Pat Bryson: Let's Put Advertising in Perspective

    • 1490 posts
    December 8, 2021 2:38 PM PST

    Let's Put Advertising in Perspective: What CAN advertising do for businesses?


    by Pat Bryson


    In their heart of hearts, businesspeople want to run an ad today and have teeming multitudes run into their store tomorrow screaming out our call letters. Since they all start with "K" or "W" in the US at least, customers will find it confusing at best to attribute their arrival to ads heard on our stations. Also, it's not their job to help businesses know how their advertising is working. Customers want to get their needs met in the most expeditious way and go on with their lives.


    Measuring traffic flow is the best way to know if advertising is working. Over time, traffic should increase if advertising is effective. Note, I didn't say "sales". Once a potential customer crosses the threshold, it's up to the business to sell them. Often, we get an interested potential customer into the store, but the "friendly, knowledgeable personnel" fail to sell them.


    Most advertising is designed to work over time. Why? Because on any given day, the national average for people who are "hot" consumers (those who are planning on buying TODAY) is only 2%. "Warm" consumers (those who are thinking about buying and developing their criteria for a purchase) make up only 8%. That means that statistically, 90% of the population is "cold". They are NOT planning on buying today and aren't even thinking about it.


    Our clients seem to think that every time one of their ads airs, everyone within their trade area is wanting to buy what they are selling. Not so.


    The main objective of advertising should be to predispose the 90% and the 8% to buying from our clients when they have the need. And no one, not us nor our clients can determine exactly when that need will arise. Advertising's job is to make sure that customers will at least go into our clients' stores or call them, or go online to their websites and give them a chance to serve them. Otherwise, if our clients' names are not in the customer's mental file drawer, they will never see that person. The customer will end up in one of the national chains that does have space in their file drawer.


    As we are in the sales process, we need to explain to our prospects how advertising works. The 2%, 8% and 90% also explain why advertising should be consistent and long-term. As advertising professionals, it's up to us to craft campaigns that will work. Higher revenue awaits for our clients and for us.



    Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe, Central Asia and Australia. She has been named one of Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women in Radio for 2018 and 2019.


    Pat publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly and is the author of A Road Map To Success In High-Dollar Broadcast Sales and Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change.


    You may contact Pat at or visit her website at
    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at December 8, 2021 2:40 PM PST

    • 132 posts
    January 7, 2022 6:28 AM PST

    What a superb article. I have a roofer on an annual contract saying my phone is not ringing. I have tried to impress upon him the best thing I can do for him is make my listeners think of him first when they need a roofer and I stress I cannot control when they will need a roofer. I never had some figures to throw his way. Now I do.  Thank you.