Clinic manager Kerri Lewis explores how radio marketing can be beneficial for your business
Radio may not be the first platform that springs to mind when you think of advertising your business, especially in an age where social media seems to reign supreme allowing you to showcase your company with little or no cost. In this fastpaced world, radio can seem old-school and, potentially, expensive as a promotional tool. However, there are several very valid reasons why you shouldn’t write off marketing through radio. This article will explore the marketing concepts and key considerations when deliberating the opportunities that radio marketing can offer.
Let’s first look at ‘the rule of seven’. This is a marketing principle that tells us that prospects must come across your offering a minimum of seven times before they even notice your brand and maybe take action.1 This is a concept which has been around for decades and is based on the human brain’s reticular activating system (RAS).1 It sounds complicated but simply put, your RAS acts like a filter to keep what is relevant in your conscious and the not so helpful in your subconscious. Everyday your potential patients are being overwhelmed with marketing messages and there’s a huge amount of competition out there. Getting your message through the data smog at least seven times to your desired audience is a herculean task. But the important takeaway is that you do need to do this, and you need to review and experiment with the marketing channels that you use.
Radio (along with TV), has the lowest level of advertising avoidance according to market research company Sifo Research.2 This is because it’s rare that people switch between stations and so are more likely to hear your advert. Advertising company On Advertising states, ‘Listeners use radio for emotional reasons – to keep their spirits up, to stop themselves from feeling bored in a car or isolated while doing daily chores. This leads to them seeing radio as a kind of friend, and this is a valuable context for an advertiser to appear in’.3
Audio has always been a strong call-to-action medium and even more so in a world where listeners can access brands online.4
In fact, a study conducted by industry body Radiocentre found that exposure to radio advertising boosts brand browsing power by an average of 52%.5 As well as this, more than half of browsing that was identified as having been stimulated by radio takes place within 24 hours of exposure to advertising.5
Other research suggests that 66% of the UK’s population tune in to digital radio each week, which means that listeners literally have your brand at their fingertips.4 You can take advantage of this by directing listeners to your website and/or visually with display ads that they can click on through listening to the radio via an app. This means that prospects can access your website (or any other digital platform you direct them to) whilst the enthusiasm is there; we live in an age of instant gratification. I believe we could be missing a trick if we don’t tap into the need for instant gratification and potential patients could go with a competitor who can satisfy this need.
Radio marketing isn’t something that you should jump into without serious consideration as, in my experience, it’s likely that you will be asked to sign a contract with the station for a minimum of six months or up to a year. Shorter term contracts may increase the price of your adverts.5 Like any marketing platform, if you don’t do it well, you could waste your money and, unlike social media, you can’t be reactive and change your advert overnight.
The goal with any advertising is generating leads. Measuring this return on investment (ROI) can be tricky when there is no ‘evidence’ of click-through to the website, which can be easily measured with digital marketing. To gauge where our leads come from, I ensure that our reception team asks patients where they heard about us at the time of booking their first appointment and again at their first visit. This is recorded on our diary booking system which easily allows me to run a report on sources of new patients. This is valuable as it saves me time collating the information myself, however if your diary management system doesn’t allow you to do this, a simple excel sheet could also work to record this data. You can also set up a website landing page, for example yourwebsite.co.uk/BBCradio1, and have your advert or interviewer direct listeners to that page so that you can monitor the number of prospects who have followed your call to action. Regardless of the difficulties in monitoring more traditional marketing there is much evidence to show that it can generate a good ROI.
Radio marketing can form part of a successful, multi-channel marketing plan. Implement methods to ensure that your radio marketing is well choreographed to work in synergy with your other marketing channels for a worthy ROI.
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