Horizontal Schedules

Radio advertising is expensive. Unfortunately, you don’t have $30-120K a year to drop on one station immediately. That’s ok.  I mean, how many people open a business and have that kind of cash to drop on their new venture.  If you had that money already, you might be sitting on a beach in Hawaii right now instead of beginning whatever it is your beginning. The crap part is marketing is very important for getting your new business started on the right foot. Too many new businesses open there doors early without considering advertising. The only way that can work is if…

  • You are located in a high traffic area and your store front looks impossibly enticing.
  • You are a sales machine that can bring in qualified customers en mass with your charms alone.
  • Your business fills the void of a missing (and very popular) industry in your city.

But please, don’t get too excited about point #3. You’re a new business owner and it’s your job to be optimistic about your future. Unfortunately, your business probably isn’t as much of a sure thing as point #3 describes.  Point #3 is only relevant if somehow there are no sushi places in Beverly Hills right now, and you happen to open one. Enjoy your riches. The rest of us need marketing. Read on…

So, how do you buy affordable radio?!

It doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Simply go and find a radio station that suits your brand. Your budget is small, so you can only buy one right now. Don’t get greedy!

Also, don’t pick with your heart. It doesn’t matter what you listen to, it matters what your prospective clientele listens to. Figure out your demographics. Narrow them down to one specific person. Now, what would that person listen to? That’s the station you want.

I don’t care what it costs!! Don’t be fooled by the price tag of each station. It is irrelevant. There are only two kinds of radio station for you. The one that fits your brand and the one that doesn’t.

But, I can’t afford that station!?

Yes you can. You just can’t afford the entire station yet. Start with a horizontal schedule. This means you pick one time of day, and own it.

  • Start off by buying 2 commercials a day between Noon and 1pm.
  • Buy overnights (in big cities this is an undervalued time slot)
  • Buy one commercial a day in the morning/afternoon drive (at the same time everyday)

A horizontal schedule will not get you a radio stations entire cumulative audience. But, it will give you access to one specific segment of that audience. Which is ok, because you can’t afford the whole pie yet.

Make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin.

On a small budget, your business should own no more than three hours a day. The smaller the budget, the smaller the amount of time you should own. The reason is simple…

You need to get the same people to hear your commercial multiple times. You can’t afford frequency all day. But, you can afford it for a couple of hours every day.

People have routines, and that means they likely listen to the radio at the same time each day. Target specific hours, and those people will be all yours.

As your business grows, so should your advertising buy. Own more hours until you own an entire station. Once you own an entire station, then you can buy more.

Soon, you’ll be an advertising juggernaut, with a powerful company, and a Hawaiian beach to call your own.