Big Fish Little Pond Little Fish Big Pond- Radio Advertising Explained

Even the smallest marketers can dominate with Radio Advertising …simply think like a big fish

You want to advertise your business on local radio.  Splendid.  Once you’ve created your scripts, identified your ideal audience and determined which stations can deliver them and set your budget, you’ll need to make one more decision:  Big Fish, Little Pond or Little Fish, Big Pond?  This is the never-changing question.

Radio Advertising's Big Two: Reach And Frequency

Radio sells two things, Reach (the number of people who will hear your ad at any given time) and Frequency (the number of times they will hear it).

Your choice (given your budget) is whether you’d like your radio advertising rather a smaller audience more times  (Big Fish, Little Pond) or a larger audience fewer times (Little Fish, Big Pond).  I almost always lean to frequency, all else being equal.

As a Big Fish, Little Pond kind of guy, I know a person needs to hear your message at least seven times before it starts to sink in.  Me, I’d rather convince 1% of the people 100% of the way, than convince 100% of the people 1% of the way.   And the only way to convince people is through frequency and good ad copy.  So I accept the smaller audience my budget dictates, so I can be a Big Fish.

Early on one of my mentors told me, “try to dominate”.  By this he meant, be the biggest advertiser (Big Fish) on a station.   Given the budgets of most small businesses, this is impossible, but he had a great answer.

  • “If you can’t afford to dominate a station, dominate a day part.” (like AM Drive)
  • “If you can’t afford to dominate a day part, dominate one show.”
  • “If you can’t afford to dominate a show, dominate one hour of that show.”
  • “If you can’t afford to dominate an hour of that show every day, dominate one hour a day or two a week.”

…and so on.

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