Should I advertise?

    If you have competitors working to attract your customers, or if you want to grow your sales and make more money, then you need to advertise!   The key is to know who your customer is here in the Pine Belt, and why they like to do business with you.  Once you know the characteristics of your best customers, you simply need to target your advertising to the customer likely to buy your product or service.

     Always keep in mind that when you select a particular advertising medium (radio, television, print, outdoor), you are buying an audience!  When you advertise on Pine Belt Radio, you are renting the "ears" of thousands of radio listeners throughout the Pine Belt to tell your story!

    Advertising is an investment in success that creates store traffic, attracts new customers, boosts morale, encourages repeat business and keeps your business top of mind!

     Advertising gives your business a successful image!  Businesses that succeed are usually strong, steady advertisers.


Is radio right for me?

    Radio is the number one reach medium in America!  In Fall 2015, Nielsen Ratings sent shockwaves through the advertising world by revealing that radio is the new #1 reach medium, reaching 93% of adult consumers ages 18+ each week.  A February 2016 Nielsen study confirmed that radio continues to be the #1 reach medium and subsequent studies continue to show that radio reaches more adults ages 18+ each week than TV, smartphones or any other advertising medium.  Radio reaches more Americans each week than any other platform!

    If radio were invented today, it would be all the marketing rage.  Why?  Because we live in on-the-go society, and unlike newspaper or television, radio is with us everywhere, in the car, at work and in the home. 

    Consistent radio advertising creates top of mind awareness ("TOMA") for your business!

    Radio's unique formats allow you to target your best prospects. 

    Radio reaches prospects closest to the point of purchase.

    Radio drives people to research your business online.  A Nielsen study recently proved that people who were exposed to a radio ad 3 or more times had a higher likelihood of doing online research and taking action to purchase as compared to those not exposed to radio.

    Radio maximizes the return on your total media campaign.  Radio REINFORCES the messages consumers receive.  A Nielsen study found that people who heard an ad on the radio had a significantly higher recall of that ad which aired on other platforms than those not exposed to radio.

    Radio advertising positively impacts bottom lines sales.  A series of Nielsen sales effect studies across a variety of categories found that radio generates positive RETURN on ad spend!


Why should I choose Pine Belt Radio/Blakeney Communications stations?

    Here in the Laurel-Hattiesburg metro area and 14 county Nielsen TSA ("Total Survey Area"),  locally owned and operated Blakeney Communications radio stations are consistently among the top-rated and most listened-to radio stations in the Pine Belt.  Our listeners ages 18+ spend over a billion dollars each year in Forrest, Lamar and Jones Counties according to Nielsen Ratings.  Include all 14 counties of the Laurel-Hattiesburg Nielsen TSA or all 22 counties that our strongest signals reach, and our listeners' spending and your potential slice of the "Pine Belt Pie" gets even bigger.


How do I get started?

    Research our website to answer your basic questions.  When you're ready to take the next step, contact us so we can perform a free customer marketing analysis for you.  After answering a series of questions and telling us what you want to accomplish, we can put together a customized game plan for your business.

    This will include recommendations for a radio advertising schedule and ideas for creating an effective, attention-getting commercial.   There's no obligation to buy.

    If you like our game plan and agree on the advertising schedule, we'll develop a creative commercial that effectively tells your story, makes your case for your product or service and grabs the listener's attention.

    The goal is to air a consistent radio advertising schedule that creates "Top of Mind Awareness" (TOMA).  You're renting ears to create a "franchise of the mind" with Pine Belt consumers.


What are the most frequent mistakes advertisers make?

    Not having the right level of commitment and focus. 

    Almost any business can get all the customers they need by "owning the airwaves" of the right radio stations for their business!

     A consistent advertising schedule will create top of mind awareness with Pine Belt consumers and can be very cost-effective compared to other media that are rapidly losing ground and effectiveness when compared to radio.


Throwing in the towel before the advertising can work.

    Advertising is like trying to get in shape.  Getting started is the hardest part, and the rewards for your time and effort are not always immediately apparent in the first month or two. Make a game plan and stay with it all year long.   Consistent, well-targeted radio advertising will create the top of mind awareness needed to grow your business.


