Don’t “Tune Out” Radio from Marketing
In the digital era we live in, marketers understandably focus on everything from websites to social media posts to make the presence of the brands they represent known. As a result, they tend to forget some of the more traditional methods of advertising, one of which is radio. They may be missing out on unrealized opportunities.
The mistaken idea that radio is out-of-date
In the late 1970s, a New Wave song entitled “Video Killed the Radio Star” made a big splash on the pop charts – singing of how one type of popular medium can be completely obliterated by another, more advanced form. But don’t let that song title fool you. Yes, “radio stars” who range from popular groups to one-hit-wonders will have their proverbial 15 minutes and fade from memory. But radio itself has not been “killed.”
Ever realize our reliance on radio?
In many respects, using the radio is almost second nature. We rely on it, whether we’re aware of it or not. This is especially true when it comes to driving. Think about it.
How many people turn on the radio almost as soon as they start their cars? Even more revealing is how built-in devices for playing music in cars have evolved – from eight-track tapes to cassettes to CDs. The radio, it should be remembered, was always there. And in time, the prediction is that CD players in automobiles will eventually become obsolete and be replaced by streaming services and well-known satellite broadcasting giant SiriusXM. So, the argument can be made that not only is radio not dead but has been reinvented and revived – with a vengeance.
Interesting radio-related figures
Marketers should be mindful of the power and reach of radio. Here are some recent statistics that pinpoint radio’s position where advertising is concerned:
- An article from Radio INK cites that 44 percent of advertisers still used radio in their marketing campaigns, according to research and consulting firm Borrell Associates.
- Retail Touchpoints has reported that targeted radio ads can generate 30 percent of foot traffic among listeners.
- And, figures from studies by Kantar Media show that 88 percent of listeners tune in to “terrestrial radio” (the “old fashioned” AM/FM stations), while 70 percent opt for streaming services. This establishes what Kantar Media refers to as a “Mixed Media Economy.”
While some of these figures are not in the 50 percent or above range, it indicates there is an audience that still listens to the radio.
And what if members of this audience heard an advertisement for a brand, product, or service that made them sit up and take notice? Radio is to the sense of hearing what traditional mediums such as billboards and bus kings are to the sense of vision.
- A person (let’s call him Mr. Jones) has his radio on, either at home, at work, or in the car. Mr. Jones may not even be fully paying attention to what’s playing; he just wants something to listen to.
- Then, snappy, well-written spoken dialog accompanied by cool sound effects or music – promoting a brand’s products or services – is broadcast.
- This radio commercial gets Mr. Jones’ attention, who wants to know more. Later in the day, Mr. Jones searches online to know more about the brand this radio spot was promoting.
Mr. Jones may or may not become a prospect or even a customer for this brand that was advertised on the radio. But he became aware of it and wanted to know more. And it was all because he was listening to the radio, which proved to supplement brand awareness.
Technology will advance and continue to do so. And while marketers rush to keep up with the changing trends, they should also stop and give some thought to what a seemingly antiquated medium like radio might do for their campaigns. Who knows? Radio advertising might reach an audience that was never considered. And, in a neat paradox, this “old-fashioned” medium might breathe fresh life into campaigns that may be based in too much cutting-edge technology.
In short, marketing professionals should not, as the title states, “tune out” radio.
Have you ever thought of utilizing radio to spread the word about your brand, products, or services?