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Direct Response Marketing

DR Radio and Text Messaging: A Powerful Combination

7 May, 2010 By: Marc Jacobs Response


Marc JacobsDR radio advertising in conjunction with SMS text messaging is an oilfield just waiting to be drilled and tapped. DR radio with SMS gives companies the ability to catch the customer wherever they are. Consumers listen to radio wherever they go, and their cell phones are ever present, whether they are taking a walk in the park, at the market, driving or on a bus.

Returns are high and instantly measurable. Access is universal, clutter is minimal and conversion is tremendous. In many cases, ROI starts at 100 percent and tops 300 percent.

Text messaging lets advertisers immediately measure audience reaction. By doing so, the client enhances its own brand while increasing the number of advertising opportunities. A radio listener learns he or she can enter a contest by sending a text message to a branded text code address, such as “Text RADIO to 511-511.” Then the listener receives a storable sponsored verbal message, coupon or even a video.

Easier than a lengthy URL, selecting a simple, memorable short code, with an easy call-to-action code, such as “Text PILLOW to 511-511,” makes the process better for the consumer and secures more responses.

The big added bonus is now the consumer is automatically opted-in for future messages and calls from the advertiser. Capturing the affluent consumer gets easier as well: satellite listeners — early adopters — provide the greatest response rates.

For example, an online advertiser running a 60-second radio text messaging campaign with spots every hour had 350-450 text message responses after 24 hours. Another hit the list of top-10 paid apps on iTunes with a mobile media 1-2 punch of radio and SMS.

Results reporting is instantaneous, and real-time measurements from a combined radio/SMS campaign include:

  • Time and programming
  • User area codes
  • Number of occurrences
  • Coming soon: GPS location

Real-time reporting means quick analysis and campaign refinement to constantly improve results. For example, when we learned that Thursday offered the best results for a certain campaign, we moved live reads to that day to further enhance those results. Campaigns continue to receive text messages even when the spots aren’t running. This shows that people would follow up days, if not weeks, after they heard the spot.

The text message can be changed frequently to fine tune offers, discounts, coupons and even extend the promotion due to its success. SMS is less expensive and more effective than phone routing for finding a franchise location nearest the mobile customer. Text messaging adds the flexibility of a dynamic promotional element where an offer and creative can quickly be changed without having to recreate a spot or reprint an ad.

SMS voting is another use and excellent way to engage an audience and for an advertiser to have a “personality” with potential consumers. Each respondent receives a sponsored confirmation message.

Of course, it is not just text. Pictures of the product, an audio message, a link to a Web site and/or a barcode for couponing can be part of the campaign. Using video to describe the product, service or event adds a visual element to a radio campaign.

The growth of text messaging is explosive. Wireless penetration in the U.S. has topped 89 percent according to CTIA.org; and more than 3.5 billion text messages are sent per day. Now that text messaging is gaining on E-mail as the preferred means of daily international communication, according to a survey by Tekelec, the SMS option is one to add to every campaign.

Adam Cahill of Hill Holiday says, “For years, the argument has been used that online ad spend should bear some close relationship to the amount of time consumers spend with the channel. The same logic would dictate that at some point in the next couple of years, 50 percent or more of all online spend should be targeted to mobile devices.”

The power of joining these two mobile media methods together to get traditional and instant direct response measurement for analysis and campaign refinement makes radio and text messaging a perfect pairing.


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