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Radio Advertising Can Benefit Your Business, An Interview With Jill Albert, President and Founder of Direct Results

Nathalie Virem, interviews Jill Albert “Top Women in Sales and Marketing” on the future of radio advertising

Image courtesy of Direct Results

Direct Results ensures the strongest return on the advertiser’s investment. With more than 495 successful campaigns generating sales that exceed$11.3 billion, the depth of experience in engagement marketing, promotions, audience analysis and market segmentation serves as a critical addition to a company’s growth.

Nathalie Virem: Tell us more about Direct Results Radio and your journey as an entrepreneur.

Jill Albert: I was passionate about radio and about the connection that people had with their favorite radio station and how to leverage that connection to influence consumers. I knew that radio stations had a lot of unsold inventory, so if I could aggregate that unsold inventory of thousands of radio stations, I could put it into an attractive format and show advertiser how they could reach out to consumers more effectively and efficiently on radio using a very strong ROI model and help them gain new customers.

It was just an idea that I started twelve years ago. It was all about helping advertisers be more successful. Today we have two main offices and four satellite offices. We have 33 employees and an annual billing of about $60,000,000 in direct radio.

Nathalie Virem: As a response driven agency that specializes in radio, has Direct Results consider expanding into live streaming video content?

Jill Albert: Our business is all about generating the best ROI for our advertisers. While we were founded in audio, we do work in other media. At the same time, we want to be considered  the absolute best, most effective agency that specializes in audio. Nobody can compete with us in terms of ROI for audio, which is radio network podcast. We are streaming satellite. For live streaming video, we will bring in a best of class agency partner that'll specialize in that as we don't feel like we're the best at that. Currently, while the core of our business and expertise is audio, we also place some television and some out of home for our long-term clients that have asked us to manage those pieces of their business.

Nathalie Virem: How does Direct Results use marketing (campaigns) to get sales for its clients?

Jill Albert: We measure the ROI on every dollar spent. The first thing we do is talk with our advertisers about what they're trying to accomplish. What does success look like to them? Are they looking for a cost per new customer engagement? Are they looking for a cost per sale? Are they looking to increase their awareness? We identify those metrics, and then we measure the ROI on everything. One of the big advantages of Direct Results is our enormous database, and that database measures every category and every campaign. Therefore, when we go to place a new campaign, for instance, let's say it's financial or let's say it is health and beauty, our system will query all the radio stations and all the programs that we've ever done for that category.

It'll show us exactly what cost per customer we acquired. For instance: we’ve spent $100 and for that hundred dollars we got three new customers at this cost per customer. It shows us exactly what program as a radio show or a network show helped us to achieve that and at what cost per program. Sometimes it deals with going to a website, sometimes it’s a telephone number. Sometimes it's other metrics, but everything is measured with great detail.

Nathalie Virem: In your opinion, what are the pillars of the mindset it takes to generate wealth?

Image courtesy of Nathalie Virem

Jill Albert: We don't believe in setting wealth-related goals.  Our goals have to do with passion. For us, our goals are to achieve growth, success, education and best outcomes for our clients and for our employees. It’s really important to us that our clients are experiencing the  success that they hoped for as identified by their metrics and we want the exact same thing for our employees. If we're successful for our clients and our employees, we are happy. If we are not, then we fail. We are very clear on making sure that both our clients and our employees identify what success looks like to them and then we put together a game plan of how they can get where they want to go. And by implementing that plan we ensure the best outcome for everybody. So that's what it's all about for us. A lot of it is about collaboration. I think it's important to identify what success means to each person, because success to me might be making you happy and success to you might be getting out of the office by 4:00 or whatever the case is. It’s about identifying what success looks like.

Nathalie Virem: How can companies create a healthy intersection between purpose and profit?

Jill Albert: That’s coming up with the plan. If you have a plan and you have true passion and honest core values, then you can move in the direction that is going to look like success to you. For our employees, we do a review three times a year. What do they want? How do they want to get there? In what steps and what timeframe? And then for our clients, we do all of that evaluation at the beginning. Then each week we check in with them to see how we're doing. Is there something new that's going on with their competitors that we need to pivot? We believe that in our business we need to be spending 10 to 15 percent of our investments in testing and learning so that we're not ever getting complacent. We're always exploring new opportunities. For our business, it's all about engagement, so when people are engaged with music or entertainment, so concerts or singing along to the radio or listening to their favorite sportscaster or listening to Rush Limbaugh, they're leaning in and they're interested. When they're engaged and they're happy, they receive messages more effectively.

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Jill Albert, President/Founder of Direct Results - Jill is a recognized leader and innovator in radio marketing. She has launched products with as little as $30k and through meticulous planning, creative execution and implementation, created household names. Jill has developed and implemented almost a half a billion dollars in successful, response driven campaigns. Clients include Toyota, AAA, Hershey, EarthLink, Cigna, 20th Century Fox, USC, UCLA and many others. In 2009, she developed a groundbreaking ROI based analytics system which raised industry standards for direct response advertisers. Jill has twice been recognized as a “Top Women in Sales and Marketing” by the  American Women in Radio and Television organization and has numerous awards for media innovation as well as Client recognition for her contributions to their business growth.

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