Radio continues to be one of the most effective mediums. The greatest thing about radio is that it is inexpensive, creates an impact and is effective. You can also reach a large number of people (reach), many times (frequency), in a very cost-efficient manner.
Reach + Frequency = Success
Choosing a station
First, find your core demographic. Usually you'll target 25- to 49-year-old adults for LASIK and 55+ for cataracts.
For LASIK stations, I'll usually pick a Top 40 station, a classic rock station, a sports talk station and a country station. For cataracts, I'll usually pick AM talk and an oldies station.
After choosing the stations, stick with them for a minimum of 3 months. If you feel that you're getting a great return on investment (ROI), then you may choose to spend more money on the station. If you're getting a poor return, you'll need to analyze your choice of stations or your marketing message. For the sake of this discussion, let's say your message isn't the problem. If you are not getting the results you want after 3 months and are losing money, simply move to another station.
Be a trailblazer. Unless you have the budget to do so, try advertising on a station where your competitors aren't. Otherwise you'll be fighting for market share. This might be a challenge in larger and more saturated markets.
Psychographics is a word relating to the personality, interests, values, attitudes and lifestyle of a consumer. If you run your commercial on a country station, focus your message on the psychographics of that audience. Keep in touch with family values and traditional lifestyles. If you're running on a Top 40 station, focus your message toward active lifestyles that drive a younger audience.
Most people are in their cars in the mornings and late afternoons going to and from work. These time slots are called drive time. Morning drive is usually 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Afternoon drive is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stick with a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lineup. If you want to throw in an extra time slot, try Friday 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., when families are going out to dinner.
If the cost of a 60-second ad is $200, then a 30-second ad will probably cost 30% to 50% less, which is the direction I'd recommend. A 30-second ad increases frequency and lowers your cost per thousand impressions.
The law of diminishing returns
If you're on a station and getting a 4-to-1 ROI, and you spend even more money, you won't necessarily continue with the same strong ROI. Eventually your ROI will diminish because many listeners have heard of your practice and services several times throughout the year. Also, many of these listeners will have taken advantage of your services.
Creating your message
Your message is far more important that the placement of your media. Here are some ideas that I recommend.
The five items every LASIK message should contain
1. An attention-grabbing opening
2. Benefits of the service ("Wake up and see your alarm clock.")
3. Difference between you and your competitors ("Free pair of designer sunglasses with surgery.")
4. Call to action ("Call us today for a free consultation and 0% financing for 24 months.")
5. Contact info ("Call 555-5555 or visit us at www.acme-eye-care.com.")
I recommend not discounting your services (ie, "$999 LASIK"); however, I do recommend offering a call to action. On the more aggressive end of the spectrum, this would be, "For a limited-time, save $1,000 on LASIK, and we'll even finance your procedure,
interest free for 2 full years. Schedule your free consultation by calling ... ."
The five items every cataract message should contain
1. Signs of cataracts
2. Procedure is fast and effective with no stitches (for clear cornea)
3. Premium lens offer
4. Call to action
5. Contact info
"Are you over 65? Have you had changes in your vision? Do you have difficulty driving at night? You might have a cataract. Acme Eye Care offers a no-stitch procedure to leave you seeing great the next day. Ask us about near-vision technology that allows
you to see up close without stretching your arms out. Call today for your free near-vision cataract consultation ... ."
These are some outlines of basic key points that you should include in your radio messages. Of course, you'll want to grab the listeners' attention in the most creative way possible, but that's part of the fun!
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