Go the Direct Route with Your Marketing Goals

By Alexander Hiam

When creating a radio ad, you have the choice of being direct or indirect with your marketing. Direct-action advertising aims to stimulate an immediate shopping response; on the flip side, indirect-action advertising informs listeners about a brand, store, or business.

The most effective radio ads call for direct action (such as attending an event or picking up the phone), so you generally want to favor direct over indirect action goals for your radio ads.

The best way to go the direct route is to give out a web address (if the listener can remember that address easily) or a toll-free number in the ad. If you want to push people toward an event or blowout sale, use your radio ad to announce the event and drive attendance.

Run announcements of events in the week leading up to them, not earlier. Early announcements are better made through print or web advertising, which allow people to clip or bookmark the ad. Radio ads tend to be forgotten after a few days, so keep them timely.

Put your brand name into your radio ad early and often, regardless of the story line. If you fail to generate the desired direct action, at least you build awareness and interest for the brand, which supports other points of contact in your marketing program. Radio is a great support medium, and not enough marketers use it that way.