If you don't have time to read this entire article, then I will tell you right now. The best way to advertise in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley is on Philadelphia radio.
A vital function of advertising is to build mental availability, which nudges a consumer toward the purchase of a product or service. It also serves to provide public notice that a product or service exists and is available for purchase.
Consumers in the Delaware Valley area are expected to spend at least $98 billion at retail this year. To claim a greater share of this giant pool of cash requires local business owners of every size to advertise their goods and services. As Professor Jef Richards at Michigan State University points out, “Advertising is totally unnecessary…unless you want to make money."
The bottom line: It is difficult for a consumer in the Delaware Valley to purchase a product or service from any local company they never heard of.
There are many ways for small business owners to advertise. Options include local newspapers, local magazines, local television, and online. But to achieve the “3-Rs” of advertising success, Reach, Recall, and Return, no other medium delivers results as effectively and efficiently as advertising on Philadelphia radio stations.
The first “R” is Reach. According to a study by Nielsen, after the actual content of the commercial message itself, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or even context. Philadelphia radio provides local business owners with the biggest reach among consumers.
Last week, 3,830,493 adult consumers tuned to their favorite Philadelphia radio stations. This is significantly more than watched local TV stations; read a local newspaper; logged-on to a streaming audio site like Pandora and Spotify.
Local radio reaches everyone. Unlike other local media, which tends to skew towards older audiences, Philadelphia radio reaches consumers of all ages. This includes members of Generation X, Y, and Z; Millennials, and Boomers. Everybody.
Percentage of Delaware Valley Consumers By Age Who Listen To Philadelphia Radio
Media expert Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, advises, “Everything we’ve read about listening and aging audiences would have us believe that only our grandmother is listening to radio. Turns out the industry’s biggest supporters, the radio advertisers who foot the bills, aren’t buying that at all. Radio works, and the listeners are telling us in the latest survey data that radio has one helluva return-on-investment."
The second “R” affecting advertising success is Recall. To be effective, advertising must be remembered by the consumer when it comes time to choose which Delaware Valley business owners to patronize.
Local Ad Recall, a research company that measures the effectiveness of advertising, found that brand recall was five times higher for companies that advertised on radio versus the companies that did not. Consequently, local small business owners who advertise on radio have a much better chance of being recalled and, therefore, frequented by prospective customers than companies that do not advertise on radio.
Consumer insight company, Nielsen found similar results. Across several different business categories, on average, radio advertising improved recall by 82%. The businesses measured were a health and beauty company; an information technologies company; an auto aftermarket retailer; a motorcycle company; and a mobile app company.
The third “R” of advertising success is return-on-investment (ROI). ROI is a measurement of revenue growth that a Delaware Valley business owner can expect for each $1 invested in advertising. According to Advertising Age Magazine, when executed correctly, radio advertising can deliver a greater ROI for a local business than investing in TV, digital, or social media ads.
Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine how much ROI a business owner could expect when advertising on radio. In every case, radio’s ROI was, in the words of Advertising Age, “Eye-popping.”
The most recent ROI study released by Nielsen is no exception. According to Westwood One, the company that commissioned this latest study, a radio campaign for a men’s personal-care brand produced $11.96 in sales-lift for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising.
Overall, according to Nielsen, among all of the studies conducted, radio ads produce a very impressive 10x return-on-investment.
Media expert Doug Schoen wrote in Forbes Magazine of radio’s ability to deliver the “3-Rs” of advertising.
“The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries,” Mr. Schoen said, “and as a marketing professional with over 35 years of experience, I found this data nothing short of fascinating. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”
Small Business Owners Discover The Power Of Philadelphia Radio
Households in the Delaware Valley are projected to spend $18.7 billion on home improvements over the next 12 months. Landis Block And Concrete in Souderton, PA uses advertising on Philadelphia radio to successfully earn the biggest possible share of those dollars.
The company is co-owned by Jarrod and Jamie Nyce. Their grandfather started the company in 1943 as Nyce Crete in Landis, PA which is still operated by the brothers. Originally, the company primarily sold ready mix concrete to contractors.
