(By Marc Greenspan) Can you recite the main benefits of radio advertising without notes? Can you compare and contrast the value of your audience vs. that of other media? Do you know the strengths of each radio station in your market? Or which stations are the best mix to reach the advertiser’s target consumer? If so, then you are a true advocate for the Radio industry.
The Radio industry has been plagued by exaggerated myths of young people who don’t listen to radio, only old, retired people are listening (and spending less time with radio), radio advertising doesn’t work, and now a recent study shows fewer people have an actual AM/FM radio in their home. So how do we respond to all of this?
Know the truth and fight misconceptions with facts! Be an Information Resource for advertisers. Be a Marketing Expert.
- Know national radio facts. What % of the U.S. population is reached by radio each week? Contrast the reach of other media vs. Radio, which demonstrates that radio listening is actually very strong. RAB is a great source for this information.
- Know Radio’s benefits. Reach, frequency, immediacy, closest to point of purchase, passive medium (with you at all times), targetability, ease of message changes, etc.
- Know your local market radio facts. What % of your market listens to radio each week? Look at your ratings service estimates for market totals. The Cume Rating – Market Totals will tell you the % of population that listens to Radio. Research Director, Inc. provides a Radio Buyer’s Guide that includes the most vital stats for you.
- Know your competitors as well as your own stations. How would you describe each station’s typical listener? How many, where they live, age, gender, ethnicity, when they listen and where they listen, education, income, etc. Your ratings service as well as Research Director, Inc.’s Buyers Guide are great sources for this information.
- Know other facts about your market. The Nielsen eBook market info tab provides household information, rent, retail spending, top employers, and much more.
- Use qualitative data to show why your audience is valuable to a particular advertiser. In many cases, this will show the benefit of using radio vs. television, where the heavy viewers are typically older, less educated, and less employed than the heavy radio listeners.
So why is being the Information Resource so valuable?
More than any other time in marketing history, data is king. Companies such as Google and Facebook have built their fortunes on information. They can tell potential advertisers more about who their message is reaching and how to tailor that message to a particular consumer group.
It would be nice to have the data resources that the tech giants possess, but we can still effectively compete in our markets using readily available tools. The key here is that we do not need to be better or more info-savvy than Google; we just need to know enough information about our listeners to convince the advertisers of their value. It just takes a little effort.
Use the list above and learn all the correct facts about Radio. Be prepared to demonstrate the strengths and benefits of Radio … and then talk about why your stations are right to help the advertiser grow their business.
This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online Here.
Marc Greenspan is President and a founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or [email protected].