I want to build my business.  What do you suggest?

    Meet with one of our advertising professionals to do an in-person marketing analysis interview.  We'll then be able to assess how we can help you.  Assuming that our audience is right for your business, we will develop an appropriate ad campaign and commercial that effectively tells your story and makes the case for your product or service.


What's the best way to advertise?

    Unless you're having a special event that requires a short advertising flight, TOMA (top-of-mind awareness) advertising throughout the year yields the greatest long-term benefits. 

    Reminding a large group of consumers who are most likely to do business with you about your Unique Selling Proposition over and over throughout the year is most beneficial. 

    When any of our listeners need your product, our goal is to have your business in their top-of-mind recall.


How long does it take for advertising to begin working?

    That depends on what you're selling and the offer you're making.  Tell people to visit you for a free $100 bill and you'll have a traffic jam outside your business.  Otherwise, advertising is similar to pushing a car.  It's tough at first, but the more you push, the easier it gets.  Soon enough, you'll have the car moving along with minimum effort.

     We tell our new clients, "In three months, you'll hate me, in six months you'll talk to me again, and in ten months you'll be inviting me to your house for dinner."  Stick with your plan and you'll be provided a healthy return on investment.


What is TOMA?

    TOMA (top-of-mind awareness) advertising yields the greatest long-term benefits.  Not everyone needs your product or service today, so advertising for a month is a crapshoot.  Consistently reminding a large group of consumers, who are also most likely to do business with you, about your UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION, is most beneficial.  When any of our advertisers need your product, our goal is to position your business in their top-of-mind recall.


What should I say in my commercial?

    Ask yourself, "Why would someone do business with me?"  Be specific.  "What truly makes me a better choice than my competitors?"  "What makes us special?"  "What is our Unique Selling Proposition?"  Take a look at your strengths versus your competitor's weaknesses that can result in taking business from them.  Our goal is to grow your business by getting you an unfair share of the market's dollars from your competition.  We want you to have a bigger piece of the Pine Belt pie!

     A marketing analysis with one of our advertising professionals can help us fine-tune your message.


How do I guarantee success?

    Stick to a well-constructed advertising message month after month.  If you deliver your message consistently to the right people, your advertising will yield rewarding results.


I'm a retailer.  What's best for me?

    Do you live and die by sale events, or do you want more consistency for your business?  Sale event advertising can drive customers, but it's the "drug of marketing."  The more sales you have, the more advertising you need.  However, if you want a steady, less fickle customer base, we recommend the safer consistent approach.


I'm not a retailer.  What's best for me?

    Consistency, consistency, consistency!  Whether you're a doctor, lawyer or carpet cleaner, a well-developed commercial stating your unique selling position will keep you in the consumer's mind when the day comes that they need your services.  We firmly believe that the best approach is long-term consistency, with a minimum of 4 ads a day.


I'm having an event.  Should I advertise?

    Heavy advertising works best for event marketing.  We recommend eight to twelve commercials a day for a minimum of three days prior to an event or major sale.


What about television and cable advertising?

    Although a sometimes effective marketing weapon, producing a good commercial that doesn't look cheap can run thousands of dollars, and buying prime time can cost hundreds of dollars for just 30 seconds.  Television advertising that is effective, meaning acceptable frequency and good placement on a popular network or program, can be very costly.

    The latest research studies have shown that 70 to 80 percent of people sitting in front of a TV are actually looking at their smart phone or tablet instead of the television.


What is imagery transfer?

    If you have been running television, use the audio from your TV ad or let us develop similar copy, and benefit from "imagery transfer".  Studies have shown that most consumers (those who were actually watching your commercial instead of their smart phone or tablet) will visually see your TV ad while hearing your radio ad at a fraction of the cost!


What about newspaper advertising?

    Newspaper was great twenty years ago when we had the time to sit and read it every day, but unfortunately, it doesn't play as well in today's digital, mobile and fast-paced world.   Newspaper does not afford you the ability to target your customers, so it tends to be a "Spray and Pray" medium.  Additionally, in many instances, controlling the placement of our ad in the newspaper can be difficult.


