Marketing Always Starts the Process, and Radio Always has the Customer’s Ear

Marketing Always Starts the Process, and Radio Always has the Customer's Ear

Business sell products, and hope to make a profit. Marketing is the forerunner to sales, and eventually those desired profits. First those products need to be marketed. Marketing and Sales come first, and everything else supports this process.

What is the most common marketing device, the commercial advertisement. The advertisement has been around for a long time and is not going away anytime soon. Radio is one of the oldest, easiest, and cost effective advertising methods out there.

Radio advertising offers marketers a unique blend of benefits. You can reach a targeted, highly educated, and successful audiences. Ads are simple to produce, and you can get on the air fast.

So what is involved in a radio commercial and what do you need to do to make it resonate?

Here is a list of some key points to remember with Radio (and Ad) Copy that you can use immediately:

Keep it simple. A radio spot goes by pretty fast. It can't be reviewed at will. So radio is no place for laundry lists of features or corporate drivel. Get the listener's attention, make a relevant offer, and generate a phone call. Focus on one idea and drive it home.

You should choose a creative format. There's no set way to write a radio script, but it helps to have a few proven formats to get you started. The six most common that work well to convey information and lead the listener to call are: Straight Announcer, Dialog, Vignette, Person on the Street, Testimonials, and a Story

People respond to people and Emotion.  People don’t respond to “copy.”  Writing effective radio commercials requires the ability to make an emotional connection.  As the aforementioned research notes,

“Radio ads may be more effective at making emotional connections with consumers, thanks to the much more emotional link that listeners have with the medium itself.” 

It goes on to say that “The Internet, meanwhile, connects at a more factual level,” making the emotional link provided by radio particularly important as brands use it to help drive internet traffic.  

Commercials need to have a goal in mind when they are being written. What does the advertiser want to convey or accomplish with this ad. You cannot accomplish a goal if you are unsure of what your goal is. The sole purpose of any commercial (or promotional piece for that matter) is to accomplish the goal of stating your message.

Leverage the radio commercial. With today's modern technology and so many avenues to get someone's attention, it is not uncommon that the goal of a radio commercial may be to drive potential customers to a business website. The company website may then have a short 5 minute video or webinar that explains the offer and what the company is all about.

Advertising scripts are shorter then you realize. Advertisers are surprised at first when they see that a 30 second script is 90 words, maybe a third of a page. Not much room so each word counts, stay on point.

Headlines lead the story (and the Ad). Writing ad copy for a commercial has similarities to ad copy for a newspaper article. You need a catchy headline, good content (which may be your sub-headline), and then the offer (Call to Action). Again, the Call to Action could be the sales deal, coupon, or just an invite to go to a landing page website promoting the product for sale. 

Content must be good or entertaining. Why should people keep listening to your ad? Great and memorable ad campaigns like Geico's hook - 'In just 15 minutes, you can save 15% on car insurance'. We all remember those ads. The modern day of fragmented media makes it harder to attract the public so your ad must leave an impression and there is limited time to do it. Don’t waste your money just talking about yourself – create copy that talks to and about the consumer and invites them to talk to you directly.

Use multiple aspects of sound to create a desire for the product or service. For instance, if you are selling a beverage, hearing the bottle open can be enticing. If you are selling season tickets to a baseball team, the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd can grab someone's attention. Rely on these other elements to enhance your ad. And music… well, music may work best of all.  It’s likeable, it’s memorable – in this day and age it’s shareable – and above all, it’s emotional. 


Mention the name of the product or service at least three times in your advertisement. If you listen to radio ads you will start to hear that names are mentioned over and over in an attempt to have the listener make an unmistakable connection to the product or service that is being sold. Even the most annoying ads can be effective because the consumer's brain is literally branded with the name of the product or service.


After the message is finalized, you have to commit to run your ads and stick with marketing plan for a set amount of time (maybe 3 to 6 months) to give a chance to succeed. Radio campaigns must have a frequent run rotation, because even the best ad will have no impact if it runs once.

Good luck and happy marketing.







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