Frequently Asked Questions: Radio Advertising



1. Should I advertise?

If you need to ward off increased competition or generate additional customers or clients, then advertising is a necessity. Because you can't yell loud enough to let all of Thunder Bay hear why they should do business with you, you need to select an advertising platform (radio, television, print, etc.).

When you advertise, you are buying an audience. We provide a large targeted audience so your advertising dollars are not wasted reaching people who are unlikely to do business with you, while focusing on those who will.

2. Is radio right for me?

If people who do business with you listen to radio, then radio is an option to explore...and 96% of us listen to radio every week according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Radio can:

  • Expand your market reach
  • Target your best prospects
  • Generate sufficient message frequency
  • Reach mobile consumers
  • Motivate people to shop
  • Establish a relationship with customers
  • Break through competitive clutter
  • Make a lasting impression
  • Maximize advertising investment

If radio were invented today it would be all the marketing rage. Why? Because we live in an on-the-go society, and unlike newspaper or television, radio is with us everywhere; in the car, in the office, and in the house. Radio's mobility, intrusiveness and target ability makes it a cost-effective marketing platform for nearly any type of business.

3. How do I get started?

Research our Website to answer your basic questions. Then, Contact Us and we will contact you with a custom marketing proposal based on your business goals and needs and design an appropriate advertising program for your business.

4. How much does advertising cost?

That depends how much of an impact you want to make and how much competition you have. Though you can purchase an occasional special advertising promotion, our most effective advertisers invest at least $800 to several thousands of dollars per month. Finding the budget you're comfortable with while providing a sufficient return on investment can be developed through a Business Profile Analysis. Take the first step and contact us.

5. What are the most frequent mistakes advertisers make?

  1. Quitting before the advertising can work. Advertising is like trying to get in shape. The beginning is the hardest part and the benefits truly begin when you think you've given your all. In order to get your desired body shape when working out, you must earn it by sticking to your plan. Successful advertising is no different.
  2. Not filling up one cup before moving to the next. Many business owners think they need to do a little of everything instead of doing one thing well. It's been said, "I throw my advertising dollars against the wall and hope some of it sticks." Almost any business can get all the customers they need by simply attacking and owning a radio stations' audience.

6. I want to build my business, what do you suggest?

Be honest with your expectations and the investment you're willing to make. Contact Us, and we will do an in-person Business Profile Analysis.  We can then provide you a custom marketing plan that matches your goals and targeted demographics.


7. What's the best way to advertise?

Unless you're having a special event, Branding advertising yields the greatest long-term benefits. Not everyone needs your products or services today, so advertising for a month or two is a gamble. Reminding a large group of consumers who are most likely to do business with you about your unique selling position over and over is most beneficial. When any of our listeners need your product, our goal is to have your business in their top-of-mind recall.

8. How long does it take for advertising to begin working?

This depends on what you are selling and the offer you're making. Tell people to visit you for a free $50.00 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 can move the car along with minimum effort. We tell our Branding clients, "In three months you'll hate me, in six months you'll talk to me and in twelve months you'll be inviting me to your house for dinner." Stick with your plan and you'll be provided a healthy return on your investment.

9. What is Branding?

Branding advertising yields the greatest long-term benefits. Not everyone needs your products or services today, so advertising for a month or two or even just six is a gamble. Reminding a large group of consumers, who are most likely to do business with you, about your unique selling position over and over is most beneficial. When any of our listeners need your product, our goal is to position your business in their top of mind recall. The ultimate goal of a branding campaign is to win the hearts and minds of customers before they're in the market for your product. A successful branding campaign will put your business into the mind of your customer first when she needs what you sell, and be the company they feel best about when that need arises.

10. Who makes my commercial?

We can produce your commercial, or you can use outside production house. Standard Production is free for all our advertisers. Our goal is to always create top quality advertising that gets results for our clients. How?

  • By Listening to the client to find out what their true needs and goals are.
  • Spending the time required to develop the right message to serve the client's needs.
  • Crafting creative ads that will make an impression in the mind of the listener. Employing the highest quality voice talent and producers to turn words on paper into magic!

Our company is very aware that better tools make a better product. Magic 99.9 /Country 105.3 is outfitted with state-of-the-art production facilities that rival most major market radio stations or agencies. Is this overkill? We don't think so. Our clients deserve the best that we can give them, and it shows in our product.

11. What should I say in my commercial?

Ask yourself, "Why should 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 position?" 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 your unfair share of the market's dollars from your competition.  Contact Us and we can get started on crafting your message for our audience.

