts to make sure links work, etc.

I clicked over and found these videos on the Duluth site, and they talk to the Dog (guys who wear work clothes) in the language of The Dog (crouch without the ouch) about what’s important to The Dog (ballroom). Brilliant.

First, here’s a radio spot where they are thinking up the concept…

Next, the video on the web site for the same product…

More Duluth Trading videos…. [Read more...]

Web + Radio = Good Brand Strategy

For a local business, optimizing a web site to compete against your local, regional, national and international competitors can seem a bit daunting, to say the least.

Wouldn't it be great if your most valuable web traffic arrived at your site because they were looking for YOU and not your category? Trust me, it's great.

In your town, your name is your brand. It is built on only two variables:

Your reputation in the marketplace (built up by direct customer experience), and to a far lesser extent the anticipation of that experience that you PROMISED by your advertising

Those who think that a brand is built solely on advertising and marketing are fools. In fact, the quickest way to go out of business is to promise a lot and then deliver a lousy experience. Your reputation will tank and your advertising will accelerate this process by getting even more people to try you. All of these people will be happy to tell others how bad you are.

If your advertising does a good job of creating enough interest, people will seek you out when they need or want your product or service. They are no longer doing this in a dead-tree phone book. They are doing it on line. 

A new study released by the Radio Advertising Bureau has confirmed what I've been telling my clients for years; your best prospects will be those who search for you by name.

Simon Redican, managing director at the Radio Advertising Bureau, said: "The internet has become an incredibly important interface for customer marketing but the problem is that it also allows access to all your rival's brands which means the key challenge is to ensure that customers seek out your brand specifically – marketers are increasingly turning to offline media to direct consumers to their brands online."

The radio ads drove on average 34% of the total brand browsing for an average of 10% of the media budget which the research said means the radio spend was on average four times more effective.

Barber said the findings are highly significant for brands where the internet "provides the crucial final stage" of customer buying and radio advertising offers these brands the chance to "turbo charge" the marketing process.

Most of the Search Engine Optimization strategies have you believing that the only way to win is to dominate the keyword phrases of your industry or category. This is amazingly expensive for a small local business. And, the fight is never over because everyone is going after the same phrases.

On the other hand, moving your money out of print and yellow pages and into local radio, coupled with a convincing web site that is easily found on a search for your name offers a more lasting solution in the quest to establish your local brand. 

How does this work out in real life? I just got off the phone with a retail client of mine who has been using this strategy for about 6 years. In his informal check of his competitors, most of their December sales were down as much as 20% over 2008. Anyone who did as well in 2009 as 2008 is very pleased. My client had an 11% increase in his December gross sales along with an 18% gain in gross profit, meaning he didn't give away the store to make the sales numbers.  We are very pleased.

Radio Station Strategy

Netradio My buddy Walt Koschnitzke posted a story yesterday on ASB about a new internet radio device that will use Wi-Fi and be able to pick up thousands of internet radio stations. When you couple it with the advent of regional broadband access, it will likely be bigger than XM and Sirius in terms of changing the way we listen at home and in our cars.

So, what’s a local radio station to do? In the very small markets, the station’s lament has always been that the FCC only gave us one AM and one FM license. How will I possibly compete?

Here’s my suggestion: Audio servers don’t cost near as much as FM transmitters, lawyers and engineers. Buy more audio servers. Keep broadcasting your mainstream formats and then start integrating your locally-produced content into niche format internet-only streams.

If I prefer classic country, but I like hearing local news and weather, you could produce such a stream and insert local ads as well. It’s a new revenue stream that’s just an upsell to your existing advertisers. You should also be able to measure it more accurately than your broadcast stations. You should be able to get incremental revenue out of your advertisers on a cost-per-listener basis. Use the adwords model and charge just a few cents per listener. What advertiser would refuse? 

How about a stream that just re-plays your local sports broadcasts? Edit them down to eliminate half-time and excessive time-outs and insert local sponsorships (these can even be different sponsors than on the original broadcast).

If you stick to your locally produced content and locally produced commercials, you also eliminate the sticky mess of union agreements on the talent side of the national ads.

Stupid Radio Ads

I’ve been on the road a lot lately. Not flying. Driving. This means a lot of radio. I don’t have XM (yet) so I’m still listening to terrestrial AM radio for talk programs.

I am sick of lame radio ads that try to get me to remember a phone number by simply repeating it over and over again. I remember the name of the sponsor ONLY when the number starts playing.

If you’re going to do it right (you do want to do it right, don’t you?) you should try to get me to remember the number when I think of the sponsor’s name. I know, it’s a subtle difference and it’s much harder to do.

All you have to do is remember Ivan Pavlov’s dogs. The taste of meat didn’t cause them to ring a bell. The sound of the bell caused them to remember the taste of meat.

I don’t want to remember your stupid phone number. I have too many numbers to remember as it is. Give me a reason to remember you and when I need your number, trust me I’ll find it.

If you want to write better radio ads, go learn from the best.

In fact, the phone number ads and all the political talk finally squeezed me out. I spent the last two days listing to this.