Gas prices seem to fluctuate quite a bit, leaving consumers at the pump often thinking gas station owners are making a killing. One thing is certain: If the gas station owner is making a lot of money, it’s NOT from gas sales. In fact, many studies show that if a consumer drives to the station, fills up the tank with gas, and pays at the pump with a credit card, the gas station may actually lose money. “What?” you may ask. How is this possible? Well, gas stations and convenience stores actually make their money when the consumer comes into the store and buys coffee, snacks, sodas, pizza and other prepared foods, and auto accessories and products. That’s where the money is. If the customer only buys gas and leaves, the store has failed.
Under-Canopy Music for Gas Stations
So what does this have to do with under-canopy music and audio advertising? Everything. For pretty much the past 50 years, gas stations and convenience stores have played the radio or canned music for its customers — mainly to give the customer something to listen to while they stood by the pump filling their tank. They figured if their station had music and their competitors didn’t, that would give them an advantage. And in most cases it did. But now that nearly all gas station and convenience stores have some form of under-canopy music or audio, it’s really not helping much. In fact, it’s a waste of a valuable marketing opportunity. And in recent years, many marketing-minded gas station owners have concluded there’s a better way. Why not use their existing audio system to play audio advertisements encouraging customers at the pump to come inside the store to buy something — coffee, soda, snacks, pizza, roasted chicken, tacos, gas additives, sunglasses, fishing tackle, suntan lotion. Get the idea?
Gas Stations Experiment With Under-Canopy Music and Audio Ads
Gas stations and convenience stores across the nation have worked hard the past decade to drive customers into the store. They mostly use signage and other point-of-purchase advertising on or near the pump, but more and more have begun to use audio marketing. For most, this consisted of making a playlist and incorporating some generic audio ads promoting things inside the store. There were many companies out there that would handle the music licenses, produce the ads and send the store a tape or CD that would play day in and day out. This was better than not utilizing the audio system, however, it became dull, and often employees or management would turn off the system to get a break from the routine.
Taking On-Site Audio Marketing to a New Level
Gas station owners and marketing professionals understood that if they wanted to fully utilize their audio system, they needed much more flexibility. And, thanks to the internet and streaming audio, audio advertising services can now make custom programming to fit each store’s individual needs. For example; if the gas station is near a ski resort, the programming can include local weather reports and ski conditions. If the store is located in an urban area, the programming could include local news or sports updates. Convenience stores in more rural areas can opt to play country music; whereas stations near colleges or university might opt to play hot adult contemporary. And, of course, you can customize the ads to play when and as often as you want. You can run coffee and donuts ads in the morning; pizza, taco, or lunch special ads in the afternoon; dinner or prepared foods in the late afternoon. You can promote sunglasses and suntan lotion in the summer, and gloves and caps in the winter. Have too many umbrellas, run an telling your customers about them during the rainy season.
Using Under-Canopy Music and Audio Marketing to Encourage Customers to Come Inside the Store and Buy Something
As you can see, it’s all about flexibility and being able to program your under-canopy audio to work the way you need it to. Rather than just entertain your customers with music, now you can encourage them to visit your higher profit centers and influence their buying decisions. And it’s all done seamlessly over the internet. The gas station owner or manager simply lets POP Audio know what to play and promote and we do the rest, from writing ad copy and producing effective broadcast quality commercials to updating your playlists and consulting with you to get the most out of the service.