We put that question to Steve Meyers who was just promoted to Executive Vice President of Digital at Beasley Media. Meyers was with Greater Media since 2012 as Director of Digital Operations. After Beasley purchased Greater Media on November 1, 2016, Meyers moved into the position of Director of Digital Operations for Beasley and was promoted by the company this week. We spoke to Meyers at length yesterday about the future of digital revenue for radio, whether there is real money there and just how savvy your clients are about digital.
Radio Ink: Congratulations on your new position with the company. Tell us exactly what you’ll be doing?
Steve Meyers: I’m incredibly excited with the opportunity in front of us and have already hit the ground running. In short, my role is to oversee our digital products, services and internal processes to ensure the growth and profitability of digital in Beasley. Given Beasley’s recent acquisitions, my near term focus is to unify our digital products, services and go to market strategies across all of our markets to maximize the value of and end user experience with our brands.
Radio Ink: What, in your opinion, is the future of digital for radio? In other words, what do clients really want from radio when it comes to digital?
Steve Meyers: We need to look at that answer from two perspectives: our clients and our audience. Digital augmentation of our existing on air and NTR products and services brings new levels of attribution, relevance and target-ability to radio. Those new capabilities are so important when we have the ROI discussion with our clients. ROI, at the end of the day, is how we are going to be judged verses competitive advertising channels. Incumbent on all of us in radio is the need to show how ROI is enhanced through our brands’ deep relationships with our audience. I believe strongly that when radio brings an integrated solution to the table for a client leveraging on air, NTR and digital, we have a very unique capability that can show a powerful ROI to our clients.
Digital plays a profound role in the future of radio for our audiences. From the digitization of the car radio to smart home devices from Amazon and Google, radio has to ensure that our audiences can interact with our brands when and where they choose. It’s now table stakes to distribute your programming across many different media channels with rock-solid technology. As we look forward, we must find ways to realize the revenue opportunities in these new distribution platforms.
Radio Ink: Is there real digital money for radio out there?
Steve Meyers: Absolutely. The challenge in front of us is to ensure we’re tapping those new sources of revenue. When we speak to small and medium businesses, we have to prove the ROI of an integrated campaign that radio is uniquely qualified to offer. When we speak with larger companies or agencies, are we speaking with the “radio buyer”, or are we able to prove to their digital team that our unique value proposition will have a greater ROI than just blasting out millions of display impressions? There’s new money out there and not all of it needs to go to Facebook and Google.
Radio Ink: Do you get the impression that all clients are now savvy about digital?
Steve Meyers: All clients have heard of Google and most have a basic understanding of how their customers find their products and services. However, many are not educated on the breadth and depth of digital advertising opportunities available to them, nor are they able to determine the best mix of services to achieve their marketing objective. We have a tremendous opportunity to become the trusted advisor for our clients’ marketing initiatives. I believe proving ROI is critical to those discussions.
Radio Ink: Do you believe the radio industry is competing for digital dollars as much as they should be or can be?
Steve Meyers: Over the last 5 years, I’ve seen such an improvement in radio’s investment in digital on both the programming and sales sides of the house. There has been an influx of digital talent from outside the industry, new technologies and services, sales training, etc. Even with all of that, I still see marketing pieces put out that promotes radio over digital, as if it’s an “us vs. them” market. I believe if we embrace digital as an augmentation to all of the unique value and brands radio brings to the market, new doors will open to us giving us access to dollars we may not (or no longer) have access to.