IT’S YOUR FIRST DAY ON THE AIR. COME IN OFF THE LEDGE.
Don’t panic. Don’t jump. Don’t freak out because the phones aren’t ringing, because your website didn’t blow up or that your friends haven’t stopped to tell you how great your commercial sounds.
It’s your first day on the air. Here’s what happened.
A whole lot of people heard your name for the very first time. If we’re lucky, they also heard something of value to them and then married that positive impression to your name. We’ll need that for later.
A handful of people actually heard your name for the very first and second time. That’s good. They’re one step closer to making a buying decision, if they hear your ad a few more times and the message still resonates.
But, most people we’re targeting haven’t heard your name at all. The sun rose and fell and your name is still as foreign to them as a random listing from the Moscow phone book. These things take time. And, after all, this is Day One.
What you’re feeling (anxiety, remorse, I’m sure you have some other names for it) is perfectly natural. And it’s precisely what just-about-every-first-time advertiser experienced the day their campaign launched, spraying hard-earned dollars into the stratosphere with nary an inquiry or sale to show for it.
Avoid the urge to micro-manage. Avoid the temptation to second guess. And avoid the urge to call the whole thing off because you stuck your pinky toe into a cool swimming pool. Things are happening precisely the way they’re supposed to unfold.
You’re laying the foundation for new revenue. You’re building brand, one lonely radio commercial at a time. At best, you’ve made the first of four, six or more impressions you’ll need to close the sale. Think of it as a first date. Your prospective customers are just getting to know you. This is not the time to shop for an engagement ring.
Today will not be the day you retire from the spoils of the first day your wildly successful radio campaign. That’s not how it works. Radio is a frequency medium. It takes repetition and patience. You actually know this, but forgot it while you were watching a phone that didn’t ring or the slower-than-desired visitor count register at your website.
Take a deep breath. Let’s talk about this next week, after the world has heard your name a few times. Then let’s talk in another week, when we can compare Week One results and Week Two results to your pre-campaign baseline. If there’s a problem, we’ll know it and we’ll take action. Today, we’re just living a lesson in advertising Zen and trusting that this is the way of all things advertising. Because it is. And you’ll be fine. Now come in off the ledge and get back to work. Things will get busy soon enough.
Written by Mark Lipsky