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Nobody mentioned my ads

We love sharing letters from our great members, particularly when they contain questions that may be helpful for others facing the same issues. Recently, we heard from Larry, who is a senior account executive ("Because I'm the oldest person here," he says).

I just had a client (a restaurant) say that they surveyed their customers over the past month, and they didn't get very many customers to say that they heard the ads on the radio. Therefore, the client has declined to renew their schedule saying a lack of response was the reason.

So … here's a question: How would you respond to this issue if raised by a client?

It's a common problem, and it happens more than we likely admit. In some cases, when the client cancels, they don't give us the courtesy of a reason. In my experience, Larry's customer, like some of mine, were asking the wrong question. When they ask, "Why did you come to the restaurant today?" People rarely credit advertising. This is because of the number one rule in advertising:

People do not respond to ads; they respond to needs.

If Larry's client would get an honest answer to the question, "Why did you come to our restaurant today?" people would respond, because I was hungry. Simple as that.

The question they should have asked was, "Why did you choose our restaurant today over the hundreds of other choices you had?" Then listen carefully to the response. My guess is they would pick up on phrases from the radio ads. You can ensure this by using unique phrases — phrases that people aren't used to hearing. Radio works to create awareness of a brand BEFORE people need it. That is the very purpose of advertising:

To help a business become known before they are needed.

People don't respond to ads; they respond to needs. In this case, it is hunger. When the guests at the restaurant discover they are hungry and want to go out, that's when they search their minds for brands they already know. They know them because of the strength of the long-term advertising that is and has been done.

We love letters and questions, so if you have them, please send them to me here. We never use names without permission. Your letters help others #GetBetter. As Larry said in his follow-up, "We should never feel that we know everything about selling, even if we've been doing it a long time. Never be afraid to ask a question."

Great advice Larry!

We have assembled the most common Misperceptions Of Radio in easy-to-use infographics on RAB.com.

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at jeff.Schmidt@Rab.com or follow him on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB