When it comes to marketing and advertising, there are a thousand different options. Since my particular area of expertise is in radio, I will speak from that perspective, but I do believe that these concepts work in other forms of media (tv, print, internet, etc.). Many people ask me how to make radio effective for their business. The answer really depends on the goals they have for their business and what they hope to accomplish with the campaign, as well as what type of business or industry they are in.
There are basically two styles of campaigns, Brand Advertising and Educational Marketing.
Brand Advertising is what most of us are used to. The goal is (or should be) to create top of mind awareness. Think about the ads you see and hear all the time. These are companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, and FedEx. They are names we all recognize; we hear their ads every day. Yet, when you hear one of their ads, it doesn’t necessarily cause you to react at that moment. Think about that… when you see the iPad commercial on tv, do you suddenly jump in your car and drive to the mall? Most likely not, and that is not the goal of a branding campaign. Yet the next time you’re at the mall, what store do you stop at to see the newest cool gadget? When you hear that famous FedEx tag line, you are probably not going to start searching around the office for something to ship, but the next time you need a package rushed to a client you may just remember who gets it delivered when it “absolutely positively has to be there overnight”.
You see, these commercials aren’t meant to get you to buy on the spot. They are meant to keep these brands in first place in your head so that when you do have a need you think of them first. This type of advertising does work, but it is extremely expensive. However, the payoff is also huge. These companies generate hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in sales by spending the tens of thousands it takes to do this successfully.
So where does that leave the entrepreneur, the service professional, the small business? How can they afford mass advertising that produces more immediate results? The solution just may be an Educational Marketing campaign.
Educational Marketing is a campaign designed to feature a business as a credible leading expert in their field or industry. The goal is to identify with a listener’s needs to generate a more immediate response. In radio, this is accomplished with an interview (or series of interviews). This can translate the same to television, or articles in print advertising, and so on.
The difference between this and traditional brand advertising is simple yet powerful. With a regular ad like a radio commercial, even if the message is written clearly with a strong call to action that within 30-seconds the listener responds… once you have made contact with the potential customer, you still have to educate them on who you are and what you do and how it will directly benefit their particular circumstances so that they know that you have the solution to their need(s). While with an interview (or any form of educational marketing) you are already taking the time to educate the audience, so by the time they pick up the phone to call you they are no longer responding to your ad but instead are responding to their own need. In other words, they know you have the solution!
This type of advertising is typically much better for the small business, because it eliminates part of that aspect of the sales process. It is also a lot less expensive and is usually done on programs that are more narrowly targeted to a specific demographic interested in a particular topic. The thing I love most about talk radio is that there are shows that cover every subject. I highly recommend that you find outlets that are as closely related to your industry as possible. In this realm, content is king.
Both styles do have pros and cons, and both styles do have some crossover affects… you will get direct response from traditional brand advertising, and you will get some brand building from educational marketing. You just have to understand what each can do for your business, and decide what you are looking to accomplish with the marketing budget that your business can afford.
About Steven Kay: Steven Kay is a media consultant, and a talk show host and producer, whose recent projects include “Life Business and Money”, “The TALK 650 Morning Show”, "Wealth911.com Radio", "Small Business Today Radio", "Everything Talk Radio Network", "BBB Straight Talk", "Global Evolution", "Business Builders Radio", “Retirement Wealth Talk Radio”, "Houston Real Estate Today", "The Other Side", "The Weekly Landing", and "PEP Talk". He is also currently an on-air personality with KSBJ-FM in Houston. His company Steven Kay Media LLC is an independent media buying agency and consultation firm that specializes in talk radio advertising and marketing, as well as producing and hosting talk shows. They work with entrepreneurs, service professionals, and small to mid-sized businesses to create affordable and effective campaigns utilizing broadcast media. You may contact Steven Kay directly at 713-STEVEN-K (713-783-8365).