Why Classic Rock Continues to Drive Revenue for Businesses

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Don’t stop believin’…in Classic Rock that is. Sure, gone are the days of free love, and any Woodstock tribute will never compare to that magical event during the summer of ‘69, but one thing you can be sure of — the tunes from these Classic Rock artists are still raking in millions of dollars.

Who is Listening To Classic Rock?

They may not want to admit it, but the hippies from the 60’s and 70’s grew up. Now considered baby boomers, most of them have real jobs and are influential and respected decision makers in their community. They many have turned their bell bottoms in for suits but these boomers are still hardcore Classic Rock radio listeners. They also lead very active lifestyles. After all, 50 is the new 30.

Baby boomers aren’t the only Classic Rock listeners. In fact, studies show that the Classic Rock listener demographic is getting younger and younger — in the last three years, the number of fans aged 12-34 has jumped 50 percent. “Rock from the 1960’s and ’70s was so good, it has turned on whole new generations of kids,” says Mark Pinkus, President of the catalog label Rhino. “Each album is like a ‘Greatest Hits.’”

Another group of rockers are the affluent. An Eventbrite study concluded that those making an annual $90K+ prefer to keep it classic, going to more rock concerts than blues/jazz, classical or opera. Classic Rock is appealing more and more to a wealthier demographic, making it ideal for advertisers looking to re-direct their marketing efforts from other formats or mediums.

These listeners like to have fun, have expendable incomes, and are extremely active. The 50-something-year-old Classic Rocker is traveling, eating out, spending time with family, making major career moves, and making large purchases ranging from second homes to boats to motorcycles and RVs.

Is The Classic Rock Audience Expanding?

The short answer… YES! Nielsen/SoundScan compiled a list of America’s total music purchases in all formats in 2014 and rock took the lead with 29% of the total. R&B/hip-hop came in second a whopping 12 points behind the leader. Rock sales nearly doubled those of pop music at 14.9%, country represented only 11.2% and all the above virtually slaughtered the trendy EDM sales of 3.4%.

That same study tells us that rock is the dominant genre for album sales (over 33% of all albums) with Classic Rock — by acts such as Pink Floyd and the Eagles — accounting for 60% of the genre’s album sales. Long live Rock and Roll.

While the Baby Boomers continue to be a coveted audience to reach, we can’t ignore the fact that Gen Xers, and even Millennials and younger, continue to love and enjoy the classic hits that continue to be the soundtrack to their lives.

What Else Can We Attribute to the Growth in Revenue?

A few things to credit this new, younger, demographic of listeners to is Classic Rock radio, streaming audio, popular movie soundtracks, and the rise in vinyl sales. A seven-year study by Statista details the rise of Classic Rock radio listeners in the United States of America. In the spring of 2014, the reported number of Classic Rock radio listeners was over 34 million, up nearly 10.5 million from 23.8 million back in the spring of 2008! As “Bad to the Bone” musician George Thorogood once said, “Classic Rock radio gave us our longevity.”

There’s no denying that today’s pop charts are full of R&B, hip-hop, and country, but it turns out dad’s old rock songs continue to rule the charts as the nation’s largest seller.

It’s called Classic Rock for a reason; it’s timeless! Classic rock provides nostalgia for older listeners, and introduces younger fans to one of the greatest eras in music. Danny & The Juniors had it right almost 60 years ago; Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay.

How Radio Can Help You Better Connect with Millennials

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In a landscape that changes daily, spending money on effective marketing requires a great deal of adaptability. While older generations remain fairly predictable, many myths surround marketing to 80 million millennials and benefiting from their $1 trillion a year in purchasing power.

Is Radio a Viable Outlet?

Yes, each week the medium reaches 9 out of 10 people over the age of twelve.

Do Millennials Listen to the Radio?

Are you considering using the radio to connect with millennials? Wondering if it is worth it? Well, despite these digital natives creating playlists on their latest device, a Nielsen Report said the Millennial generation listens to the radio more than Baby Boomers and Gen X.

