Excuses For Not Advertising

There are two conflicting opinions that I hear from clients on a weekly basis. One goes this way...

Opinion A - “Nobody else in my industry uses radio, so why would I?”

The other opinion is...

Opinion B- “Everyone in my industry uses radio, so why would I?”

Conversely, many clients also say...

Opinion C - “Everyone in my industry uses radio, so I need to as well.”


So, what opinion is closest to the truth?

It rarely has anything to do with the amount of competitors on a single radio station. The real importance lays 100% in what your business is saying in its own advertisements.

I’m not saying that nothing else matters. I’m just saying that nothing else matters until you have this figured out. You can have a dozen competitors running commercials adjacent to yours every day. If you’re the one with the compelling, original, and salient message, yours will rise above the others. If you have something really great to say, say it, and say it clearly and creatively.

Great. I have that covered, now what about my competitors.

Yes, it does make a difference how many of your rivals are running on the same medium. But, it’s a very small difference. Businesses that find that their commercials get lost in a crowded stopset are usually running bad commercials. Your ads will get lost if they sound like everyone else’s ads. This is where you can find an opportunity to get ahead.

I’d say 90% of radio commercials on the air right now are more bad than good. If there are 10 car dealerships running on one station, I’d bet most of them have poor creative. To the average person, most of those commercials are going to blend together. If you own the 10th dealership, use this as your chance to break the trend. Your commercial has to be everything the other commercials aren’t. Use your competitor’s mediocre message as your chance to bust through with a really good one. Soon enough, your competitors will adopt “opinion B” from the beginning of this article.

What about those businesses with no competitors on radio (Opinion A.)

I find it crazy that anyone uses this as an excuse to not advertise. I think radio is much more valuable to this group of people for a couple of reasons.

  1. You have no competitors on air!!! – You don’t even need to worry about positioning. It doesn’t matter what your competitors are saying because they aren’t saying anything. The soapbox is yours. Use it! This, however, is not an excuse to air a poor message. Just because you’re the only one advertising in your category doesn’t mean you don’t have to make a great ad. You still need to rise above all of the other commercials on the radio. Enticing your audience is always job #1.
  2. Nobody has heard your message – Your message is less likely to be heard as “white noise.” It’s harder and harder to engage people with an offer of “0.9% financing for 5 years OAC with employee pricing.” Everyone has heard it 10000 times. Our brains are trained to block it out. But, you don’t have that problem. Nobody has heard a message about your fireworks store. You have a greater opportunity to stand out.

Lastly, let’s talk about those who feel the need to use radio because everyone else is using it.

Well, don’t succumb to peer pressure. This mentality is the only reason why some dying mediums (like print) hang on for so long after they lose momentum. Don’t get me wrong, I think radio can be a benefit to most businesses. I just don’t think your competitors buying behaviour should weigh too heavily on your decision of where to put your advertising dollars. It’s not like your commercial is going to run at the same time in direct comparison to theirs. If you believe your business is strong enough to compete within your trading area, it is strong enough to compete on the air waves. Just say the right things in your message. As always, I can help you with that.