That seems like a simple question.
But in reality, it’s really complex.
Worse, most people have never asked themselves this question, let alone answered it.
Let me state for the record that I’m a BIG Wizard of Ads disciple. Roy H. Williams is the person known as “The Wizard of Ads.” I have the Wizard’s bestselling book trilogy, taught the Wizard’s methods in my sales class at the university and am a member of the Wizard Class known as the “Fearless Flyers.” (Ask me why, if you want to know why my class was named that.)
A key question to ask any advertiser at the outset of doing business is, “How will YOU measure success.”
Simply saying, to make a lot of money is not the answer.
If money is the goal, then how much money and in what period of time, needs to be asked. It is important that both the advertiser and the seller of advertising are on the same page. Both parties must agree before you can move forward.
12 Core Questions
I recently shared a graphic from fellow Wizard Craig Arthur that listed 12 core questions an advertiser needed to answer when developing an advertising strategy. Let me explore those questions in a little more detail here:
- WHAT are you trying to make happen? What’s the destination you are trying to reach with your advertising?
- HOW will you measure progress? What will be the method employed to keep track of how things are going? How will things be tweaked to insure progress is being made?
- HOW big is the pie? In other words, how big is the market for what you’re trying to accomplish? It’s no use winning if the market potential is so small you still starve.
- HOW good are your competitors? In the musical, The Music Man, the carpet baggers (picture above) would constantly say “But you gotta know the territory.” You need to know who the people, businesses, systems, etc. are, that you will be up against.
- HOW good are you? This is a tough one. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror and honestly address your own skills and abilities. Can you provide an outstanding customer experience?
- WHO to talk to? Who are the customers you’re attempting to attract? You need to be specific and target.
- WHAT to say? Roy says there are no wrong media to use to tell your story, only bad stories. In other words, is your story relevant? If it is, it will reach your target by word of mouth a.k.a. sharing on social media.
- HOW to say it? Most radio stations no longer employ dedicated copywriters and production people. Everyone is multitasking. Crafting the message is most critical. Just like in the movies or on TV, the script makes the difference between a hit and a miss.
- WHAT will it sound/look like? Having a well written message will sink like the Titanic if it’s produced poorly. Dick Orkin’s Radio Ranch not only produces great copy but employs professional voice actors to deliver the goods.
- HOW much to spend? When crafting an ad budget you should keep in mind that you want to hit the target every week. When the data isn’t available, say in an unrated radio market for example, the rule of thumb is 21 ads per week (3/day), 52 weeks a year. If the ad budget is small, then spend it on only one station and possibly on only one daypart until the business grows to support more.
- HOW to schedule it? In all advertising, repetition is key to gaining top of mind awareness in your customer. Radio is best because of its affordability to allow virtually any advertiser to purchase a three frequency with the listener on a weekly basis. To achieve this minimum level of frequency is usually unaffordable in other mediums.
- WHERE to say it? Again, Roy believes there are really no wrong radio stations, only wrong messages. Obviously, there are some businesses/products that are an obvious non-fit with a particular radio station format, but in general, any radio station with a cume of 30,000 people or more has the audience size to get an advertiser good R.O.I. (Return On Investment).
As Craig Arthur points out, most advertisers skip questions 1 to 11 and only focus on question 12.
That’s why most advertising fails.