How Often and When?

They listen, on average, 11.5 hours a week mostly during the PM drive with nearly three quarters of that time being when they are out and about and able to make an impulse purchase.

What Stations?

Want to connect with millennials? Well, their favorite genre is country followed by contemporary pop and hits.

What Message?

Worrying about how to connect with millennials? What resonates with them? NPR recently did a series called New Boom. Think 180 characters. The Twitter Generation wants short and simple messages. Focus less on branding and more about creating credibility as a trusted source. They want to be entertained but not bombarded. Also, concentrate on their wants and needs as they are skillful at filtering out everything else.

What Do They Want?

They want it new and they want it now. Females are more likely to focus on health and beauty products while their counterparts are drawn to gadgets. They rely heavily on input and word of mouth; however, they happily share their satisfaction.

Given no magical formula exists, reaching Millennials provides challenges; yet, it can be accomplished with a specialized and targeted campaign. Moreover, enticing one can result in the loyalty of many.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Pairing Radio with Paid Search

PPCpay-per-click-written-on-blackboard-000046727366_SmallRadio advertising is at a curious impasse. On one hand, research has proven that radio advertising provides marketers with the biggest bang for their buck in terms of ROI, providing up to $23.21 in increased revenue for every $1 spent on advertising.

Yet despite its impressive returns and the fact that consumers spend around 15% of their time listening to the radio every week, a typical marketing budget only sets aside around 8% of its budget for radio advertising.
The reason: tracking. Despite being a visceral, engaging medium with a proven track record, the non-digital nature of the medium means that it can’t provide the kind of analytic data that marketers need to continue improving upon their efforts.
To get around this, advertisers can combine their radio marketing with an online paid search campaign, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. This has the effect of potentiating both markets, while giving some hard, analyzable data to radio.

How Radio Pairs with PPC

Take a look at this case study by SEER. By incorporating targeting keywords into the radio copy, the click rate of their online ads jumped by 124% in just one month. Coincidence? It would seem not. A month after the radio campaign was ended (while the PPC campaign continued) click rates dropped in frequency comparable to the original rise.

Additionally, the radio campaign correlated with increased conversions, and organic web traffic.

The Benefits

We see then that there are two distinct benefits to combining radio with a PPC campaign.

  • It augments an existing online campaign, increasing the effectiveness of both.

  • It provides a way for marketers to hold radio accountable. Spikes in traffic, ad clicks, and conversion can be measured against radio, giving a clearer picture of how listeners are responding.

How to Get the Most From Your Radio + PPC Campaign

To ensure that your radio campaign is helping to drive ad clicks, make sure the verbiage of your ad focuses on the keywords your PPC campaign is targeting. Additionally, using a call to action in your radio campaign that directs listeners to do further research online will help to increase organic traffic, along with clicks.

PPC advertising has a notoriously low click rate, so anything that can help advertisers increase clicks, and subsequently conversions is hugely beneficial. Add to that radio’s high ROI, and it’s ability to increase organic traffic too, and you’ve got a winning combo that should be in any serious marketer’s tool belt.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock Music Fans

iStock_000026717038_SmallSince the early 1980s, classic rock — spanning the album-rock eras between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s — has dominated the radio airwaves. Now, with its mix of longtime mainstays like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, ‘80s rockers like Journey and U2, and even grunge superstars such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the classic rock format has never been more popular.

However, it might surprise you to learn that classic rock fans are not only diverse, but they are also influential decision makers in their household. Here are five facts that may make you consider marketing to this important demographic group for your next advertising campaign.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock Listeners

1. They Are Affluent

Classic rock listeners may have grown up listening to the Grateful Dead or Metallica, but their jobs as adults are far from their hippie or headbanging roots. Rather, they have gone on to become leaders in their fields (for example, Apple founder Steve Jobs was a noted Bob Dylan fan).