12. How much is commercial production?

At Magic 99.9/Country 105.3, both writing your ad and producing it are included in the cost of your advertising. We provide standard announcer voiceover production for all advertisers. We have association with our other stations in Canada to provide wider selection of quality voiceovers. Please contact us for more information.

13. How can I guarantee success?

After ensuring your business is in fine operating order, stick to a well-constructed advertising message month after month. If you deliver the right message consistently, your advertising will yield rewarding results.

14. I'm a small business with a small budget - can I still advertise effectively?

The minimum recommended spending is $800.00 per month. That would perhaps get you one newspaper ad, but we can strategically pick several days a week over each month that will help you grow to the next level.  Contact us so we can suggest a plan of attack.

15. I'm a retailer, what's best for me?

Do you live and die by sales events or do you want more consistency for your business? Sales event advertising can drive customers, but it's the "cocaine of marketing." The more sales you have, the more advertising you need. However, if you want a steady, non-fickle customer base, we recommend the safer Branding approach, the key to getting a measurable Return on Investment (ROI) with your advertising dollars.

16. I'm NOT a retailer, what's best for me?

Consistency, consistency, consistency. Whether you're a plumber, lawyer, carpet cleaner or florist, a well-developed campaign that tells your unique and wonderful story will keep you in the consumers mind when the day they need your services arrives.

17. I'm having an event, how should I advertise?

Heavy. We recommend ten to twenty commercials a day for a minimum of three days prior to an event or major sale.

18.What about television advertising?

We've used it, but getting a good commercial that doesn't look cheap may run thousands of dollars, and buying prime time can cost hundreds of dollars for just thirty-seconds. Effective television advertising can get costly.

Imagery Transfer: If you have been running on television, use the audio from your TV ad or let us develop a similar copy, and benefit from "imagery transfer." Seventy-two percent of consumers will visually see your TV ad while hearing your radio ad at a fraction of the cost.

19. What about newspaper advertising?

Newspaper can be a solid choice. Many new advertisers and advertising agencies utilize newspaper often because it's easy to write ad copy. But, circulation is down, ad space prices can be unreasonably high, and noting scores are less than impressive. Newspaper was great twenty years ago when we had time to sit and read it everyday. But we're too "on the go" now. In a market the size of ours, newspaper can't always target your customers best.

20. What about yellow pages?

Sixty-two percent* of consumers say they would be more likely to call a business with a smaller ad they'd heard of (from radio perhaps?) than an unknown business with a larger yellow page ad. Place your business's name in the consumers' sub-conscious prior to opening the yellow pages. Radio can prime your prospects with your unique selling position(s) prior to ever going to the yellow pages, giving you the best shot to receive their phone call. *TOMA Research

21. What about internet advertising?

Internet advertising is an excellent additional medium to purchase together with radio. We offer banner ad placement, feature sponsorships, steaming audio and video advertising and other internet options on our station websites.  Contact us for more details.

22. What about billboards?

They're a great way to say, "turn here," or "next exit." However, telling the story of your business's benefits in just a few words and a picture is difficult.

A high-profile billboard can add a splash if you have the budget and are already effectively TELLING your story on radio or television.

23. What about other radio stations?

We're big radio fans because of its target ability. If there's an audience that we can't provide you, let us know. We'll provide any contact information you need.

24. Should I hire an advertising agency?

If your budget is sufficient to develop a complete multi-media approach with extensive creative, there are some talented advertising agencies to choose from. Our Marketing Consultants and Creative Services team are well trained to develop effective and targeted marketing campaigns customized to your business needs and goals.

25. Should I have a jingle?

If you intend on using electronic media (radio, cable, TV), a jingle can sometimes really tie it all together. If you're willing to invest in a music image campaign, we'll reward your commitment. Have one produced and  become a 52 week advertiser.

26. What's a positioning statement?

All major companies use positioning statements. It's a necessity. You can use your positioning statement in all your advertising (radio, print, TV). Just try to keep it 3-5 words and be sure it hits on your unique selling position.

27. What is image advertising?

When you advertise image, you're establishing TOMA (top-of-mind-awareness), and avoiding the "I've got to have a sale" syndrome. Establishing your unique selling position(s) with clarity, creativity and consistency is at the heart of image advertising.

28. 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 a lawyer, dishwasher, plumber, or retirement plan today. But, what about those who 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 about your competitor's ad minutes after they pass over it in print, you'll be there to TELL them your story; with consistency, day after day. That's how you create top-of -mind-awareness and that's how to fight through a consumers buying cycle.

