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Advertising In Boston: 3 Steps For Choosing The Best Radio Stations

Jan 27, 2020 6:38:38 AM / by Larry Julius

Advertising In Boston: Choosing Radio StationsThere are many ways for New England small business owners to advertise. Options include newspapers, magazines, television, social media, and streaming media.

But to achieve the “3-Rs” of advertising success, Reach, Recall, and Return, no other medium delivers results as effectively and efficiently as advertising on Boston radio.

"Advertising on Boston radio really helped to push our company into profitability for the first time. It was the tipping point for us," says Chad Langley, CEO of Teststripz

Teststripz was founded in 2011 by Chad. The company operates an online marketplace where people who suffer from diabetes can purchase low-cost supplies from others who have an oversupply. This includes test strips and meters.

"If we hadn't started advertising on the radio when we did," adds Chad's brother Chris the company's CTO, "we would probably be out of business right now.

So, how can a New England small business owner choose the best Boston radio stations to advertise on?

There are 59 radio stations that service the greater Boston area. Each provides a unique blend of music, information, and entertainment. Some stations focus on politics or sports. Some play country music. Some play the hits. Some play classic rock. Some are on the AM dial. Some are on FM.

Most small business owners, though, could not afford to advertise on all stations. So, how can they decide which are the right ones?  It will be determined by a marketing objective.

First: Determine A Marketing Objective

An effective advertising campaign on Boston radio stations needs a specific marketing objective. The objective should correspond with an advertiser’s key challenges or opportunities. The objective will influence which radio stations to purchase, the length of the campaign, the timing of the advertising, as well as the length and the content of the commercials.

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It is possible that over time, a business could have many different marketing objectives, but it is a proven, best practice for each campaign to focus on one. The objective selected should be crucial to the continued success of the business.

There are, generally, two types of marketing objectives:

  • Branding objectives focus on convincing consumers to believe something about a product or business. For instance, a financial planner in Dedham might want adults approaching retirement to regard her firm’s annuity plans as the safest way to ensure worry-free living.
  • Promotional objectives are used when a business owner’s goal is to encourage the target consumers to take a specific action, quickly. They are usually time-sensitive with a specific call-to-action. For example, a community college in Danvers might want parents of hight school seniors to visit the campus during an open house at the end of the month.
  • A marketing objective should distinctly identify the target customer.  Age and gender alone do not provide enough insight to determine radio station selection or commercial content. Examples of a well-defined target might be:
  • Wine enthusiasts
  • Working Moms
  • Under-employed college graduates
  • Do-It-Yourself-Self Home Depot shoppers
  • Heavy internet users
  • Men planning to propose
  • Pickup truck owners

A business owner may have several different target consumers. For instance, a local bank might need to target homebuyers for mortgage products; entrepreneurs for commercial loan products; smartphone users for mobile banking products; and retirees for certificates of deposit. 

Although each of these targets is a viable prospect for the bank, they are likely to have little in common including their choice of radio stations due to different lifestyles and stages of life.

With a well-defined marketing objective, a business owner can be certain every element of an advertising campaign on Boston radio is designed to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Second: Identify The Best Radio Stations.

Boston radio listeners are fiercely loyal to their favorite stations. Despite numerous listening options, the typical listener tunes-in to thee stations each week. So, to create a successful advertising campaign, a business owner must identify those radio stations that attract the target consumers defined by their marketing objective.

For instance, a small chain of pizza restaurants might want to target the 477,638 moms in the Boston area who work full-time. It takes just three local radio stations to reach the majority of these moms. This information alone allows the restaurant owner to narrow the choice  of local radio stations to from 59 to 3.

The question now becomes, which combination of these 3 stations should ultimately be chosen for the ad campaign? The answer is determined by the type of marketing objective.

Third: Choose Between Reach or Frequency

A branding objective involves creating or modifying a consumer’s belief. To do this successfully requires the repetition and reinforcement of the business owner’s marketing message. This repetition is referred to as frequency. Achieving the necessary frequency can be accomplished by scheduling commercials on as few as one Boston radio station over a longer time frame.

A promotional objective, on the other hand, requires the largest number of target consumers to be exposed to a marketing message. This is referred to as reach. If a certain number of consumers in New England are ready to buy, then obtaining the greatest reach possible among those listeners will increase the odds of creating a sale.

The owner of the pizza chain, in our example, has a promotional objective: to encourage working moms to order take-out on their way home from work tonight. Because this type of objective requires reach, then budget permitting, the campaign should include the three radio stations that comprise the majority of the target consumers.

Small Business Advertising In Boston and New EnglandChad and Chris Langley of Teststipz realized choosing between reach and frequency was crucial to the success of their advertising.

"We knew to survive we needed to reach a lot of people who never realized there was an alternative market for buying and selling diabetic supplies That's when we first tried advertising on Boston radio," said Chad.

"Our first campaign was on just one radio station, and the results way exceeded our expectations," says Chad.

Before advertising on Boston radio, the Langley's were bringing in about 100 boxes of test strips each day.  Once the first commercials went on air, that number jumped to more than 250."

"When we started advertising on the radio, our cost of acquiring supplies dropped by 66%, which allowed us to be profitable for the first time," says Chad.

Since Teststripz began advertising on Boston radio, they have not stopped. The company has added three additional radio stations to boost its reach. 

As a result of its commitment to the reach of radio advertising, the company sees increases in their flow of supplies every month, sometimes by as much as 400%.

Rules of Thumb:

  • Reach more people with a radio advertising campaign by spreading the budget over multiple stations. Used for promotional objectives.
  • Increase the number of times a consumer is exposed (frequency) to an advertising campaign by using fewer radio stations. Used for branding objectives.

When a New England small business owner considers advertising on Boston radio, the information needed to make an informed station selection can be secured from a reputable radio account executive.  This information includes reach and frequency data from Nielsen; local listener profiles from Scarborough; and consumer insights from Gfk MRI.

More Advertising Advice For Boston Small Business Owners

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Topics: reach, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, branding, frequency, advice, targeting, promotion

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