Radio advertising & TV advertising will cost more if you don't ensure your online presence is optimal.
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Radio Advertising Costs - Don't get caught out!

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Three years after writing an article about how you should get your website presence in order BEFORE embarking on an expensive radio advertising campaign (or TV advertising for that matter), it frustrates me how the simplest things to do with online branding and marketing are still overlooked by some - even today, in 2011!

The point of that article, and this one I guess, is that radio advertising costs can be much higher than you anticipate because they are less effective as a result of a poorly thought out radio ad, combined with a less than adequate online strategy.

Dee Madigan, Director of Socket Agency and ABC TV The Gruen Transfer panelist, says:
"Phone numbers and complicated urls have no place in radio ads. People simply don't remember them and they take valuable time away from the important things like branding and the creative idea which is what actually gets and keeps peoples' attention."
I heard an ad for virtual offices in Sydney on one of the AM stations this morning, mentioning the advertiser's website address twice, plus I heard the ad three times. I could not for the life of me determine what the website URL was.

Radio Adveertising Costs It's great if you have an engaging, catchy radio ad, but what if your audience not only doesn't get the ad, BUT they also cannot understand where to go to get more information?

After lots of Google searches for some variations of what I thought the company name was, plus "serviced offices", "virtual offices", and the like, I found nothing at all similar to what I heard - so I gave up.

The next step was to call the radio station and wait for five minutes for their Advertising Department to pick up. They didn't. The receptionist tried again, but still no answer after a further three minutes, you guessed it, I gave up (again). I called back 15 minutes later, and this time the ad guy answered, however he didn't have the information I required so he had to call me back. Thirty minutes later he did just that.

That's an hour and a half from first hearing the "catchy radio ad" in drive time, to discovering the URL of a website for a company I may be interested in hiring!

So, the company, and URL I could not understand in the ad, was Excen - which of course on the radio ad sounded like "Exen". Ahh, but ad agency was very smart - they decided people needed help with the website address (and the company name), so they spelt it out: "E - X - C - E - N" - which of course sounded like "Exeen". Don't people test ads BEFORE they go to air?

Advertising Frustration Anyway, after looking at Excen's website, I see why they have to advertise. It seems they have spent little, if anything on SEO, and their website looks like it is about ten years old (at least). Their radio ad appeared in drive time on 2UE - do you know what those ads cost? I wonder if Excen knows that a mere fraction of that budget would give their website a much needed facelift and some much needed, valuable and effective search engine optimisation?

TV Advertising

Here's another example. On television yesterday, I watched an ad (a segment sponsorship on Sunrise) for Accor Hotels - or rather, their membership loyalty program called A|Club. The website URL is www.a-club.com - and the voiceover guy kindly spelt it out as well: "www dot a hyphen club dot com dot au".

For a start, a lot of people don't even know what or where a hyphen is - or a slash for that matter. But besides that, how silly does it sound to have to say "hyphen" in the middle of a URL? Surely they could have just gone with something which sounds better and is also a bit better as far as branding goes? Perhaps www.aclubaccor.com, or www.aclubloyalty.com?

Radio & TV Advertising Summary

The advice is still the same. Before you embark upon an expensive media campaign (radio, TV, magazine, newspaper), please ensure your online presence is up to scratch, and people don't simply ignore your message because they can't understand your ad.

The idea of a website is to present a whole lot more information than was possible in mainstream advertising pre-Internet. So a short, catchy radio or TV ad, with an UNDERSTANDABLE and MEMORABLE URL, which then leads to a modern, easy to navigate and informative website is what you should be aiming for. If you frustrate your potential customer with confusing messages, they are less likely to be open to buy buying from you.

Oh, and don't always leave it up to your advertising agency - many of them don't seem to be across the basics of what forms a good, practical online presence.

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Rob - JustWeb

04.05.2011


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