It happened again. A lawyer in a small town near Fort Wayne asked for a proposal for advertising on WOWO radio to get the word out about some town hall meetings. When he saw the price, he had questions and I had answers.

I’ll recap what we said to help you understand too.   Because I want you to be as smart as possible when you are spending your advertising money.  And because one way to learn is to research before you even contact me.

Lawyer: We want to reach farmers in Northeast Indiana and invite them to a couple of townhall meeting we are having next week.

Scott Howard: Excellent, tell me more.

Lawyer: We are gathering proposals from a couple of radio stations that were mentioned to us that would be good stations to consider using.  We already have the commercial produced and we want to start on Monday to invite farmers to these meetings next Friday.  I got your contact information from my paralegal whom you spoke with earlier this month.

The lawyer and I talk for a few more minutes and he asks me about the other station that was recommended.  It was one I had never heard of.  I Googled it and it is a tiny station on the outskirts of the area that he wants to reach.  They play country music and that’s why they were recommended. Apparently there is a stereotype that all farmers like listening to country music.

The lawyer called me after 5pm on Thursday.  Since he had the ad ready to go, I figured I could get him on the air Monday since we don’t have to produce the commercial. The bigger issue is do we have room on WOWO to run his ads?

I looked at the availability and see it is very limited.  In order to air 20 ads on WOWO between Monday and Thursday, he will need to bump other advertisers off.  This is not something we like to do.  But we do have some advertisers that give us that flexibility as long as we get their ads on each month, we can adjust the daily schedules.  I needed a price that would accomplish this. The price per commercial for the lawyer was $150 each.

This $150 would guarantee that all 20 of his ads would air.  He needs his ads to air so he can get farmers to his meetings.

Back to the conversation:

Lawyer: The price I got from the other station was under $1000 for 40 commercials and yours is $3000 for 20.  Why?

Scott Howard: Our prices are based on supply and demand. Right now we have to bump other commercials to get yours on WOWO.  That is determined by whoever is paying the most for their commercial.

Lawyer: Okay, but why are your prices so much more?

Me: Let me show you information on the size of the WOWO audience compared to other Fort Screenshot 2015-08-14 16.17.37Wayne and Northeast Indiana Radio stations. This chart is for adults age 25 and older.  WOWO is at the top with over 112,000 weekly listeners. Number two on the chart has  less than 68,000 listeners.  The other station you mentioned doesn’t even show up.

Lawyer: But I need to invite farmers…
Me: Exactly.  WOWO has been the leading station for farmers for over 50 years.  Today we have 15 farm reports every day and a weekly farm show that are over 90% sold out each month.   While no one knows precisely how many farmers listen to each station, odds are in your favor that using WOWO with the right message will do what you need to do, get the word out and invite those farmers to your meetings.

Lawyer: Let me discuss this with my partners.

Me: Sure, just remember our deadline.

And that was the end of the conversations that happened on a Thursday night and Friday morning last month.  He missed the deadline. So I gave him another proposal to start Tuesday instead of Monday and a few more hours. The cost per ad did not change but the overall cost went down because he lost out on airing Monday.

This is what can happen when you don’t plan ahead.  But that’s a topic for another day.

A couple of things for you to get out of this:

  1. I will do everything I can to help.
  2. Waiting until the last minute to schedule or “reserve” advertising isn’t the best idea because you may not be able to get on or you will have to pay a premium.  It’s not because we are trying to gouge you or penalize you.  It’s because that minute of air time was already sold to someone else and the only fair way we can bump their ad in favor of yours is because you are paying more.
  3. We do have some advertisers that give us some flexibility in their schedule. We work with that when we need to to help everyone.
  4. Ads on WOWO cost more than other stations because they work.
  5. They work because we reach a lot more adults than any other radio station.
  6. We know they work because our advertising partners tell us so and we can share examples.

And finally:

I am always looking for an effective way for you to invest your advertising dollars and there are options beyond the traditional 60 second commercials.  We’ll talk about these options and see what works best for your Key Marketing Challenges.