Yes, I Can Prove Radio Works for Advertisers

The norm in radio is to pitch 30’s or 60’s at faceless listeners with largely unmeasurable results.

“Did it work?” is rarely the question since most radio sales operations don’t care to know (and neither do many agencies).

But “most” certainly does not mean “all.”

And in this age of rampant accountability – an era when return-on-investment is a readily available metric as close as a Google Adword, some broadcasters are offering up something to advertisers that they’re not accustomed to seeing from radio:


Proof that their radio buy works.

Lurking in the sales pit at Clear Channel Los Angeles is a skunk-works team organized by Dan Granger.

Dan is an account exec who has taken the responsibility for radio’s advertising success into his own hands.  And in so doing, he is transforming the relationship his direct clients have with radio.

The toolbox Dan is using is not necessarily new, and his approach is not necessarily novel.  But it remains all too rare in the radio industry today.

So far.

So listen to this conversation with Dan and discover what Dan does and why his clients swear by it.

This is must-listening for the radio sellers and their managers and leaders in my audience.

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All credit to Clear Channel for making Dan’s work possible.

And share your own stories of how you have demonstrated “results” for your clients.

Listen to our entire interview here – or subscribe to all the Mark Ramsey Media podcasts at iTunes.

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  • Andy McNabb

    Advertisers don't get up in the morning saying “I want to buy advertising”, they say “I want results”. Dan Granger is a hero.

    At our station, we can measure advertiser results to the penny and literally guarantee the results. Whereas newspaper and other stations flog readership and ratings, we're the only ones selling a documented result. No one else can compete with that.

    Andy McNabb
    McNabb Broadcasting/FM 90.5 Peterborough

  • Sandy Davis

    Hi Mark…

    Great interview! The future is here, and if radio is to survive and not go the way of declining Newspaper and Yellow page market share, it’s time to go beyond “here’s 20 spots and we’ll bonus you ten more if…”.

    The lack of response is in my view caused by the fear of change, not understanding the “new media” opportunities and the knowledge required to develop them, and not yet seeing the vision & value that Dan is talking about in marketing to his clients.

    You might call it old school, but right now there are many radio stations that still believe that advertisers are waiting by the phone, hoping that their radio rep will call them with another special package….

    Sandy Davis
    ComStar Network

  • Thanks for the comments, Sandy!

  • I think the lack of response to this thread is telling, Andy, don't you?

  • Greg Lawrence

    Loved his comment about working with only local direct businesses. Agencies only care about efficiencies on a Tapscan report. Good account executives care about results for their clients. This is great information!

  • DGranger Fan.

    I just want to add a basic case study/testimonial. Thank you Dan Granger! You have done an outstanding job helping our company go national, your system of metrics has been absolutely key in determining the “When's and Hows” and I am amazed that we have gone from a local company, to a regional and of course on to the largest radio programs in the country in this short amount of time. Hands down your programs have created the cheapest cost per quality lead. Do to the competitive nature of the business I will leave it at. -Vice President, Operations

  • Thanks Greg!

  • Jen

    I'm very curious how you “can measure advertiser results to the penny and literally guarantee the results.” Are you willing to share your techniques?

  • Jen

    My BIG problem with what Dan says here is that, in reality, what his system tests is actually the OFFER, not the medium/radio. The result of the campaign is directly connected to the offer, if the client doesn't have a 'good' offer, then it doesn't matter how it's tracked.
    My other issue, is that it sounds like he's using resources and techniques – 800 numbers, for example – that most medium and small markets do not have access to….and that he's using those to sell discounts and coupons.
    In small to medium sized markets, I believe that radio's strength is in it's ability to build value, at full price, for my clients' services and products. Coupons only devalue the product and train the listeners to wait for a sale and assume that the 'real' prices are too high. If a client has a product or service that truly is all that great, then I rather do a big promo once, and give away the product or service for the day, building value.

  • Dan, can you answer?

    I have some answers, but it's better for Jen to get it from the source.

    (For one thing, Jen, the OFFER IS the medium and the medium is the offer. It is in your interest and your client's interest to tweak the offer with feedback. If the “medium” “doesn't work,” then it's all about the offer no matter how you look at it.


  • Dan

    Hi Jen,

    What is an ad if not an offer? An offer, as I define it, is more about the positioning and value proposition of the product or service than just a coupon or discount alone. Discounts are fine, but definitely can train a listener to “wait for the sale” as you say. So we encourage our clients to use offers that they are willing to stand by for years and rarely say anything that is time sensitive. The fact is, people will continue to say, “Radio doesn’t work” and blame the medium because of the negligence of the person managing the campaign, including the offer, the tracking, and the optimization. A tracking phone number provides one symptom of the results, while there are several other mechanisms that can be utilized. Not the least of which is a measurement of lift in product sales, which we can all agree must be our ultimate goal for our clients.

    Regarding access to 800 numbers in small and medium sized markets, I’d like to recommend that you check out a company we use, and have also been successful in bringing on as clients: http://www.RingCentral.com Simply click the “heard our ads” button on the home page and type promo code: “KFI”. You can start using your own toll free tracking number instantly for your clients starting at $10 per month.

    Thanks for the feedback!