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How to Make DR Radio Buys Run Successfully 52 Weeks a Year

By Bill Sullivan

According to a recent survey of the calls we've been getting at our ad agency, more and more DR advertisers want to know how they can increase the response effectiveness of their radio campaigns after the first month running. The answer to that question is the focus of this article. It's about a proven, profit-growing formula that has been working for DR radio advertisers across the country for more than 20 years.

Our answer sounds like a good idea: how to make DR radio buys run successfully 52 weeks a year—but it's not easy to achieve.

Most advertisers start campaigns by negotiating radio buys for just a few good stations. Initially, their spots may generate a good response but sooner or later, as the spots are repeated over and over again on the same stations to the same listeners, the calls are reduced to practically zero. And the advertisers' usual response is: "Radio doesn't work." And that's where the first part of our formula comes in: traction.

What's Traction?

Like a car that grabs and holds onto the road, we recommend a buying method with traction, that moves a campaign to different radio stations every week or so, that reach different listeners, that continue to generate a steady flow of call-ins throughout the year. For example, our agency ran a natural cures book campaign successfully for over three years using the same creative. We delivered an average $2 cost per call with an average of 10,000 calls weekly. Now that's traction!

For proper traction, advertisers need the help of knowledgeable radio buyers who have access to hundreds of radio stations, and can buy time on different stations each week at very low rates. Finding such media pros is not easy, but they are available; our agency, for example, has access to several thousand stations and has run campaigns continuously for two and three years.

Beyond the right media buyer, our formula also requires three other essentials:

1.The product category must have strong consumer appeal.
2.The creative must be of superior production quality.
3.The offer must be highly persuasive.

quote Also, a successful campaign must have a first-rate telemarketing organization that has a record for turning a high percentage of lead-generation radio calls into sales.

Finally, advertisers may have the right product, the right creative, the right offer and a top telemarketing team, but without a large list of proven radio stations that continue to run in the campaign regularly to different markets and audiences, their response will be: "Radio doesn't work."

As you may have noticed, the foregoing article deals with advanced DR radio essentials—Radio 404 vs. Radio 101. So advertisers are urged to work with proven professionals with high-level experience in radio buying, radio creative and top-notch telemarketing companies that take lead-generation radio calls.

Bill Sullivan, Director of Business Development with Lockard & Wechsler Direct

email bill sullivan
or call Bill at (973) 214-4447