If you don't have time to read this entire article, then I will tell you right now. The best way for any Southwest Florida small business owner to advertise is on Fort Myers radio.
A key function of advertising is to build mental availability, which nudges a consumer toward the purchase of a product or service. It also serves to provide public notice that a product or service exists and is available for purchase.
Consumers in Lee and Collier counties are expected to spend at least $22 billion at retail this year. To claim a greater share of this giant pool of cash requires local business owners of every size to advertise their goods and services. As Professor Jef Richards at Michigan State University points out, “Advertising is totally unnecessary…unless you want to make money."
The bottom line: It is difficult for anyone in Southwest Florida to purchase a product or service from a local business owner if they aren’t aware of it.
There are many ways for local area small business owners to advertise. Options include local newspapers, local magazines, local television, and online. But to achieve the “3-Rs” of advertising success, Reach, Recall, and Return, no other medium delivers results as effectively and efficiently as advertising on Fort Myers radio.
The first “R” is Reach. According to a study by Nielsen, after the actual content of the commercial message itself, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or even context. Southwest Florida radio provides local business owners with the biggest reach among consumers.
Last week, 807,219 adult consumers tuned to their favorite Southwest Florida radio stations. This is significantly more than the 742,100 consumers reached by area TV stations; the 246,583 reached by local newspapers; or the 296,232 reached by streaming audio services. Southwest Florida radio reaches everyone. Unlike other local media, which tends to skew towards older audiences, Fort Myers and Naples radio reaches consumers of all ages. This includes members of Generation X, Y, and Z; Millennials, and Boomers. Everybody.
Media expert Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, advises, “Everything we’ve read about listening and aging audiences would have us believe that only our grandmother is listening to radio. Turns out the industry’s biggest supporters, the radio advertisers who foot the bills, aren’t buying that at all. Radio works, and the listeners are telling us in the latest survey data that radio has one helluva return-on-investment."
The second “R” affecting advertising success is recall. To be effective, advertising must be remembered by the consumer when it comes time to choose which Southwest Florida business owners to patronize.
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, Fort Myers and Naples 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.
Consumer insight company, 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.
The third “R” of advertising success is return-on-investment (ROI). ROI is a measurement of revenue growth that a Southwest Florida business owner can expect for each $1 invested in advertising. According to Advertising Age Magazine, when executed correctly, radio advertising can deliver a greater ROI for a local business than investing in TV, digital, or social media ads.
Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine how much ROI a business owner could expect when advertising on radio. In every case, radio’s ROI was, in the words of Advertising Age, “Eye-popping.”
The most recent ROI study released by Nielsen is no exception. According to Westwood One, the company that commissioned this latest study, a radio campaign for a men’s personal-care brand produced $11.96 in sales-lift for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising.
Overall, according to Nielsen, among all of the studies conducted, radio ads produce a very impressive 10x return-on-investment.
Media expert Doug Schoen wrote in Forbes Magazine of radio’s ability to deliver the “3-Rs” of advertising.
“The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries,” Mr. Schoen said, “and as a marketing professional with over 35 years of experience, I found this data nothing short of fascinating. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”
Advertising on Fort Myers 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."
Radio Advertising Works For Me
"Radio advertising works for me," says attorney Sean King of King Law in Fort Myers. "My commercial has been on every day for the past seven years. Advertising on Fort Myers radio helps me reach clients from Marco Island to Venice. No other media has that kind of coverage."
Starting with his very first commercial on Fort Myers radio, Mr. King has included the use of a musical jingle consisting of his, now, ubiquitous phone number. "Adding radio to my marketing plan allowed for the frequent repetition of the jingle. Now, almost anyone who hears my name in Southwest Florida can recall my phone number from the jingle. So, when anyone needs legal advice, they know how to reach me."
Mr. King believes radio advertising can be effective for almost any Fort Myers small business owner. "The key," he advises, "is patience. You can't just advertise for a week and expect it to work. It might take several months to see measurable results. I've tried newspaper advertising and phone book advertising, but it hasn't been successful. The reach and frequency I get from advertising on Fort Myers radio provide branding opportunities these other media can't."
Advertising Contributes to 65% Sales Growth For Local Business
Biggy's Place is a 164-seat restaurant serving breakfast and lunch in Fort Myers. Since new owners took over the location just over five years ago, sales have increased an astonishing 65%.
"We've grown every year since we started," says Bob Bigelow (aka Biggy) who now owns the restaurant along with his wife, Dawn. "Advertising on Fort Myers radio has been a large, large part of our growth."
"Three months after we took over the restaurant, we began investing hot-and-heavy into our radio advertising," he says. "I've been involved in marketing for over 37 years, but I have never been as overwhelmed by the response to our current advertising. Almost every day a new customer will tell us they learned about us on Fort Myers radio."