Radio isn't always on every advertiser's radar. We all have a responsibility to change that, to keep radio front and center at all times. But, new advertising converts aside, it is critically important that we CELEBRATE the advertisers we have. Anyone advertising on radio should feel we are working hard to make their campaigns work, and that we're thankful they are investing with us to accomplish their goals. We, as an industry and as individual radio stations, need to develop plans at the station level to orchestrate efforts that make advertisers feel appreciated.
Someone once told me that it's harder for an advertiser to leave when they know everyone on the staff. What does your station do when you get a new advertiser or a renewal? A simple hand-written thank you note is nice, a note signed by the entire staff is better, separate notes from everyone on the staff is better still, and a beautiful gift basket or something special is even better than that.
Radio may not be growing its ad base, but we can retain what we have by making sure we're generous. Our goal should be to do everything possible to make a campaign work, even if it means throwing in some unexpected extras. Retention should be your top priority, because getting new advertisers is far more expensive than keeping those you have.
One thing you can and should do is honor your advertisers by entering or recommending entry of their very best spots in the Radio Mercury Awards. The awards and their big cash prizes were designed to help creative people consider and have an incentive to use radio. We all know creative departments often lead campaign decisions, and if they think radio will reward them, help make them some more money, and give them national recognition, then it will be important to them.
We as an industry need to get behind the Radio Mercury Awards, support them, attend them if we can, and get our advertisers to enter. And we should applaud the RAB for keeping the awards alive and thank RAB members for putting up the cash.
The Radio Mercury Awards are not only good for retention, they are great for creating interest in radio. Nothing speaks like cash. I encourage you to support them.
You can learn more here: www.radiomercuryawards.com