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BRADENTON, Fla. — There is a recent U.S. Congressional Report that reveals that the Army National Guard doled out more than $32 million of its marketing and recruiting budget so far this year. Most of it went to NASCAR coverage – TV, radio, cable, etc. And, at best, they only could attribute about 3% of it to getting recruits. A spectacular and costly failure.
Why do ad campaigns fail and what to do about it? Well, this one fundamentally tanked because of poor research. According to the investigative report, about 90% of NASCAR fans are between 35 and 54 years old. Not exactly National Guard possibilities when they are seeking 18-to-24-year olds.
There is no question that research is critical. You must know who your station or show is trying to reach, and, if, in fact, what you are presenting has any chance of reaching them. Independently syndicated programs boast of the number of their affiliates, then cry mightily when that hard-fought-for ad schedule is canceled or not renewed. And individual radio stations face a similar dilemma with their local business accounts that include the added obstacle of having to face their home business community.