How I Had My Best Sales Month Ever Using Radio
At 2014 Summer NAMM, Monster Music owner Brian Reardon shared his runaway radio promotion success story. Reardon had his most successful sales month ever in March 2014 after launching a radio campaign on a local rock station. March sales even surpassed previous record months, including December, and strong sales continued into the spring.
Reardon pointed out that people often assume that no one listens to the radio anymore, which isn’t true. He mentioned that many local markets have stations with a loyal following, and he wanted to reach those targeted listeners—in this instance, the adult male guitar buyer.
Manage Your Message
He attributed his successful outcome to how he managed the promotion. This included writing his own copy for the radio spot, negotiating with the local stations, working with his radio sales rep for added value and staying open to new ideas. This cost him very little and yielded big results. (He decided to reallocate ad dollars that he was already spending on marketing and couponing and directed them to radio—$500 per week.)
Reardon acknowledged that he’d dabbled in radio in the past, and with underwhelming results because of the radio station’s ad copy. This time, he came up with a more personal message, used his own voice and tapped into his customer’s concerns. He created the message after people kept telling him they were dissatisfied with the guitar-buying experience at chain stores. His radio spot that opened with, “What musical instrument do you play?” and ended with “Stop dreaming, start playing.” The spot talked about a completely different music store experience to make customers feel welcome.
“Sometimes people just want to come in and talk about guitars,” he said. He invited them to “get over to Monster Music,” sit down and talk with him and his staff about gear and all things music.
“You know your store’s message better than anyone else,” Reardon said.
The public responded to the message. In March, sales were up more than 50 percent, and sales of guitars and used gear doubled. He also had more trade-ins and was able to turn them faster. And according to Reardon, the spike in business was a function of the excitement the spot created.
Partner With Radio Reps
Since every market is different and ad rates are negotiable, Reardon advised fellow retailers to develop a good relationship with the radio station advertising rep. Many reps value independent businesses and will approach them with new ideas. In Reardon’s case, the radio station later approached him about a title sponsorship at one of its events. In essence, the sponsorship was free and added value to the radio campaign. The sponsorship also helped him promote to another demographic: lesson-student moms.
Reardon shared two great radio advertising value-adds that he received. Once a week at noon, a Monster Music student plays the national anthem and gets introduced as a featured student at the store. This builds confidence for new students and creates a sense of pride for family, friends and the community.
Reardon also hosts the Monster Minute, which airs every Friday morning between 8 and 8:30 a.m. He sits down with the DJ to talk about whatever he chooses since he writes the script ahead of time and records it. (It only takes 10 minutes to record, according to Reardon). It’s another part of his overall package with the station.