In 1940, WFTM in Fort Myers signed on as the first radio station in Southwest Florida. Since then, local business owners have depended on radio advertising to successfully market their goods and service.
Using any metric, advertising on Fort Myers radio remains the most potent medium for fulfilling the marketing objectives of SWFL business owners of every size.
Radio Advertising Built This Business
"Advertising on Fort Myers radio built this business," says Dann Krinsky. He oversees the marketing efforts of Rock Solid Countertops & More, a Naples-based retailer of natural stone countertops.
"Fifteen years ago, when Hugo Vargas opened for business, the showroom was one-quarter the size it is now. There was half the number of employees. And there was no fabrication shop. It was a shoestring operation," explains Mr. Krinsky.
"Eleven years ago," he continues, "I convinced Mr. Vargas to advertise on the radio for the first time." Originally, Rock Solid committed to a weekend-only campaign on a Fort Myers rock-and-roll station for one month. "We saw results almost immediately and have been advertising on Southwest Florida radio every day ever since."
Advertising On Fort Myers Delivers Year-Over-Year Growth
"During our first full year of sales, we sold 600 cars, 100 more than General Motors expected from us, says Patrick Denson, who built Estero Bay Chevrolet from scratch in 2007. 'This year, we are on track to sell 2000 cars. Advertising on Fort Myers radio has been part of our growth since the very beginning."
"When we started, I had to make sure every dollar we spent counted, because, now, it was my money. Since we opened, advertising on Fort Myers radio has proven to deliver the value and return-on-investment we need to continue our year-over-year growth."
According to Mr. Denson, his dealership invests continually in Fort Myers radio. "Advertising on radio provides us with the biggest possible reach for a lot less money. We do some TV during our peak sales periods, but the expense doesn't make it viable for us to do consistently. And, since we've opened, we have never advertised in the newspaper."
So why is advertising on Fort Myers radio successful for SWFL business owners of every size? Here are five reasons why:
1. Reach. According to a study by Nielsen, a company that analyzes the media habits and consumer behavior, when it comes to driving sales, the number of people who hear the ad is the most important media-related component of an advertising campaign.
No other advertising medium available to SWFL small business owners reaches more people than radio. Currently, 92% of all consumers tune-into their favorite Fort Myers radio stations. This is substantially more than watch local TV; read a local newspaper; or connect to streaming audio services.
Furthermore, radio appeals to everyone. This allows local businesses to target anyone including Generation X, Y, and Z. Boomers. Millennials. Everybody.
2. Repetition. To be effective, an advertising message must be remembered during the critical window-of-opportunity when a consumer is in the market for what’s being advertised. The more frequently someone hears a message, the more likely it is to be remembered.
“Repetition,” writes Dr. Douglas Hintzman form the University of Oregon, “is one of the most powerful variables affecting memory.”
The typical SWFL consumer listens to Fort Myers radio for over 15 hours every week, according to Nielsen. Most of that listening is confined to just or two stations. This allows advertisers to easily locate their target audience and then repeat an advertising message enough times to be remembered during the window-of-opportunity to make a sale.
No other advertising medium competes with radio when it comes to frequency. The typical TV viewer will tune-in to more than 20 channels during the course of a week. At best, local newspapers afford the opportunity to reach readers only one time per day.
There is no magic number for the amount of frequency needed. It depends on several factors including competitor’s advertising efforts, the strength of the creative, and the call to action.
Several studies by Nielsen, in fact, do indicate that when advertising on radio, higher levels of frequency create an exponentially greater lift to sales.
A recent study revealed that a radio advertising campaign conducted by an auto aftermarket retailer delivered $21 in increased sales for every $1 spent on commercials.
According to Westwood One who commissioned the study, every exposure to the ad contributed to sales lift.
3. Recall. 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, SWFL 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.
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.
5. Internet Traffic. Over 90% of consumers depend on the internet for some portion of their buying decisions. SWFL small business owners can take advantage of Fort Myers' radio ability to profoundly improve online search activity.
According to research by Sequent Partners, radio advertising created a 29% increase in online search activity for the product categories and brands that were involved in the study.
The study measured the website visitation increases generated by 2100 local radio ads across six different product categories. The results were definitive. Radio drove listeners to the web for more information.
The study first looked at the typical number of Google searches that typically occur for the subject product category and brands. This information creates a baseline of pre-radio expectations.
Next, search activity was measured for the times when radio advertising occurred for the subject categories and brands. The results were overlaid on the baseline.
The green bars above, indicate the days and time radio advertising aired. The green peaks highlight the incremental search that is attributable to radio advertising.
Most importantly, radio proved to be successful for every brand involved in the study.
- Automotive Brand: +7%
- E-Commerce Brand: +9%
- Wireless Communication: +18%
- Auto Aftermarket Retailer: +65%
- Insurance: +73%
- Jewelry: +370%
Bob "Biggy" Bigelow, a local restaurant owner, does not need to be convinced of how well advertising on Fort Myers radio works for his SWFL small business.
Biggy's Place is a 164-seat restaurant serving breakfast and lunch in Fort Myers. Since Mr. Bigelow opened five years ago, his sales have increased an astonishing 65%.
"We've grown every year since we started," he says. "Advertising on Fort Myers radio has been a large, large part of our growth."