In fact, Eventbrite shows that high-income earners (those making more than $90,000 per year) predominantly prefer going to rock concerts over blues, jazz, classical, and opera. Furthermore, a 2015 study by the Canadian Review of Sociology found that rock music is now classified as “highbrow” and preferred by those with incomes above $40,000. In other words, classic rock appeals to an increasingly affluent demographic—making it ideal for advertisers.

2. They Are Young(er)

When classic rock radio was in its infancy, it appealed directly to Baby Boomers eager to hear the music from their formative years. However, according to FiveThirtyEight, classic rock now extends far beyond Boomers. In fact, the number of younger fans jumped 50% in the last three years alone.

And they’re only getting younger: Nielsen ranks classic rock as the ninth most listened-to format by millennials, which the New York Daily News attributes new technology, such as streaming audio, and cultural influencers, such as popular movie soundtracks. Marketers can take this to heart and push for more social media and digital integration with their radio advertising campaigns.

3. They Are Nostalgic

While younger fans are tuning in, the primary feeder for classic rock stations is the coveted 35-52 demographic. These Gen-Xers, who make up the majority of classic rock’s listeners, want to hear the music one which they grew up, and the more classic rock radio plays ‘80s and ‘90s bands, the more they tune in. Since the shift towards incorporating ‘80s and ‘90s music has already begun on classic rock stations, it makes now the perfect time for advertisers to explore options in the format.

4. They Are Not Just Men

While the majority of the rockers heard on classic rock tunes may be largely thought of to be male, female fans still tune in loyally. For example, Cox Media Group’s The Eagle has a weekly make up of 43% women. That comes out to 450,000 women listeners in a major market location. Furthermore, a review by Music Machinery about the difference in male and female listening shows that while males do prefer harder classic rock bands and songs, women are more loyal to their favorite artists and tend to be more nostalgic in their listening. Familiar brands and products will appeal when trying to speak to female fans.

5. They Are Family-Friendly

In the 1950s and ‘60s, rock ‘n’ roll was enemy #1 in many households. But today, a new generation of parents looking to turn their children on to great music look for radio stations that feature artists such as the Beatles, Bob Marley, or even AC/DC. Psychology Todayattributes the increase in family listening of classic rock to several factors: classic rock music features more talent than today, parents are more hands on in what they teach and share, and certain generations are “culturally enshrined.” Advertisers should not be afraid to go “family friendly” with their advertising as it has a good chance of reaching a multigenerational group of listeners.

Classic Rock for All

From the wealthy to the millennials and the parents in the minivan, classic rock music has made its mark on music listening. With its diverse group of fans ranging in almost every age and demographic, classic rock listeners are a prime target for advertisers looking to reach a wide variety of audiences.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Country Music Fans

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Country music is as American as apple pie. A favorite among radio listeners for generations, the genre has produced some of the most quintessential music and artists in the last two centuries, and its mainstream popularity only continues to grow by the day.

By understanding who Country music radio stations’ audience is and how the genre is changing, advertisers can find new opportunities to reach more modern and influential consumers that are as engaged as they are loyal.

5 Things Advertisers Must Know About Country Music Radio

1.   Listeners Are Young—and Affluent

Country music fans are often stereotyped as being older and uneducated, but the truth is, they are far more diverse. According to Nielsen, Country music is the second most listened-to format for the 18-34 demographic.Moreover, Billboard says that the average listener is 45 years old and makes $79,000 per year—$20,000 more than the average American. 30% have at least some college education, and 75% own their own homes. That means that Country music stations appeal to the most coveted age and income demographics.

