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Buying Radio

Listen up!
Find a friend in radio!

Radio is an excellent way to target your particular audience. This is because radio stations draw very specific groups to listen to them, and it is pretty easy to figure out 1) who is listening and 2) whether those listeners represent your customers.

For example, who do you think listens to Top 40 stations? To rap music ? To classical music? To classic rock? To country? To talk radio? All of these are distinct radio formats, and most stations adhere to only one format. This is good for advertisers because we can spend our time and money reaching listeners most likely to buy our product or service.

It is especially critical in radio to know your audience for your product or service. Radio advertising can be very effective and a good use of your advertising dollar if you target correctly.

Action steps

  • Listen to the radio stations in your area. Note which stations have a clear signal with no static. Listen to who is advertising on the station. This will give you a very good idea about who is actually listening. For example, if you are hearing a lot of ads for tires, beer and motorcycles, there are probably a lot of men listening. If you are hearing ads for new home buyers and furniture, there are probably a lot of couples listening. Write down the call letters and the format (country, talk, religious, rock, etc.) of the stations where you think your customers might be listening. This may not be where you like to listen!
  • NOTE: Some stations will have a clear signal in the daytime, but not at night and vice versa. Make a note about this. No sense advertising on a station at night when the signal is fuzzy. Also some stations will not give their actual call letters, just the dial position like 99.9 FM. Go ahead and note the dial position and the format anyway. You can find out what the call letters are in step 2.
  • Get on the web and look up the websites for stations you've selected - you' should be able to find them all this way, including the ones that just give you dial position instead of call letters. Get the phone numbers for the station advertising departments. You can also check under "K" in the white pages west of the Mississippi river to get a list of stations in your area (all station call letters start with the letter K) Check under "W" in the white pages east of the Mississippi River (all station call letters start with the letter W). You may also check the yellow pages under Radio stations - but not everybody lists there.
  • Call the stations you selected and ask to speak to an advertising representative. Set up a meeting with the rep at your place of business or at the station.

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