Duane Alverson

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By:  Duane Alverson, President
MacDonald Broadcasting Company (Saginaw & Lansing)

What’s the most important ingredient to the success of your advertising recipe?

Is it the platform you choose (i.e., television, radio, newspaper, billboards, print media, direct mail, digital or social media)? Or is it the amount of money you invest?

A few years back, I might have sided with one (or even both) of these arguments, because both are important elements to advertising success.

However, the more time I spend with Roy H. Williams and Sensory Logic, the more I am convinced that there is an ingredient far more critical than either medium or budget.

Advertising’s Not-So-Secret Sauce

Study after study have returned a perhaps surprising revelation: that messaging is truly the most important factor determining the success or failure of a marketing/advertising campaign.

In other words, what you say — along with how you say it — is crucial to winning the ad wars, no matter whether you advertise on television, the Internet or via direct mail…and regardless of the size of budget on the line.

Whether you’re attacking the market with a long-term branding campaign or short-term sales event, messaging is going to play a key role in the effectiveness of either approach.

Fine. But How?

So, what are the keys to crafting effective advertising messaging?

We at MacDonald Broadcasting have been fortunate to work with a third-party company by the name of Sensory Logic in hopes of improving the advertising messages of our clients.

We truly believe we can generate even more success for our advertisers by learning how to craft more effective radio commercials. Sensory Logic studies what works and what doesn’t every day, and they have shared their discoveries with us.

First and foremost, they tell us, “When writing a radio spot, being on-emotion is even more important than being on-message.” In other words, if you’re more focused on selling your product than appealing to the emotions of the listener, you’ve likely lost them.

Here are some other key points to keep in mind:

  • Know who you’re talking to, and create a “sense of membership” for them.
  • Keep your message close to home by reflecting the audience’s values.
  • Build a distinct, memorable personality for your brand.
  • Tell a compelling story that paints a mental picture.
  • Never lead with price. Always establish value before mentioning price.
  • Vary the pace and tone of your story, and avoid “bald spots.”
  • Sell hope…and a “branded solution.”

And don’t forget these two cardinal rules:

  • Always hook your audience in the first three seconds.
  • Try to use more than one voice, as only a small portion of single-voice radio spots are engaging to the listener.
Duane Alverson currently serves as President of MacDonald Broadcasting Company. Duane has been with MacDonald Broadcasting Company for 32 years serving in various sales leadership positions. He served as Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 2012 and as President of the Michigan Jaycees in 1981-82. Duane resides in Saginaw, Michigan.
Reprinted with permission. 
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