2.   “Country” Isn’t a Single Format

While “Country” radio reigns supreme, it is important to know that the term “country music” is a compilation of several sub-genres, many of which are popular amongst Cox Media Group Houston radio stations. Each has its own unique sound, as well as customer base. Here are the three most popular:

  • Country: The most widely listened to type of country music, this format features bluegrass, western swing, cowboy, etc. Listeners are likely to be older and more traditional than their counterparts.
  • Hit/New Country: Just like their pop cousins, these stations revolve around the top 40 of country. The sound and listeners are both younger and tech savvy than other listeners. The New 93Q, for example, is a go-to station for fans seeking both up-and-coming artists and well-known trendsetters.
  • Classic Country: Classic country is a favorite among listeners longing to hear their favorite country songs and artists from the 1970s-1990s. Similar to classic rock, advertisers can find a big audience of more middle aged (34-52) men by marketing with stations such as Country Legends 97.1.

3.   Listeners Are Engaged and Loyal

According to a Spotify study of listeners, Country music fans are the fourth most loyal listeners. They tend to stick to their genre and do not venture far. But in addition to being tied to their favorite style of music, they are also engaged when they listen. Forbes reports that the Country Music Awards (CMA) was the most social show of the year, being tweeted about over 1.67 million tweets. When businesses can give Country music fans something to talk about, such as a good deal or a sponsorship for an event, these listeners are far more willing to not only participate, but share among their circles.

4.   Top 40 Has a New Sound

Gone is the good ol’ twang of the acoustic guitar or the soulful voice of a love spurned singer. Top 40 Country has moved away from tradition to embrace the pounding drum set and the piercing electric guitar. The manufactured sound has made younger men flock to the radio in droves. According to The Florida Times, nearly 20% of teens report being Country music fans; meanwhile, millennials (those between 20-35) have embraced the no-holding-back message of the newest version of Country music. To speak to these groups, advertisers need to create a message that sells the same way as the music. Spots should be more bold, edgy, and exciting. Also, the call-to-action should incorporate new technology (such as visiting a Facebook page) and include a buy-in.

5.   Values Are Still Important

While the sound may have changed, the listener’s core values have not. Just as they were when the genre first became America’s go to music, listeners are full of pride of for their home and their country. Rolling Stone argues that though the genres range in extreme from contemporary rock to downhome blues and folk, Country music’s heart remains with tradition and values. Listeners want their brands and products to speak to this. Businesses that are rooted in family, Americana, and hometown pride should express that loud and proud.

A New Kind of Country

Country music, with its diversity and range, is reaching a bigger and better audience than ever before. As one of the top radio station formats, Country music is a prime location for any marketing campaign. When advertisers better understand the modern Country fan and how the format has changed, they can develop their own loyal and engaged fan base.

How to Effectively Pair Your Radio and TV Advertising

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Previously we’ve covered how to integrate digital advertising with a radio campaign, but digital isn’t the only medium that pairs well with radio. A campaign that combines radio and television advertising can be exceptionally powerful as well.

Today we’ll be offering some tips on how to plan your messaging across both mediums to give you a more integrated marketing approach.

Harnessing the Power of Mass Media

Like a fine Cabernet with a rare steak, radio and television compliment each other superbly. When you expand your message across the two mediums — combining visual and mental storytelling — your brand can deliver its message in a much more nuanced and lasting way.

It’s possible to do both separately, of course. Many advertisers do with great success. Consider this: the average American watches 115 hours of television a month, and listens to the radio for 60 hours. When you pair the two mediums you multiply the number of potential consumers you can reach.

4 Tips for Successful Radio and TV Integration

1. Match Up Your Audiences

The key to gaining that boost in exposure is in pinpointing the demographic overlaps between TV and radio within your target audience. This can be tricky, so make sure you know who your target audience is, and that you are consulting your advertising partners and carefully analyzing their latest demographic data. For example, maybe your typical customer listens to a lot of country music radio, and is the kind to stay home and work on their lawn and home. You might look at “Property Brothers” and “Yard Crashers” on cable television. These are the programs you want to hit to get the most from your advertising dollars.

