Planning Your Advertising Budget

We have lots of ways to help you figure out if you are spending the right amount on your ad schedule. Spend too much and you won’t have money to invest later in the year. Spend too little and you won’t have made the most of your investment.

When an advertiser spends too little to reach their target audience, not enough people hear the ad enough times to act on it. We don’t want you to feel like advertising didn’t work. The key concept is you want your ad to have enough frequency, to be heard at least 3-4 times by your target customer.

Research on how people remember things suggests they need to hear the ad a few times before it registers, a few more times before they recognize its value to them, and then another few times to decide to act on it. And that frequency model resets after a week or so. That means if you run a good schedule for a week and then are off for a month, the frequency calculator to connect with your audience starts over.

Here are a few strategies when your budget is tight, but you want optimum frequency:

  • Ask about packages. The upside to packages is that they are often priced very affordably. The downside is that they might have some time restrictions that you don’t prefer. If it doesn’t fit your business needs, don’t buy it.
  • Shorten your daypart or your week. The shorter week compresses your frequency. When you can only afford a few ads a week, like 8-12, make sure that those few ads are close together so people hear them within a few days of each other.
    • If you could only afford to book a weekly schedule of 20 ads and run them all week from Monday through Sunday, it gives you fewer than 3 ads per day.
    • But if you are do most of your business on the weekends like a restaurant, then skip Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Schedule your ads to run Wednesday – Saturday. Then you have 5 ads per day! That kind of close proximity will help your audience hear your ad and act on it.
  • Look for sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorships sound like a big committment, though they can be really cost-effective because they have ways to say your business name in more situations than just the :60-second ad itself.
    • They are typically annual contracts so you might get lower weekly frequency, but it starts to flip over if you are on every week. Those fewer messages start to accumulate in the listeners’ minds over the longer agreement and accomplish what frequency does over a short time.
    • Your business name is mentioned in promos for the sponsored feature, such as “This edition of the Ruby Radio News is sponsored by YOU!” Those mentions count in the minds of the listener because they have to visualize your product and your store in their minds to understand what is being said.
    • You can associate your business with something positive that either reinforces the kinds of products you sell, or adds to your overall impression in the marketplace. Here are two examples:
      • A store that sells guns and outdoor gear like Nate’s Outdoors might sponsor the show Gun Talk on TalkRadio 107.7 FM because it puts his ads when likely buyers are listening with interest. Those ads will be very efficient because the content of the show has already attracted people who are in the market and knowledgeable about those products. At $350/month, those four ads in the Gun Talk show and the mentions as the show is promoted, are well-placed. He doesn’t need a lot of ad volume to reach that audience.
      • An insurance firm might sponsor a program about childhood literacy because he wants to reach young families who likely have shifting insurance needs. Sponsoring a feature about reading puts him in a positive light. And the people who are engaged by a feature about reading are likely to have young children in the house and be good prospects for him.

Your Account Executive should be able to help you balance your budget with your goals for your ads so the ads are the most effective they can possibly be.