29. Should I do an on-location broadcast?

Remotes are great for grabbing attention for a major event or sale. Our radio station provides talent, engineering and great visibility if you think a remote is right for you. In most cases, weekend remotes are booked a month, or more, in advance. So contact us to check on available dates and times.

30. What are BBM ratings ?(Bureau of Broadcast Measurement)

BBM is an information source for establishing "quantitative" listening patterns (audience sizes). BBM is a recall-based paper survey done once a year in the Thunder Bay market. BBM data provide estimates of how many people listen to a radio station, how long they listen, when they are listening and some basic demographic information about that listener.

31. What is RTS research?

Where BBM provides "quantitative" information, RTS provides "qualitative" data (lifestyles). By studying RTS, we can get a snapshot of who buys your product, as well as who listens to our radio stations. Then you can cross reference that data to learn all about their shopping habits, likes, dislikes, hobbies and buying patterns. It's a great research tool. Ask us and we'll research RTS's database for information that interests and benefits you. RTS information is gathered bi-annually via booklets that are filled with lifestyle questions. Consumers fill out their questionnaire, mail it back, and we receive the data through BBM.

32. What is reach and frequency?

An advertising term that calculates how many people you'll touch with your commercial (reach) and how often they'll hear that message (frequency). Research shows if you can reach two-thirds of a radio stations audience 3.5 times each in a minimum seven day period; your ad will break through and be heard. Contact us, and we'll provide you the number of ads needed to achieve exceptional reach and frequency.

33. How and who do I contact for more advertising information?

Start with our Sales Supervisor, Agata Doucette.  He will ask a few questions and put you in contact with an Marketing Consultant best suited to meet your expectations.  Call (807) 344-2000 or email /

34. What's a "Custom Business Profile 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 experienced professional Marketing Consultants can meet with you one-on-one for a free, no obligation Business Profile Analysis.  Contact Us and we can get started on your specific marketing plan of attack.

35. What's a "Custom Marketing Plan?"

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

36. What are your payment terms/credit policies?

We accept cash, debit, cheque, Visa and MasterCard. We are also pleased to extend net 30-day payment terms with approved credit after one month of pre-payment for first time advertisers.

37. Do I have to sign a contract?

Signing off on your approval to run an advertising campaign is standard procedure. It protects you with a rate and inventory guarantee and provides written permission and consent for us to promote your business.

38. I tried radio once and it didn't work, why would it work this time?

Because we go through a very in-depth process including a Business Profile Analysis and a custom marketing plan. This process puts all the odds for success in your favour. Our Marketing Consultants are trained not to be good salespeople, but intelligent marketers. Suggesting a campaign that does not work is as unacceptable to us as it is to you.  Get Started Now!

39. What is co-op advertising?

It's advertising paid partially by you and partially by one of your vendors. For instance, you may carry a new widget from ABC Company. ABC might pay up to 50% or more of your advertising bill for sharing time in your ads. Contact your vendors and ask if you have co-op dollars available.

40. I don't have a large budget, what do you suggest?

Simply contact us and one of our Marketing Consultants will get back to you right away. We can then suggest if you should buy the occasional special program we offer, a Sponsorship feature or if you can afford to invest in a branding campaign.

41. What is drive time?

Generally speaking, Morning drive is 6am to 10am, and afternoon drive is 3pm to 7pm. The other primary radio "day-parts" are mid-day, 10am - 3pm and evenings 7pm to midnight. Though drive-time rates are available, the most cost-effective rates are TAP (Total Audience Plan); where your commercial is heard equally in all four primary day-parts, including drive times.

42. Should I advertise during nights and weekends?

It's not cost effective to "anchor" your commercials in drive time only. When our clients buy "TAP" (Total Audience Plan), their commercials run equally in all day-parts; including drive times.

Attacking a night and weekend audience is a great way to stretch a small advertising budget. Think we're kidding? Think of the hundreds of possible customers you could easily influence who work night and weekend shifts at hospitals and light industrial plants in our area and the hundreds who are running errands on the weekends and imagine all those car radios turned on late at night. Plus, there's less advertising in the evening and weekends, which means your commercial will be noticed even more than usual. Interested in developing a night or weekend exclusive campaign? Let us know. We'll be happy to show you how.

43. Is there a charge for an Marketing Consultant from your Stations to meet me for a Business Profile analysis?


44. What is a "Unique Selling proposition"?

These are the primary reasons why you are truly a better choice to the consumer than your competition. The one or two things that you're most proud of about your business, "your Sword in the Stone" so to speak. Our Advertising and Creative Consultants will work closely with you to help you uncover the story that is uniquely and wonderfully yours ... and yours alone.