They say history repeats itself, and I?m sad to say it appears to be true when it comes to marketing local radio effectively.
In the pre-Internet world, radio seemed to be content letting yellow directories capture more local advertising revenue than radio.
Today, the Internet has replaced those old directories of ineffective marketers and we?re letting tons of local ad dollars flock to each shiny new medium that appears on the newest digital platforms.
That?s right, yellow pages were always directories of ineffective marketers. Consumers only went to the phone books to look for a business in a category which had no effective marketers, or to look up the phone number or address of an effective marketer.
By ?effective marketer? we mean marketers that move consumers from unawareness of them, to awareness, on to consideration, and finally to a pre-need preference before their prospects begin their online search. The power of pre-need preference dictates that consumers tend to search for information online that confirms what they already believe and want.
In the pre-Internet world, consumers didn?t go to the phone book to search for a place for coffee and donuts, because Tim Horton?s was an effective marketer. We didn?t search the book for hamburger joints or mattresses, because McDonald?s and Sleep Country had firmly established their brands in our minds with intrusive radio campaigns.
As long as there were no effective marketers in a market or in a category, like lawyers or roofers, every competitor in the category was content with their fair and equal market share via yellow directories.
And radio can be forgiven for not creating more market leaders in new categories, because our margins were so lucrative back then.
Those days are gone, but we?re still letting the new directories of ineffective marketers, search engines and Google AdWords, take tons of local ad dollars out of our markets.
Why hasn?t radio bought into what Internet marketing gurus like Seth Godin say? Mr. Godin says, ?It is better to be sought, than to be found.?
When no marketer in a given category has created a predisposition or pre-need preference with intrusive media like radio, consumers will search that category generically online to find a list of competitors in the category.
To be ?sought? implies consumers already have a predisposition or preference for the advertiser. The best S.E.O. by far is not hidden in an algorithm or Google AdWords, but rather is to be sought by name online.
To be ?found? merely means the marketer is on equal footing with all of the competitors revealed in a search and the search likely continues until that tie is broken by the cheapest (aka lowest-profit) vendor.
Broadcasters have been largely ineffective in helping local marketers and advertisers understand the powerful role they can play in establishing pre-search preference for a brand or business.
Our research of more than 16,000 consumers across North America reveals the power of pre-search branding. The results vary slightly by market, but between 76 percent and 82 percent of those surveyed consistently say they will click on the first name they have heard of or are familiar with, before they?ll click on an unknown at the top of a search engine page.
Another 13 to 19 percent will click on both the business at the top of the page and the effective marketer, still giving the effective marketer an edge.
Here is the thing: In every market we have surveyed, less than 6 percent of respondents claim they click exclusively on the business at the top of a search if they have never heard of it.
It?s time for radio to quit yielding to the huge appetite for everything online, and to educate local businesses about the power of radio in creating a pre-search awareness and preference for their business.
The most powerful S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization), is S.O.M. (Share of Mind).
Radio broadcasters should embrace the Internet as a less-expensive replacement for all things print, from directories to brochures, and from coupons to direct mail, leaving more budget for radio as the huge Internet-marketing optimizer.
Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc and conducts local market surveys and educational advertiser seminars to increase local radio revenues.
Add a Comment Send This Story To A Friend