That all changed, when the brother's father purchased Landis Block in 1987. In addition to serving contractors, the new company had a retail business selling stone, block, concrete products, and other building materials to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers.
Four years ago, Mr. Nyce began advertising on Philadelphia radio with a single station. The first commercials included the voice of a well-known on-air personality encouraging listener to buy from Landis Block. "Radio personalities have built a lot of trust with their audience," he says. "Using them in our commercials extends that trust to our business."
"These commercials." he continues, "really don't advertise our bricks and pavers," says Mr. Nyce. "What we really sell are the results: turning a backyard into a paradise."
Almost immediately, Mr. Nyce began to notice the results of his efforts on Philadelphia radio. "New customers started telling us right away that they learned about us on the radio."
By the end of the first year of advertising, Mr. Nyce says Landis Block saw a 5% uptick in business. A strong enough return to add a second Philadelphia radio station into the advertising mix."
"At the end of the second year," he says, "we started seeing 25% growth. Our retail business was through the roof."
Mr. Nyce attributes 40% of that growth to radio advertising.
"If we ask ten new customers how they heard about us, four will say radio advertising. Four will say referrals. And, two will say the internet."
Mr. Nyce now invests in advertising on Philadelphia radio stations year-round. "We need to be on all time," he says. "Our customer decision cycle can be as long as eight months. We need them to hear us when they are ready to buy."
When asked if Landis Block will continue on Philadelphia radio, he says, "We need to advertise to grow."
Advertising On Philadelphia Radio Helps Find New Employees
A local painting company also has found success advertising on Philadelphia radio stations.
Nolan Painting is, by definition, a small business. But, this Havertown, PA based company with 125 employees has grown to be the largest residential painting company in the United States.
For a local contractor to become that large is especially remarkable when the company only paints homes in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. This year, according to April Torrisi, Nolan Painting's Marketing Manager, "we are on track to do $12,000,000 in sales."
"Our company's founder, Kevin Nolan, has a goal of increasing sales by $1,000,000 every year," says Ms. Torrisi, "To add that much revenue we always need to find and hire more painters. Recruitment advertising on Philadelphia radio is a powerful tool to help us stay fully staffed."
According to Ms. Torrisi, hiring qualified candidates is so vital to achieving the company's aggressive growth goals, that Nolan Painting invests 1.5% of total revenue back into recruitment advertising. This is on top of the 4% committed to traditional brand advertising.
Nolan Painting began investing in radio recruitment advertising a little over two years ago. The decision was based in part on the success the company has experienced with radio's ability to generate new business leads from residential customers.
"Advertising on Philadelphia radio," says Ms. Torrisi, "is one of our top four sources of acquiring new jobs. It ranks with repeat business from past customers, referrals, lawn signs, and the advertising on our own trucks. Our return on investment on our radio advertising dollars has been very strong."
"The first time we tried recruitment advertising on the radio, we used one station. Our intention was to try it for three months," says Ms. Torrisi. "We noticed immediate results. So, now we are on all year long. We've even added a second station."
"Our Human Resources people have been very impressed with the results of radio's ability to deliver qualified candidates. They have been given a very demanding challenge by Mr. Nolan to hit a 'feet-on-the-street' goal which averages around 100 painters per month."
"Since we started with our radio efforts, the HR team has not missed a monthly goal," says Ms. Torrisi. "The quality of the new hires have been great."
Mr. Nolan and his company have been painting homes in the Delaware Valley for 40 years. He often says to Ms. Torrisi that "50% of the lawn signs I see in front of houses being painted say Nolan Painting. I want that to be 100%."
Fulfilling that vision requires hiring more and more qualified painters every year. "Radio advertising," says Ms. Torrisi, "is a powerful way to recruit the team we need."
More Advertising Advice For Small Business Owners In Philadelphia
- ROI: How Delaware Valley Business Owners Turn Dimes To Dollars
- The Best Way A Jewelry Store Can Advertise In The Delaware Valley
- Recruitment Advertising: White-Collar Job Candidates In Philadelphia
- The Best Time Of Day To Advertise On Philadelphia Radio