What does it take to execute a successful radio advertising campaign?


There are four key elements that need to align in order for a campaign to be as successful as it can be. Often times, one or more of these key elements are overlooked or cut back to “save money”… resulting in less than desirable outcomes. These are the key questions that we always ask ourselves when building a radio campaign for our clients.

It the radio ad going to air on the right stations?

Simply put, does the majority of the audience that listens to this radio station match the audience is likely to use the product or service being advertised? If not, we need to find the right one!

Will the radio commercial play at the right times?

This is a tricky one. You would be inclined to think that the commercial MUST air in prime time order to be effective. While prime time is the perfect place for most commercials, it needs to get a certain level of airplay in order to be successful (see step 3 below). If a budget supports a prime time airplay strategy, we take it. If not, off-prime can be very effective in many situations as most radio stations still hold large audiences in these hours. Depending on the budget, prime time or off-peak times can both be very effective.

Will the radio advertisement air enough?

People need to hear commercial frequently in order to take action. I don’t care what you’re selling or how “direct response” you think your commercial is. Frequency is key. Get your commercial in front of the right audience frequently enough with a compelling message and you will be gold. How much airing of a radio ad is considered “enough”? It all depends what kind of response rate you’re going for. If you’re wanting the phones to ring every hour of every day, you will need to air the commercial that frequently. If you’re going for general awareness and to attract people to a website or physical location, several times a day can be sufficient.

Is your message on target?

This is often the most overlooked step, and one of the most important. This is not the area you want to try to save a buck on. Having a commercial created professionally can make or break your radio campaign. The message needs to be compelling, on target and sound good. Most radio stations offer “free” production (often seen by an unsuspecting business owner as a great way to save a buck). Nothing could be further than the truth. When production is “free”, what you often times get is a commercial written by an intern and voiced by what ever “disc jockey” happens to be available at the time. They are slapped together without much thought or effort. Not exactly a recipe for success. This is why we only use professional writers and voice over talent when creating the commercials our clients request. Spending a couple hundred dollars on professional production could be the difference between thousands of dollars in profit or loss on your marketing campaign.