December 12, 2012
This One Thing Costs Radio Advertisers Their Success
What is the one thing that most surely costs radio advertisers their success? In a word: complexity.
"Simplicity does not mean removing features, benefits, or services from your product. It means distilling what's most important about those features, and explaining them in the fewest words possible."
The quote above is from an article by Jeff Hoffman over at Inc Magazine. His article brings to light how and why this notion of simplicity applies beyond the radio advertising world to all businesses. In his article he points out that "your customers are constantly being bombarded with new information." This has always felt like a very true statement - because it has been true for so long, probably since the printing press was invented. But today we have multiples more opportunities to ingest information and the acceleration of "information proliferation" hasn't shown signs of slowing down.
At times while reading Mr. Hoffman's article I felt like he was writing the job description of a direct response radio advertising copywriter. Here is one example:
"One of the most valuable skills in the world is the ability to explain complex concepts in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Writing lots of words is easy. Making your point with an absolute minimum number of words is really hard. Yet it is so much more effective."
As most readers of this blog by now know, we write and produce 60 and 30 second radio ads for direct response radio advertising campaigns. So, basically, we're held accountable for generating profitable sales for our clients in just 30 or 60 seconds of audio. It's high-stakes audio persuasion.
"Imagine you had a quick minute to tell a potential customer why he should do business with you. Because in today's world, that's all you have anyway."
We've actually tested - live and on the air - different ads for the same product, but one with more details than another. What have we found? Complexity kills response. We have our theories on why, but the bottom line is clear consistent: to grow your profits using direct response radio advertising - keep it simple.
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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely
Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell
Made to Stick, Heath & Heath
The Power of Persuasion, Robert Levine
Influence: Science & Practice, Cialdini
Words That Work, Frank Lutz
My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising, Claude C. Hopkins
Or Your Money Back, Alvin Eicoff
Being Direct, Lester Wunderman