The out-of-the-blue voicemail said: Pat Bacceli suggested we call. She thinks the work you do is fabulous and she wants to help you reach more people. Give us a call as soon as you can.
Really? THE Dr Pat of talk radio? The guru of thriving by getting famous has heard of little ole me? And she’s interested in my work? Wow.
I’m stunned. My ego soars. This could do amazing things for my career. I start envisioning being a media star myself, spend a minute thinking of upgrading my car, and envisioning a European vacation.
And then reality smacks me like a 2 x 4. Oh, they want me to sponsor her show. They want me to advertise on the radio.
No thanks. Been there, done that, not gonna be suckered again. This is one tempting offer I can definitely refuse.
Why? Because radio advertising doesn’t work well for selling mental health and coaching services. It’s enormously expensive, but doesn’t cultivate the emotional connection nor build the trusting relationship with potential clients that prompts people to pick up the phone and act on what they just heard.
And aside from the enormous expense of radio advertising, there are a few other considerations that help resist this temptation.
All but the most naive people are very skeptical of mass media marketing these days.
There’s been so much hype that we have a strong cynicism about everything we hear on the air, as well as see in print and on the internet. In an election year, that factor is ramped up even more and colors everything else trying to break into consumer consciousness. It’s a very high barrier to effective connection and persuasion to try to get past.
Then there’s the problem of the purpose of the message of a 60 second spot. Is it to drum your name into public consciousness? Is it to manufacture a sense of need for your services? Is it to beat your competition by being more glamorous than a phone book ad?
Hint, none of those purposes make a good marketing objective.
Radio advertising was developed in the pre-TV era when people did nothing else but sit and listen, and they were much more willing to believe what they heard — unlike today.
Radio in its heyday was a phenomenon that had no competing attention demands.
People weren’t driving, working in offices with constant interruptions, washing the dishes with a TV blaring in the kids’ room, and hurrying to get Billy to baseball practice.
These days, ad time is when we change the station.
Consumer behavior in 2012 is conditioned to bypass what’s known as interruption advertising. Radio is primarily used as background white noise, with only the outrageous falsehoods of shock jocks breaking through. That’s company that in my mind doesn’t align well with concepts of nurture, empathy, trustworthiness, and healing.
Today, the public is more plugged in to mobile device technologies. Take the money you resist spending on radio, tv and phone book ads, and put it into designing a version of your website that displays well on and takes advantage of the immediacy and interactivity of the iPhone / iPad / iPod / Android platforms.
Then consider developing a great interactive app as another stream of income, too. Get a blog and YouTube going with push notice capability. This is where you clients will be soon, if they aren’t already there.
And lastly, before you spend any money on marketing, do you have a clear idea of what each strategy takes to be effective? Do you know for certain that your ideal clients make hiring decisions based on messages from those channels of information?