Radio Sales Café
Networking for radio sales professionals from Grace Broadcast Sales.
Brent Walker of Soundscapes does a great job explaining why it's to the advertiser's advantage NOT to include a phone number in a radio commercial.
Tags: Advertising, Brent, Commercials, Copy, Radio, More…Soundscapes, Walker
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More lively discussion on the topic of phone numbers in commercials can be found HERE.
I will again point out... if the MAIN point of contact is by phone (think pizza shop, flower delivery, plumber, HVAC, electrician, or anyone that I need an appointment to see... hair stylist, attorney, chiropractor, dentist) I will continue to use a phone number to get them more business.
I hope you understand... I'm not asking YOU to change the way you do things. If you are against putting numbers on the radio... don't use them. I for one will do what is BEST for my clients to see the results they need to see!
I think it is silly to say there are "rules" in advertising (must say their name x number of times... must say their phone number x number of times if it is in the ad)
The MAIN thing is... use the REST of the ad giving me a reason to give a damn... I'll call the number. If you waste that time talking about your fast friendly service and great parking... no matter WHAT call to action you use... you will be disappointed.
Just the view from here! ;o)
The internet will allow a person to find the advertiser's phone and location. Biz that's on the radio probably can be found with a search engine. Remembering the biz name and having a compelling reason to find them with a internet search should be the focus.
Brent offers super advice. It's an issue that we have all faced. Being from a small market there is one exception I believe can be taken. If you have a small business such as a service industry that operates from their home they have no store front presence. We had one such business and solved it through his jingle. The jingle used his phone number which fortunately rhymed well. He has used it for years and we have had testimony from folks who have said that sing song number gets into their head.
Otherwise Brent makes the best point; it wastes commercial time that can be used better.
Phone numbers in ads are an increasingly "dangerous" proposition. Here is why. Years ago, the area you lived in had a dedicated area code, prefix and then your four number destination. Because of the fight over spectrum space in the modern era, there are many more area codes, prefixes and destination combinations (in your area)...and it will get worse. With hundreds of phone numbers floating around on the radio, it will get confusing fast. Another quick point. In the state of Oregon, you now have to dial "all ten numbers" to make a call. Even a local one. Unless you have an iron clad, long-term, residually based ad, you are better served pointing someone to a website, Facebook or locator. Bails bonds..give'em a phone number. Ladies apparel...send them to the web. You get the idea. We won’t all see eye to eye on this one, which is what makes our business the greatest! Conversation and Ideas. Great topic Rod!
Your GreatSpotCompany.com work sounds great, John. You mention below that many clients don't have the means to sing their phone number. Whereas AlarmForce paid several thousand dollars for their jingle, I'm so pumped about making radio get results even for smaller businesses that we'd be happy to produce a custom mini-jingle package including name / slogan / phone number sung for $995.
If i'm working with a jeweler to get people IN THE DOOR... the phone number is stupid to put in. BUT if I'm selling pizza... I'm not going to their website to order (I know SOME places offer that now, but I'll bet the phone is still #1)
I work with MANY service related companies (Plumbers, Roofers, HVAC & Electricians) and although the website is great... most of the time they take phone calls when service is needed. Our sole focus is to get people to call.
I never start the ad with the client's name or phone number... because the ad is NOT about the client... it is all about the CUSTOMER... then we show the customer how the client can help them... after we have given a REASON to call.... we give a phone number.
I do not follow the "rules".... I usually only put the numer one time (maybe two) but I lead up to it with a damn good reason to call it! Don't give me a reason... and even if the number is in there 10 times... I'm still not calling.
I'm not telling you how to do things... I'm just saying that we have done over 10,000 ads and MY phone keeps ringing.
Peter... I also have several clients that use "jingles" to make their number easier to remember.... but not everyone has the means to do that. I still think the main thing is give me a REASON to call... and I'll pick up my phone!
Thanks for the awesome conversation!
This sung phone number we created for AlarmForce has helped it become a leader in the alarm industry. (AlarmForce built its business on radio and singing its phone number long before it morphed into television). In AlarmForce's radio commercials, we committed ourselves to saying the phone number once as well as singing it. While I've never heard a spoken phone number that people can recite back from memory, companies like AlarmForce and iTravel2000 have used sung phone numbers to build their business.
If the business is relying on the telephone as the conduit for conducting business (as with national DR advertisers using radio advertising to drive sales), including the telephone number is essential. Radio stations conducting contests and promotions such as ticket giveaways would fall into this category as well, and they make the phone the point of contact.
I'm not convinced that this translates into a compelling reason for local advertisers, who by and large depend on in-store traffic and who make their sales at the cash registers, to append their telephone numbers to their commercials just to provide an additional (and unnecessary) bit of information about themselves. The fact that I have a phone (two, actually) on my person doesn't make it any more convenient than scrambling for a pen and paper to write down a number. Chances are, the typical radio listener isn't poised and ready to dial a number just because it appears in an ad, especially if there isn't an immediate and compelling reason to call. In recent years, my recommendation for many advertisers has been to use their website as the primary point of contact in the commercial, mainly because it makes it easy for a listener to gain access to all the information she might need, at her convenience. (Note: this sometimes requires a little additional effort to make it memorable. For example, I'm working with a local dentist, Marcus Torrey, whose original website was "TorreyDental.net." Given the real possibility that people hearing his name might misspell it, I urged him to get a new URL that would point to his current site, and one that reinforced the brand we're developing with his radio campaign: PullmansFriendlyDentist.com. We're just starting, so it will be some time before we can tell how it's working - but so far, so good. People are talking about it.)
That said, I'm drawing mainly from my own experience here. If you're willing to share them, I'd love to hear examples of the commercials that you're running with phone numbers that are producing all those client calls!
In a world where almost everyone has a phone in their pocket... I strongly disagree.
Give me a REASON to call... then give me the number.
If you are giving away tickets to Bon Jovi... I'll bet people will call! (they had a REASON to call)
I'll continue to put phone numbers at the end of ads as long as my clients keep getting calls from them!
It works for ME too... I have ads offering to HELP with advertising... then I end with my number... and I get calls quite often!!
I also steer clear of phone numbers that "spell things" because many smart phones (especially Black Berries) do not have the number/letter keys that grandma's phone has.
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