If you haven't realized by now that you can use radio to drive listeners to your station's website or your advertiser's website, then you've probably just wakened from a 5-year sleep. I have seen few new revenue ideas or NTR or promotions whatever you want to call them that actually work for the advertiser, sponsors, and listeners of the radio station. This one (in this case, a car dealer in Canada) works for all parties. It accomplished new revenue for the station, captivated new prospects for the dealership, and branded the business in the minds of the consumer/listener. Think Marketing in Kelowna, British Columbia, developed the program for Harmony Honda. The radio station was SILK-FM in Kelowna, and the website was SILK's own: Castanet.The website generates about 60,000 hits per day in a market of about 130,000 people, including adjacent cites. The 60,000 hits are an anomaly for a market that size, but that is another story.
ELEMENT #1: The plan started with on-air promotion, driving listeners to the Castanet homepage, where a 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 feature has an image of a 2006 Honda Civic and Road Test link on the banner.
ELEMENT #2: Listeners click on the banner promo and arrive at a page that describes the promotion with participating sponsors, from whom listeners can pick up a 2 x 3 replica of a British Columbia license plate having three letters and three numbers. Listeners are instructed to pick up the miniature license plates at the 10 sponsors that appearon the bottom of the promotion's introduction page. The radio station sold these sponsorships, and the revenue justified the heavy promotional activity with recorded and live mentions. This revenue is generated through use of promotional inventory only. All sponsors have prominent POS materials inside their stores with details of the promotion and the license plates. The dealership also has car toppers about the Honda Civic to be given away.
ELEMENT #3: Listeners take the license plate back to their computers, go to Castanet.net, click on the banner, and enter the license-plate number. After entering registration information, they are ready to take their Road Test. They can get additional kilometers if they get three friends to enter the Road Test, too a good source for referrals. Once listeners log in, they are ready to play, and they are interactive.
ELEMENT #4: The listener-player is instructed about a trivia game that offers three options: one on Honda, with questions about the dealership and Honda, and two other options that feature questions about the sponsors. Each correct answer garners the player 150 kilometers. They can play only one time per day. If they answer incorrectly, they lose 150 kilometers that day. There are three gears, or levels of difficulty. If they answer correctly the first time, they can answer one more question for bonus kilometers. Each level of difficulty can earn 10, 20, or 30 bonus kilometers if properly answered.
ELEMENT #5: The 10 players with the most kilometers at the end of the promotion are notified by e-mail to attend an event at the car dealer on the final day of the contest. During the station's live appearance on that Saturday, each listener gets one key that could start the ignition on the new Honda Civic.
RESULT: The radio station gets true NTR dollars through its website. The dealership captures e-mail addresses, so salespeople can follow up with Road Test players; and the dealership now has an e-mail database as well as new traffic during the promotion. The Kelowna promotion had up to 5,000 players per day. The dealership owned the radio-station airwaves and also created frequent/daily gross impressions. The sponsors generated their own additional traffic, website and radio promotional coverage. Many national brands are going interactive with contests that couple information about their products. There is no better combination of Air Force (traditional media) and Ground Force (Internet) if you have your property's website prepared to generate revenue through contests such as this one.