I don’t listen to the radio often, but its usually turned on to some classic rock anytime I start up my truck. Anyway, this evening I was headed to the grocery store when I heard the saddest radio commercial of all time.
It was literally asking listeners to stop buying a certain product online. I don’t want to out any companies in distress, but this is a pretty telling sign of the direction of business and advertising.
The basic plea was to keep the money local. I couldn’t help but smirk wryly at that assumption because it obviously doesn’t account for people like myself who are earning money and bringing it into the local economy with globally-based internet sales.
I wonder if that makes me part of their problem or part of their solution!
There’s a hundred cliche ways to say “the past ain’t coming back,” so I’ll skip reciting those and add my piece of advice to these local retailers:
Get your ads online already!
When you spend advertising dollars on traditional broadcasting media outlets like radio and television, you have very little control over the types of demographics you’re broadcasting to. Sure, you can pick the adult contemporary station or the newest pop section of the dial, but you’re still going to end up with an audience that is fairly representational of the community as a whole. Some young people like oldies, some oldies like new rock. How many of them do you think need the product you’re selling?
Maybe this makes sense for some types of advertising toward products that everyone needs and can only be delivered locally: food, television/broadband/phone etc… but this probably doesn’t work nearly as well with even shoes or cars. Months or years later when the rest of your audience is finally ready to buy the product you advertised so long ago, are they going to remember your brand?
Buyers go online – that’s the new reality, not something you can fight off by asking nicely.
If you want to sell those products, you need to get your advertisements placed where they look right before they hit buy, you need to identify those keywords that are specific to your product and suggest an intent to purchase. Some retailers may not appreciate this as it also means their prices are going to have to become more competitive. People may have been willing to pay more because the only local supply was priced higher, but now they know the best price is just a few clicks away.