2. Keep Your Branding and Creative and Consistent

Don’t necessarily play the same ad on radio and television. There are best practices you need to follow for each. Look at an integrated approach as a way to tell a more cohesive story than you could on either medium alone. If you create an easily drawn space for your audience to draw connections between the two ads, you’ll be able to engage in a memorable and effective way.

3. Keep the Timing Of Your Ad Spots in Mind

What time of day will your radio and television ads be airing. Will they air during the same time? Do you want them to? Or would your campaign be better suited by a more staggered approach? The answer to these questions will depend on the intent of your campaign, but it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind before you begin. Airing your ads at the same time is like setting a roadblock for your target audience. But varying the times allows for your message to be reinforced by being potentially seen/heard multiple times.

4. Reaching Different Audiences with the Same Message

If your campaign is targeting segmented audiences, you may benefit by choosing very different venues for your radio and television advertising, rather than ones that hit the same demographic on two fronts. Going this route is especially effective when you are looking to break into a new market, while still engaging with your well established base.

When developing your integrated marketing strategy, having an understanding of the differences between TV and radio will be key. As always, before you begin you’ll want to set goals for your campaign, and have the metrics in place to measure your success. Once you have a strategy in place, you’ll see just how powerful an integrated approach with TV and radio can be!

Radio Works in Houston: Here’s Proof from The New 93Q

For those of us whose careerqzoo2015 foundations are steeped in traditional media – where radio has long been our
go-to for disseminating targeted messages – the following story will come as no surprise to you.

And while this blog is a high-five moment for all radio professionals – may it also serve as a testament to Houston advertisers that ever doubted in the power of this tried and true medium. Turns out – radio not only compels consumers to buy – it changes their lives as well. That said…

At Cox Media Group Houston, we are accustomed to receiving regular email communication with important Corporate and staff updates. And – every so often – we get a note that does a heck of a lot more than just inform. These are the emails that make us proud to be Cox Media Group employees – and stewards of radio.

Here’s real-deal proof that radio works.

Last week, our Receptionist, Petrice Douglas, shared the following story with us and I feel compelled to share it with the readers of Houston Marketing Matters

I have been here for 12 years, and often get a reminder of just how BLESSED I am to have such a great job that surrounds me with AWESOME people.

This morning a gentleman walked in to pick up a prize and asked if he could speak with Al Farb, our Morning Show Producer. I’m usually pretty firm about not disturbing the jocks while they are on air in the studio, but I could hear Al and Erica Rico, one of the Q Morning Zoo hosts, in the hall talking. I asked the gentleman if it was an emergency, and he said that he wanted to thank them.

The entire Morning Show crew came out to greet him, and he humbly thanked them for helping him get his new job as a plumber. He explained to them how he received 15 calls from different companies offering him a job the same day they talked about his situation on-air. My heart got happy! To see the look on his face, and to see how grateful they were to be able to help was absolutely priceless.

Props to our very own Q Morning Zoo on The New 93Q for this one. Thanks for representing.

7 Ways to Ruin Your Next Radio Advertising Campaign

istock_000013168301_smallA great radio advertising campaign could quickly become ineffective if you don’t have a solid creative strategy and marketing message. Read below the seven things that could ruin a radio ad and make sure you’re not making these mistakes here in Houston!

1. Bells, Whistles and 5,000 Words

We’ve all heard that ads that employ fast-talkers to burn through pharmaceutical disclaimers in as little time as possible. We know it’s a legal requirement for some products, but all other radio marketing campaigns should not bear any resemblance to the super-fast talker.

Not only are they burning through so much material that it’s impossible to keep track of what’s going on, but it’s disjointed from the rest of the radio spot. You want a concise ad, without too many words or distractions, and a single, clear message for your audience.

2. I’m Interested, Now What?

You have a concise, clear ad that has piqued the interest of your potential clients, but do they know what to do next? If there’s no call to action, they will be left with a warm fuzzy feeling about your company, or aggravated that they have to figure out what their next steps should be. Spoon feed it to them, clearly.
Selling a new breakfast sandwich? Tell them exactly where, when and for how much.
Do you have the hottest new car off the line for sale? Tell your customers to stop by for a test drive, or to call and book an appointment.