What about Yellow Pages?

    We've found that today consumers are likely to search for a business on the internet rather than take the time to look it up in the Yellow Pages.  Like newspapers, the yellow pages is primarily an informational rather than motivational medium. 


What about billboards?

    Billboards are a great way to say "turn here" or "next exit".  However, telling the story of your business benefits in just a few words and a picture is difficult.  It's even more difficult to tell your story in 5 seconds on today's digital LED billboards that rotate lots of advertisers on the same board.

    You'll pay a lot for just one billboard at one intersection in the Pine Belt, but with Pine Belt Radio you can reach consumers in up to 14 counties (up to 22 counties with our most powerful stations) at home, at work   and in the car.


What about other radio stations?

    We're big radio fans because radio is the #1 reach medium.  If there's an audience that we can't provide you, let us know.  We'll provide any contact information you need.


What's a positioning statement?

    All successful marketers use a positioning statement.  A positioning statement separates you from your competitors, and reminds consumers of what makes you special.  You can use your positioning statement in all of your advertising (radio, TV, print).  Just remember to keep it simple (3 to 5 words work best) and be sure it focuses on your unique selling proposition.


What is image advertising?

    When you advertise image, you're establishing TOMA (top-of-mind awareness), and avoiding the "another sale" syndrome.

    Establishing your Unique Selling Proposition with clarity, creativity and consistency is at the heart of image advertising to create "top of mind awareness" or own the "franchise of the mind" for your product category, so to speak.


What is branding?

    Branding is establishing in the consumer's mind your Unique Selling Proposition:  why you are a better choice to the consumer than your competition.  It's helps prospects to understand why they should do business with you rather than your competitors.


How does a buying cycle affect my business?

    We all have needs that create buying cycles.  As a business owner, you want the consumer to think of you when they need your goods or services.  A specific listener may not need an attorney, dishwasher, new sidewalk or retirement plan today.  But what about those who will need these items next month or next year?

    Create your business as a point-of-destination in the mind of the consumer.  When they have forgotten your competitor's ad minutes after they pass it over in print, you'll be there to TELL them your story with consistency, day after day.  That's how you create top of the mind awareness.


What's a radio demographic?

    It's a group or cell of the population who listens to our radio station.  Our goal is to match your targeted demographic (target prospects/customers) to one or more of our radio stations.


What is "reach and frequency"?

    An advertising term that calculates how many people you'll reach with your commercial ("reach") and how often they'll hear your message ("frequency").  Research shows that if most of a radio station's audience hears your ad 3 times, you will make a significant impression that will yield results!


I tried advertising once and it didn't work.  Why would it work this time?

    Experience has shown that if you consistently follow the basic rules of successful advertising, your chances for success improve greatly.  If you choose not to have a good game plan for marketing your business, or if you choose to break the basic rules of advertising, then your chances for success are not good. 

    Our job is to assist you in developing a game plan to keep you focused on your marketing objectives.  That's why we go through a regimented process that includes our marketing analysis, then assembling of an effective ad schedule, and development of great copy for your message.  This process stacks all the odds for success in your favor. 

    Our radio marketing professionals are trained not to be good salespeople, but good marketers.  Suggesting a campaign that does not work is as unacceptable to us as it is to you.


What is Co-op Advertising?

    Co-op advertising is advertising paid partially by you and partially by one of your vendors.  For instance, you may carry a new widget from ACME company.  Acme would pay up to 50% or more of your advertising bill for promoting their products in your ads.  Contact your vendors and ask if you have any co-op dollars available.


What is cause related marketing?

    Cause related marketing is promoting your business through advertising, while at the same time providing support to your favorite non-profit, organization or event.


I don't have a large budget.  What do you suggest?

    First, contact us and set up a meeting with one of our radio marketing professionals.  We can then determine if we can help you.  We'll also tell you if we can't help you.  That's what separates us from many of our competitors.


What is drive time?

    Morning drive is 6 AM to 10 AM and Afternoon Drive is 3 PM to 7 PM.  The other primary radio "dayparts" are midday, 10 AM to 3 PM and evenings 7 PM to midnight.


