Air Force, Ground Force, Make Sales Pop

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Mar 1, 2024 by Sean Luce

Why don't we get credit for producing results for our advertisers? Why is it that print, particularly newspaper - a medium that traditionally delivers such a low Return on Investment - keeps taking the lion's share of advertising dollars from our markets? Maybe the bigger question is: "How can we generate more tangible results for the advertiser so we get the credit we deserve?"

Remember that Radio represents the power of a true, top-of-mind-awareness media. Now all you need to do is to trigger recall at the retail level. One way is the tactic that grocers and mass merchandisers have used for years: Sticking something in the consumer's face at store level can trigger impulse buys. In our case, tying Radio with well-done Pointof- Purchase (POP) marketing materials creates the perfect fighting force for the advertiser. Think of Radio as your "air force" and POP as your "ground force."

So how can we devise applications of these age-old sales stimulators and apply them to improving our business? Here's an example of how a ground force and air force were developed at a Luce Performance Groupconsulted station:

A few months ago, a True Value Hardware dealer, after inking a schedule for a three-month Radio program, agreed to put counter cards in front of its three registers - "As advertised on KIKI, 30 percent off on selected Black and Decker products through Sunday 6 pm" - and to put ceiling hangers within store departments to highlight specific products that were advertised in the Radio commercials. What were the results? An in-store survey conducted on a Saturday afternoon showed a whopping 60-percent recognition among shoppers. If they did not buy a specific product, upon coming to the cash register and seeing the counter card, they at least commented, "Oh, that's right - I heard that on the Radio."

A number of them actually returned to the hardware department to get the advertised product. Even better, employees on the floor said they had never had so many shoppers say, "I heard that on the Radio," which they reported to their general manager. Radio is now viewed as a staple of their media spending, because it is now recognized as a medium that works - and that delivers a good ROI.

How can your stations use this tactic to become tangible to your advertisers? Use as much POP as possible inside your advertiser's business. Have your sales assistant do it, or do it yourself. Design a flyer detailing the offer that is running. Laminate it, and place it in front of cash registers at check-out stations and in specific departments, where advertised specials are displayed. Hang ceiling banners in those specific departments.

Do anything you can to bring attention to what you are currently running on your advertiser's commercials. Be creative. Use your collateral material on the shelves (these are called "shelf-talkers" in retailspeak), on shopping bags - anywhere you think you can influence the buying decision and trigger recall in the consumers? minds. When you effectively use POP, you can positively impact incremental sales and even influence brand switching.

Remember: POP is just part of this successful equation - otherwise, retailers could just hang a bunch of ceiling hangers and sell out to the bare walls. Many retailers already do a good job with POP, but there is still one very important thing that POP alone can't do - get those customers in the door in the first place! What's missing then is your Air Force (the schedules on Radio) that will set the battlefield for the Army (POP) to do its job!

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