Audience Size And The Radio

by eccj
16 replies
As a listener to broadcast radio I have a few questions that bug me.......

How big does your audience need to be to advertise on the radio?

I listen to talk radio, mostly sports talk but some political and local, and I notice all the commercials for Zip Recruiter. Now Zip Recruiter isn't a job board (though they are starting to post jobs) but is for people hiring and they advertise all the time.

Now there are a couple other job hiring types on the radio.

There are other examples as well such as Grainger and Kronos. Those people only work with businesses and not the self employed type businesses but ones with employees.

There is very little info on marketing on the radio.

Does anyone know a rule for how large your audience needs to be to advertise on the radio?
#audience #radio #size
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by eccj View Post


    There is very little info on marketing on the radio.
    There isn't a whole lot on radio marketing but I knew someone who was a pro at it and pretty much set the standard for how it should be done. He passed away in 2016.

    Using radio, he took a company from startup to $20 billion in 18 months... unprecedented in the history of advertising (Priceline).

    Using radio, he had 2.2 million responses in 14 days.

    His name is Fred Catona. Here's a couple things about him. Don't have time to look around and give you links to any better articles. Hopefully, if you're interested you'll take the time to research.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-...b_7939624.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Catona

    One of the good guys: Honoring the memory of Fred Catona | Ken McCarthy - Internet, marketing, and beyond
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by eccj View Post


    Does anyone know a rule for how large your audience needs to be to advertise on the radio?
    It isn't audience size.

    If you are a local business, it's matching your offer to the type of audience the radio station attracts. It's also making sure the listeners are in the local area.

    Are you selling something with wide appeal? Or is it a specialty product? Is it a local business or national?

    The general rule is that talk radio (sports, religion, politics) works better than listening to music.
    Advertising rates are based on number of listeners (their inflated estimate).
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    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      It isn't audience size.

      If you are a local business, it's matching your offer to the type of audience the radio station attracts. It's also making sure the listeners are in the local area.

      Are you selling something with wide appeal? Or is it a specialty product? Is it a local business or national?

      The general rule is that talk radio (sports, religion, politics) works better than listening to music.
      Advertising rates are based on number of listeners (their inflated estimate).
      I'm sorry. I think audience size isn't what I'm asking but rather percentage of the listening audience that falls into a target market.

      In direct mail it is super targeted for instance and I understand that world a little bit.

      In radio I'm amazed by how small the target audience must be out of the whole audience.

      Like what percentage of the Dan Patrick Show is buying industrial supplies? Apparently enough because Grainger is always advertising on there and other sports shows. I wouldn't think more than 1% of the audience is buying industrial supplies though.

      Another company advertises securing Amazon Web Services and has been for a while. Now how small can that market be?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by eccj View Post

        I'm sorry. I think audience size isn't what I'm asking but rather percentage of the listening audience that falls into a target market.

        In direct mail it is super targeted for instance and I understand that world a little bit.

        In radio I'm amazed by how small the target audience must be out of the whole audience.

        Like what percentage of the Dan Patrick Show is buying industrial supplies? Apparently enough because Grainger is always advertising on there and other sports shows. I wouldn't think more than 1% of the audience is buying industrial supplies though.
        I'm sure it's way less than 1%. The reason they advertise on radio is that their either don't track sales based on the advertising source...or the profit made on the average new customer is high enough that one new customer a month will pay for the advertising.

        For example, for a few years I sold high end heaters for $599. We have a local country station, and the sales manager read my book on local advertising and came to see me.

        He wanted me to have a jingle and sign a 6 month contract...because..."It takes at least three months before you see any sales".

        I told him I'd advertise without a jingle, and have sales the first day. I bought a full minute...to tell the sales story and make the offer (he wanted 30 second spots). The first hour the ad ran, I made enough to pay for a month of ads with the station.

        The local audience was (I think) 25,000 listeners....meaning that probably 2,000 were listening to my ad the moment it ran. I think I was paying $600 a month for 15 spots a day.

        It was hugely profitable. Why? The offer was plainly stated, and matched to a small segment of the audience...and the first ad went out the first day of snow..

        A friend of mine sold air purifiers by advertising them all over Ohio on the radio. But it was that the ad was well crafted..the message clear...and the cost was low enough to only cost about $50 per sale in advertising.

        He was netting a million dollars a year doing that.

        Just don't sign a 6 month deal. No matter how much you save. You'll know in a day or so if the ad is going to work. Just like direct mail.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    Catona is the only one I have heard about. I think I found him here.

    Also The End of America campaign done by Stansberry & Associates was a radio driven campaign. That campaign was one of the biggest in direct response history and probably the biggest in the history of financial newsletters.

    It's an interesting topic.

    There are campaigns running across the country for years so I know they are making a lot of money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Radio is AMAZING. Get the station that has the audience demographic matching your target market...and commit for the long haul. Repetition. You will kill competition with repetition of your message. You can achieve massive mindshare this way.

    And it's some of the most affordable investing in cost of customer acquisition.

    We've had some good discussions here about radio ads.

    Good stuff from Claude

    Report from Savidge4

    I recall KenMichaels talking once about a couple opener tactics for radio commercials...low voices talking, whispering, where you have to strain to hear...and a clock ticking. Couldn't find that thread, though.

    And let us not forget one of the few Favorited YT vids I have...courtesy of EwenMack:

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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    An ad... or should I say a series of ads that really peaks my interest in terms of research and delivery is Motel 6. The message is always the same but the target and the language changes up once a month or so. Once you start digging in a bit you can understand why they are targeting who they are targeting... and when. pretty interesting stuff.

    I believe the most current ad is Military targeted.. haven't gone in to figure out why exactly, but somewhere there is a reason they have selected that target. Maybe a large deployment, or could be summer boot camp or whatever it is, I am sure they are johnny on the spot, and killing their matrix.