3. Monotone Delivery

Monotone delivery falls flat over the radio, especially when all you have is sound to convey your message. Aim for some pep in your step and an engaging, dynamic voice. The voice on the radio is the driver of the message, so make sure that it’s stepping up to the task and selling your brand.
Keep it even more simple by asking (or paying) professional voice talent at the radio station to do the reads for you. They know how to do it and they do it well.

4. Bad Timing

It’s important to know when your target audience actually listens to the radio. Different radio stations have different demographics throughout the day. Here are some considerations:

  • If you want commuters, make sure the commuters that you want are hearing your advertisements and consider am or pm drive times.

  • If your audience is teenagers, radio spots during school hours are going to be money down the drain.

  • If you want to sell your lunch time takeout business with an immediate call to action, you need to be planting the seeds as people are getting hungry, mid to late morning and through to late lunch times.

  • For weekend activities, most of your bookings will come earlier in the week, so hit your target client during the week.

But also remember not to spread your message too thin. If you can find reasons to run during all dayparts, that’s great, but your budget might not allow for that. So, choose the best possible daypart(s) for your campaign and work on getting that frequency up.

5. The One and Done

When it comes to having a strong call to action, make sure you repeat tricky ones more than once. If you’re working to drive traffic to a website or to get a phone to ring… give the listener a chance to record and/or remember where they need to go.

6. Say the Exact Same Thing Over and Over

No matter how great your radio advertising creative is, after running the same commerical month after month, it can start to blend into the background. This is why freshening up your creative can be really beneficial even if you are pushing the same promotion, product, or service.

Also, depending on how high of a frequency you have in your campaign, it might even make sense to start with a couple different spots and rotate them evenly throughout your schedule.

7. Uh, Wait, How do I Spell That?

Proper spelling can be tricky to catch over the air and it gets even harder if words can be confused with other words or are hard to spell.

If you find yourself in a situation where your business name or website might be tricky to spell, consider getting a new URL to go with your campaign. You can do a redirect, a landing page, or even build a separate site that links back to your main site.

For instance, if you’re an interior design firm with a website address of mcleanandobriendesign.com, your listeners might find that hard to remember if your brand isn’t very recognizable. An option for this might be houtsonhomes.com or houstondesign.com and simply redirect that url to your actual website.

In Conclusion…

To make sure that your next Houston radio advertising campaign will be effective, follow these guidelines and don’t make these mistakes, and you’ll be much more likely to see a true return on your radio advertising investment.

3 Things You Need To Know About (Very) Short Radio Commercials

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It wasn’t long ago that most commercials you heard on the radio were a standard 60 seconds.A :60 commercial was considered the amount of time you needed to establish your brand, tell a story, and make something “stick” with the listener. I have a degree in broadcasting from a well-known university, and I was taught almost exclusively how to write in :60s for radio.

Much to my surprise, by the time I made it out of college and into a medium market and then a major market, radio changed dramatically. One of those changes was the shift from selling mostly 60-second spots to offering clients a wide variety of lengths to choose from. Common commercials now are :30s, :15s, :10s, and even :05 seconds –  in all markets.

Can you still buy :60 radio ads? Yes – however, the standard is now :30. Can you effectively deliver a message that works in 30 seconds? Yes – but it’s harder. A message that gets results in 15… 10… 5 seconds? The hardest!

Don’t get me wrong, I think this shift is a good thing. A variety of spot lengths are good for Houston businesses, because it gives you more options. You can create a schedule that really works for your budget, and still provide the frequency and reach that you need to achieve results. It’s good for everyone… except sometimes…the creative department.

We get the daunting task of putting together something that will get the attention of listeners and get them to act. And we get less and less time to accomplish that goal. It can be done, but like any investment you make in advertising, you have to be smart about your choices.

