The Genuine ScLoHo aka Scott Howard

How To Feel Good About Buying Advertising

August 19, 2015 Marketing and Advertising Insights WOWO Fort Wayne Radio Advertising with Scott Howard 2

Yesterday I left you with:

So how do you deal with Return On Investment as a way to measure the success of your advertising campaign and more importantly how do you feel good about spending money on advertising?

Ask the right questions.

Know the limitations.

Deal with trustworthy people.

Today we’ll dig deeper.

Ask the right questions of anyone who is attempting to sell you advertising. You want to find out what the reach is of your advertising using that particular form of advertising and you want as many details as possible.

My radio station, WOWO, has over 100,000 adults listeners every week according to the independent data and research.  No other Fort Wayne radio station has that large of an adult audience.

Newspapers know how big their readership is because they know how many papers they publish.metrics

Billboard companies get traffic counts from the highway departments that tell them how many people drive by each of their signs.

Websites can measure visitor traffic and a whole bunch of data too.

These are only measurements of the potential reach or maximum number of people who will be exposed to your advertising message.  Using radio as an example,   WOWO has 112,156 adult listeners over the age of 25 according to the data.  That’s how big the lake is if you decide to fish in it. When you ask the right questions you can compare the size of WOWO’s adult audience with other stations.  For example WLDE has 62,262 weekly listeners that are age 25 and older.  The WLDE lake is half the size of the WOWO lake.  The potential number of people you could ever reach advertising on WLDE is less than 1/2 the number as WOWO.

Knowing the limitations is just as important.  We just saw that the maximum number of WLDE listeners you could reach is half the maximum number of WOWO listeners.  But the real numbers that your advertising will reach is always going to be less than the maximum, no matter what station or any other media you use.

With radio we can use the same data we get about our total number of listeners to come up with an estimate of how many listeners your advertising schedule will reach.  That’s not really possible with newspapers or billboards.

I can create an advertising schedule that will reach 30,000 people.  Or one that reaches 50,000 people, or 80,000 people.  All because I am starting with a lake that is filled with over 100,000.

And one extremely important side note, is that everyone who is exposed to your advertising is not going to be your customer.  It will be a small percentage no matter what.  Here’s the advantage that having a large lake to fish in: More potential customers.  If you are likely to get 1% of the people who you advertise to who become customers each year, it makes sense to fish in that larger lake.

None of this talk about numbers will ultimately make you feel good if you don’t trust the person you are negotiating with.

Which is the reason for my third point, Deal with Trustworthy People.

There is absolutely no reason to spend your advertising money with people you don’t trust.  You don’t want employees that you can’t trust and you certainly want the people you are investing your advertising dollars with to also be trustworthy.

A simple test is the focus of the person who is offering you something to buy.  Are they looking out for your best interests or just theirs?  It’s okay if they are looking out for both your interests and their own, but they should never sacrifice yours for theirs.

This is why I look for advertising partners, not just people to buy advertising.  Tomorrow, I will share with you how I define on paper what it means to form an advertising partnership.


Scott Howard aka ScLoHo has 25+ years of experience in marketing , advertising, media and works directly in the radio and digital world from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Contact him at or 260.255.4357.


2 Responses

  1. rmattocks says:

    Essentially the premise here is: Because print, radio, and poorly executed web advertising cannot be definitely tracked with anything better than reasonably estimated vanity metrics, you should at least like the person your handing your money to. Granted you may have the client’s best interest at heart, but at the end of the day this won’t fly anymore when digital strategies, tactics, and marketing software now exists that can tie spend directly to financial outcomes. And even the most likable of individuals can’t change the trend of traditional media’s diminishing ad influence as consumers go to the web to get the information they want. Traditional media outlets will never die, but they will always be risky. It only makes good business sense to spend money where you can feel certain you are going to make money, not where you feel good about who’s cashing your check.

    • Scott Howard says:

      Ron, I can almost agree, but in this imperfect world we still have to take into consideration the untrackable even when it comes to tracking digital metrics. While we can track some of the digital paths that lead to someone taking action and making a purchase, it is still an incomplete picture. We don’t know what all of the marketing influential factors were before that person logged on.

      Also that individual person does not know all the marketing touches that lead them to go online. The purest digital path is nearly always preceded by an untrackable bit of marketing.

      Having worked in your business and also for a multi-million dollar e-commerce company, the challenge is there, but it is an impossible goal to measure accurately 100%.

      Thanks Ron for your thoughts, keep up the good work.

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