Forums » The Round Table: Brainstorming & Problem-solving

What Schedules Have You Found Effective for Certain Budgets for

    • 5 posts
    April 15, 2016 8:07 AM PDT

    Since most of our stations don't show up that well in the rating it's hard to figure reach and frequency. 

    Since we all have different size markets and rates I thought we would all use just number of spots per week instead of dollars. We try for 6 months or longer runs with a 30 day cancel notice.  And just to clarify we are a daytimer we turn off at sunset so these spot are all 6a-7p mon-sun .

    These  is for repeat monthly business not a special promotion or event. 

    For a limited budget I would say 20 spots every other week or 40 total a month.

    For moderate budget 15 spots a week every week or 60/mo

    For a good budget 20 spots a week every week for a total of 80/mo

    For a great budget 25 spots a week for 100/mo. 

    Do you feel these are effective schedules or what do you pitch your clients and what level  of spots  a week do you feel like that they get results.   I know copy and offer matters a lot for success but lets say those are pretty good.  

    • 102 posts
    April 21, 2016 1:34 PM PDT

    Having sold Christian radio in the past I found my biggest challenge was reaching enough people in the client's primary trade area.  We used promotions to build local awareness to give us a better shot at decent results.

    On a suggested schedule, you are correct, copy matters but your should place spots at different times in each daypart each day.  You want to reach all listeners.  If a business might benefit, you might choose to place all the units on a couple of days a week to get the client heard multiple times by the typical listener.  Some might prefer Thursday afternoon through Saturday if in retail.  

    I suppose I'm saying the plans, while certainly good on numbers should be flexible enough for the client although I really like the 7 days a week plan with the same number of units a day (2 a day; 3 or maybe 4 a day).

    Per unit prices don't matter.  You just need to have enough frequency to produce results that will get a renewal at the end of the 6 months.

    • 5 posts
    April 29, 2016 7:10 AM PDT

    Thank you Bill T.. 

    • 1113 posts
    April 29, 2016 9:00 AM PDT

    I don't believe you can have a meaningful discussion about "results" without factoring in the client's expectations.

    What, specifically, does the client expect to achieve with his investment? Are his expectations reasonable, given the budget being allocated?

    And the message/offer doesn't just matter "a lot." It matters more than the demographics of the audience, more than the number of people reached, and even more than the number of times each listener is reached - though all are important.


    If the advertiser is advertising to sell widgets (i.e., direct-response message), is his offer relevant to enough people and sufficiently compelling to get them to act on it in a timely manner? "What's in it for me?" (from the listener's perspective) is always the underlying question that needs to be answered to the listener/consumer's satisfaction. Direct-response ads usually require a great deal of frequency in a relatively short period of time, to cut through all the advertising we're exposed to during the day and make enough of an impression upon audience members who need/want/can use the product or service being offered, that they act on it in a timely manner. Fortunately, the effectiveness of this type of advertising is easier to measure. If the offer is compelling, people buy. Hopefully enough of them buy so that when all the results are in, the client has paid for his advertising (with the profits generated by those sales) and has something left over. It's always a good idea to know ahead of time how many sales he needs to make, how many dollars he needs to bring in, as a result of this investment, to call it a "success."  Jim Williams used to ask for three "grades."  C-level success was breaking even or maybe a little better; B-level success was making a profit of, say, 10% after expenses (including the cost of the advertising and the cost of the merchandise that was sold, including commissions, if any; A-level success was a profit of 20% or higher.

    This is a conversation that deals in specifics, and ought to be a part of every presentation-conversation sellers have with their direct-response advertisers. Without it, you can't measure success.


    These are not so easy to measure as DR campaigns, but that doesn't mean they're not vital to a business. In fact, for many retail and service businesses, a successful branding campaign will contribute more to their long-term success than a succession of DR campaigns over the same period. You can find lots of good information on how to create effective branding campaigns by reading or listening to successful practitioners/teachers (Roy H. Williams offers a lot of terrific resources (you can even obtain his best-selling Wizard of Ads trilogy for free); Dan O'Day sells quite a few of his copywriting seminar recordings at his site; RSC member Blaine Parker, a former radio creative guy-turned-advertising agency operator, has written a good book on the subject, and like Roy Williams, sends out a weekly email worth subscribing to and reading.) Read, learn, and then implement what you have learned.

    I don't believe that the principles of effective marketing differ from one format to the next. To think that somehow you're different from other stations in this regard may only lead you on a wild goose chase.

    To drive this home, please read the following two articles. The first, an old interview with Roy Williams, shares Roy's early radio sales experience, working for a small Christian music station that didn't have good ratings, etc. - and how he was forced to learn to create advertising that moved the needle for his clients. The second piece, a Monday Morning Memo from 2008, illustrates the singular importance of the client's message.  Good stuff - see for yourself!