Question: Is the era of radio station bumper stickers obsolete? Answer: Yes. And No.
Whether your station has bumper stickers, window clings, magnets or window hangers, most likely only a very few of them are actually making it to the primary intended place: a vehicle. Honestly most people no longer want to attach anything to their car that is permanent, or that could hurt the paint, devalue the car, or create a cheesy look. Magnets can actually create discolored areas on painted areas of a car, and window clings can be basically ineffective with most vehicles having their rear windows tinted these days. Our vehicles are a large investment, and asking someone to attach something to it, needs to benefit them as well as the station.
Chances are your station is investing good money in these as a marketing tool, and if you are simply putting them on your table at a concert or event, you are not getting your ROI. Do you need stickers, window clings, etc? Yes. Most people want one, and will take one, but honestly what happens to the majority of them? One thing is for sure, most of them are not making it on a listener’s vehicle. Some of them will with your P1’s, but again: most of them won’t.
So how can we change that? With intention.
A VIP Club: Have the listener send you a photo with your station’s sticker on their car to be a part of a exclusive VIP club in which they are eligible to win special prizes etc. One of the main things with this is, that the VIP club has got to be managed, and the prizes have got to be worth something more than a CD here and there.
Coupons on the back of the sticker: This is both good and bad, in the way that you can partner with a local business (Ice cream shop, Chick Fil A, etc) to provide a free ice cream cone each time the coupon on the back of the sticker is redeemed.
The positive with partnering with a business is that the business partner can cover the cost of the sticker printing as part of promotional partnership. There are both positives and negatives with this concept, so allow me to explain how to overcome the negatives. A negative is that the coupon on the back of the sticker can actually become more valuable to some people, over the sticker itself. One way to overcome that is to make the business partner even more invested in the promotion. Here’s how: to redeem the coupon, you can include that fact that to redeem the coupon with the business, that upon redemption, the customer must also show a picture (on their phone) of the sticker on their car. (This requires a greater level of commitment with your promotional partner, but you can make it more worth their while, by adding in additional mentions or radio spots for the promotional partner on the air.)
Sticker Stops can be great, if they are promoted correctly. Instead of stopping by and simply picking up a sticker, which has little value to the listener, you could promote the sticker stop with an instant reward for adding a sticker to their car on the spot. When a listener stops by and immediately adds a sticker to their car, they win a nice prize right then and there. Again, this could be something provided by a promotional business partner. (It could easily be tied in to the Coupon promotion, by having the Sticker Stop at the location of the promotional partner (Ice Cream Shop, Chick Fil A, etc.)
If you are in a medium or large market, a Spot The Sticker campaign is a great way to get your brand on cars. At least one day a week, have a promotional person hit the streets in the station van looking for cars that have your brand on their car. When they find one, make sure that the driver is rewarded with a nice prize. A good way to make this into a larger than life promotion, is to call in to the studio and put the winner on the air. Again, the prizes in this promotion are important, because you need to make the promotion truly something that people want to be a part of. A CD just won’t cut it here. This needs to be some really decent prizes. Some items that people don’t want to miss out on: Concert tickets, Artist Meet & Greets, In-Studio visit when an artist is doing an on air interview, or something really good from a promotional business partner: Movie Tickets, Dinner at a nice restaurant, etc.
Maybe your station has a great way of getting listeners to add your brand to their car. If so, great! If not, then there are still ways to approach this. With Intention!
Goodwin is a veteran of the Christian music and radio industry, having served previously with organizations like EMF Broadcasting (K-LOVE and Air 1 Radio), WAY-FM Radio, and a few others.
You can reach out to him @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-913-2672