Should I advertise during nights and weekends?

    It's not always cost effective to anchor your commercials in drive time only.  When our clients buy "TAP" (Total Audience Plan), their commercials run in all dayparts, including drive times.  Attacking a night and weekend audience is a great way to stretch a small advertising budget.  Think we're kidding?  Just think about the large number of potential customers  you could easily influence who work night and weekend shifts in our area, or the potential customers that are running errands on weekends (driving their cars and listening to their favorite radio station!) or have the radio on out by the pool, the grill or their workshop.  Plus, there's less radio advertising during the evening and on weekends, which means your commercial has the potential to be noticed even more than usual.


Is there a charge for an account manager to meet with me?

    Nope!  There is no charge to meet with one of our account managers. 


What is a unique selling proposition?

    A Unique Selling Proposition is some feature or benefit of your product or service that customers and prospective customers can associate with your business.  It can be a part of your "positioning statement" or "slogan" that listeners hear over and over again and associate with your business.

    A Unique Selling Proposition distinguishes you from your competitors, and is yours alone. 


Does it cost money to produce a radio commercial?

    Nope.  We don't charge you extra and we don't build the cost into your commercials.  We believe that good production is crucial to the success of every radio advertising campaign.


Who makes my commercial?

    We can produce your commercial or we can suggest an outside production house. We have some pretty talented voices and audio production pro's on staff, and we also have quick access to professional writers, voice over talent, voice actors and audio production services from around the country who can help us create agency quality radio ads for local Pine Belt businesses!

    Our custom marketing plan advertisers receive agency quality production from our Creative Services Department, and our sales/event/occasional advertisers receive professional production from one of DJ's or announcers.

    Production and talent are free for ads that run on our stations.  If we produce your commercial "in house" and you want to air it on other radio stations in addition to our stations, there is usually no extra charge or talent fee if you are regular, consistent client of Pine Belt Radio month after month and/or a custom marketing plan client.

    Our mission is to create top quality advertising that works for our client's custom marketing plan and creates traffic for your business!

    How?  By listening to our client to find out what your true needs and goals are, then spending the time to craft the right message to make an impression on the mind of the listener.

    We employ the highest quality voice talent and producers to turn words on paper into magic!


How long does it take to get a commercial on the radio?

    Not long at all.  Depending on the ad campaign and your goals, your message could be on the air within 24 to 48 hours.


How do I know which station is right for my business?

    Someone from our sales and marketing staff will sit down with you and find out what you're trying to accomplish and then help you create the best message using the right stations for your target audience.


How much is radio?

    Radio is one of the most affordable advertising platforms in the Pine Belt and gives you more bang for your buck than other media options.  Radio can paint a picture in the listener's mind without expensive video or photo shoots.

    Our focus is always to give you the best options and ideas, and find a way for you to affordably achieve your advertising objectives.


Should I hire an ad agency?

    If your budget it large enough to develop a complete multi-media approach with extensive creativity, there are some talented ad agencies to choose from.  However, for most local businesses, advertising agencies are typically too expensive.


Should I have a jingle?

    If you intend to use electronic media (radio, TV, cable), a jingle can really tie it all together.  If you're willing to invest in a musical image campaign, we'll reward you for your commitment.

    We work with some of the top jingle producers in the country, and we'll be happy to show you how you can have a custom jingle for free.  If you commit to a 12 month custom marketing plan, we'll cover the cost of your custom produced jingle with bonus radio ads, making the net cost of your jingle "zero".


What is a "Custom Marketing Analysis" (Custom Needs Analysis)?

    This is the worksheet used to discover your needs and find out if we can help you achieve your marketing goals.  One of our marketing specialists, will be happy to meet with you one-on-one for a free, no obligation marketing analysis.


What's a "Custom Marketing Plan"?

    This is our marketing recap we provide after you've completed a marketing analysis.  Custom Marketing Plans are free and provide our recommendations on how to best achieve advertising success based exclusively on your goals and needs.


What are your payment terms / credit policies?

    We accept cash, check and most credit cards.  We are also pleased to extend payment terms with approved credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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