    So what would the matrix be? You have the cost of the ad campaign we will call X You then have the profit ( sale price minus cost ) of what you are selling that we will call P. How many sales do you need to make to break even.. how many do you need to make Y amount of profit?

    When the ad is "Good" you will know it immediately... the phone will ring or people will be walking through the door.

    I run an ad on Saturday mornings for my satellite business... it runs 3 times from 8 to 10. Hope your having a good Saturday... call now and get installed today. On average I close 3 sales each and every Saturday the ad runs. ( don't run it through the winter ) with the package I have each of those 3 ads cost $14 each, so $42.00 in total. Each sale produces about $200 in profit.. and truth be told the ads are paid by CO-OP cash so cost me nothing.

    So a bit more detail here.. I basically have 3 to 4 ish channels to select from. A country channel, a rock channel and a todays hit channel. Todays hits targets a younger audience... so I don't use them. The rock channel is where you are going to target blue collar and they generally do not work on Saturdays, so I don't run the ad there either. The country channel geographically is going to target those maybe a bit outside of town.. they tend to get up early on weekends, and in general are interested in the product. it just happens to be a perfect fit.

    I do run ads on the other channels.. but they run a bit more selectively in terms of college move in.. or Sports related.. basically matching the offer to those that are listening.

    And its THAT, that you have to figure out when using radio to target.. WHO listens and WHEN. Start paying attention to what radio station is playing when you are out and about. See WHO is in those locations. and match your message to the station that is best going to match your target.

    Blue collar construction workers.. auto mechanics and the like will listen to the rock channel Monday thru Friday 8 to 5. College kids will listen the top hits channel basically 3 to midnight My own personal experience shows that the country channels have an audience from 6 am to 10pm each and every day.

    Your community may have a hits from the 70 80's and 90's channel... this would be a 8 to 5 Monday through Friday Gas station, doctors office, Hospitals etc location. in general will target a more "Professional" audience.

    Again.. understanding YOUR ideal target then figuring out what station best captures that audience, and WHEN they will be most present.

    Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I just built my reach through networking, got interviewed on a show syndicated in 40 US markets and got advertising on the show itself. Costs time and energy, and you need to be patient, but no audience qualifier necessary as far as proving your advertising worth or influence.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Good old Fred. He loved throwing Tastykakes into the crowd.

    They have a huge market share here in the mid-Atlantic Region.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamel Hassell
    I don't think that there is any set rules as to how big your audience must be to advertise on the radio.A good question to ask and answer is where your audience isvlikely to be.You will need to fish online ,chum up the waters to find your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    A quick story. A student of mine called to ask about how to advertise on the radio. She sold vacuum cleaners (like me). I gave her a great ad that would bring in buyers. Se ran the ad for a week (don't know how many times it ran). She called me and told me that it didn't work at all. I knew that wasn't right.

    I kept asking questions about the ad. And she let it slip that she ran the ad in a radio station that was 50 miles away. Almost nobody in her town heard the ad.

    I asked why she ran the ad so far away, and she told me it was because it was cheaper than the local station.

    She was shocked when I told her that the ad had to play on a local station.

    I can't wait to retire.
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    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I can't wait to retire.
      That's a painful story.

      And I'm sure she is going 'round telling people that radio "don't work."
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by eccj View Post

        That's a painful story.

        And I'm sure she is going 'round telling people that radio "don't work."

        No. She was telling people that my ad didn't work. Just as wrong. When I used to sell advertising courses, and I'd hear "advertising doesn't work in my area/business"...I ask "Wow, tell me what your experience was".

        If it was a private conversation, I'd be nice. But if it was a member of an audience, I'd have to embarrass them Maybe I'd say "Tell me, do you ever see ads in your local paper? Do you hear ads on the radio?" They say "Sure". I say "Have you been seeing the same people advertise for years?" "Sure".

        And I would say "Then advertising works in your area. But these proven advertisers know something you don't..or your ads would work as well as theirs. Do you want to find out how to make your advertising pay?"

        That guy wouldn't buy. But the short conversation (in front of the audience) would make 3 or 4 undecided people buy.

        I love hearing "I tried advertising once, and got nothing. Advertising doesn't work in my business".

        What they mean is "I had no idea what I was doing..... made one attempt.... failed...and gave up".
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I can't wait to retire.
      I'm curious...
      What does a master salesman do in retirement?
      Watch afternoon TV?
      Dig the garden?
      Annoy the wife? (I'm already expert at that! )

      I hope I'm not prying too much, but what are your plans (if you choose to share)...
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

        I'm curious...
        What does a master salesman do in retirement?
        Watch afternoon TV?
        Dig the garden?
        Annoy the wife? (I'm already expert at that! )

        I hope I'm not prying too much, but what are your plans (if you choose to share)...
        The truth is, my life would change very little. I'll still write books on selling. I'll probably produce a course or two more before I'm done. I'll continue consulting.

        The only difference really is that I won't spend my day in a retail store, while I'm doing everything else. I just won't be dealing with customers every day.

        It's a very fuzzy line between what I do now and "retirement". I suspect it's like that for most business owners.

        Thanks for asking.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    One thing you can do with a local radio station is host your own radio show.

    Hosting your own show gives you credibility, something to leverage, and can bring you a ton of business.

    I've done one in the past for a business and the show made the owner over $80,000 in direct sales and I'm sure a lot more in referrals from those sales.

    There are a bunch of shows across the country that are making people a good living in real estate, home improvement, yard work, etc.

    I bet a local business marketing show could make someone a lot of money if done strategically. You could even get a couple of sponsors to pay for the show.

    Something for someone to think about.
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