If your advertising goal is to elicit a response, you have two choices for buying media. The first is traditional direct response, which involves placing spots on stations at reduced rates without expectations of clearing every spot ordered. There will be a unique phone number or URL on the spot to track the results. The money spent could yield a great response, or none at all. If your secondary goal is brand awareness, the lack of response may not matter as much, as there is still value in reaching a mass audience.
Too risky for you? There is an alternative. Per inquiry, commonly referred to as PI, allows you to pay strictly for the calls you receive. This alleviates the fear of spending money with no response, but does not come without a catch. Not all stations accept such buys, and inventory is limited. Spots run where the station has excess space, which sometimes translates to undesirable programs and time periods. So the secondary goal of reaching a large audience and building a brand can be lost depending on where the spots fall. There is also the potential that spots won’t run at all, so if hitting a certain budget or making goals under any time constraint applies, this might not be the best option.
Strategic DR buying involves high frequency schedules, and without guaranteed placement of your spots, it may be impossible with a PI buy. However, if you are short on budget, want nothing but to generate leads for a certain cost, and are extremely flexible with campaign parameters, PI could be the best solution. If you need help with either, we have partners who do both, and the tools to facilitate any tracked advertising campaign.