Here are some pointers to consider:

1) Short spots work best as part of a campaign including well-written :30s and/or :60s

If you are a local auto mechanic who has never advertised on radio before, a bunch of 15- second commercials may be affordable, but they’re not likely to get the results you need. Don’t waste your money on the cheapest, shortest ads you can buy. Use the short spots to fill gaps in dayparts that are more expensive. Use them to add frequency your existing schedule of :30s. Just always make sure you have enough commercials that are :30 or :60 where you can establish your Houston business in the mind of the audience, and explain in more detail what makes you different/better.

2) Deliver a consistent message

Short commercials are a great way to deliver your slogan, jingle, or audio logo. Make sure you pick something that defines your business, and use it in every spot you do! The best :05s, :10s, and :15s are used to trigger the listener’s memory. You want them to remember your :30 or :60 message when they hear your :10 spot, so make sure you develop an obvious “trigger.” It can be a phrase, a very noticeable music piece, or even a sound effect. Along with that trigger, you might be able to get one brief message across, such as a tip or an easy to remember offer.

3) KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Commercials under :15s are no place for legal jargon, disclaimers, or wordy price details. It should NEVER be about cramming everything you want to say into :15s. Don’t put information in the copy that requires a disclaimer, you might be shooting yourself in the foot. For example, I produced a :05 second spot for a wireless company recently where the copy was: “Come to XYZ and get a free 4G phone after rebates. Fees may apply.” To me, the word “free” is the opposite of “fees may apply.” So if your legal department sees something in the short spots that requires a disclaimer, my best advice is to change the direction of the short spots rather than add jargon. Go with the less is more approach.

I want to leave you with some of my favorite short commercials that have been on the radio recently. Enjoy!

5 Ways to Track Your Houston Radio Advertising ROI

radio-roiHouston radio stations reach millions of potential customers each day – just take a look at the freeways during rush hour and you will see what I mean! Can you reach this audience through radio? Absolutely!

However, tracking your radio advertising ROI can be extremely difficult, given that people often don’t pay attention to how they learned about a new business, only that they’ve heard of it. I once had a client who used radio and billboard but 20% of their customers said they saw them in a television ad. So what can you incorporate into your advertising campaigns to better track your radio advertising ROI in Houston?

1. Set up a specialized URL.

Direct radio listeners to a specific homepage, such as “http://www.anydomain.com/radio.” Use that specialized URL to track how many visitors are coming to you because of your radio advertising.

2. Offer an 800 number.

The most loyal listeners in radio tend to be commuters, who need an 800 number to stick in their short-term memory long enough to make it to a phone and actually dial it. Offering a specific 800 number gives you a trackable medium, and provides your audience access to what you’re selling.

3. “How Did you Find Us?”

Add a “How Did You Find Us”  popup on your homepage that gives options such as “search engine,” “blog,” “friend,” “radio,” “mail flyer,” or any other advertising means you are using currently.

4. Give a coupon code.

Direct your radio listeners to your regular homepage, but tell them to enter a specific coupon code in a box displayed prominently on the page.

5. Look at the overall results and work backwards.

No matter how many tracking methods you use for your radio advertising ROI, there are going to be some sales with no associated advertising – at least that you can track. Take a look at your revenue and subtract out everything attributable to advertising methods. Is the revenue left coming from your radio target market? This method is more labor intensive on the back end, and not 100% attributable to radio advertising, but you can certainly get a good idea of your ROI by working backwards.

If you have commuted through Texas within the last few years, chances are you have heard some Houston radio advertising. From the crack of dawn until after sunset, the second most populous state in the Union sends drivers across its roads, with loyal listeners tuned in to their favorite DJ’s, who then provide product introductions, reviews, and personal stories.

Radio advertising is an effective, and relatively low-cost, means to reach this audience. Yet, the ROI can be difficult to track. Give one (or a combination) of these tracking methods a try to help ensure your next radio campaign is effectively being tracked.