When choosing the medium for your latest marketing campaign, the big contenders are; TV, social media, and radio. Despite social media being the global marketing monster it is today, TV still holds all the cards. It won’t be for long I’m sure as this post from Business Insider notes (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-social-media-advertisers-2012-11?op=1), but social media relies too much on people to respond (ie click, comment, share) to be effective. This combined with most Sky TVs allowing you to skip through ads and go straight to your preferred content, what’s left?
Is This Thing On?
You will often see big media companies like All Response Media (http://www.allresponsemedia.com/) covering a multitude of media fields in their services, but radio can often go overlooked by marketers too eager to jump on the social bandwagon. Video may have killed the radio star, but digital radio has risen from the crypts with a vengeance.
The main reason for the surge in digital radio popularity comes from the latest wave of digital radio promotion. I know because it’s all over the radio. The results of the sweep are explained nicely in this article I found on Radio Today (http://radiotoday.co.uk/2013/06/positive-outcome-for-digital-radio-pilot/), and one of the main reasons found was a clearer signal. It’s hardly a surprise; before YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and all the rest, there was radio, but that pesky crackling sound every 10 seconds meant people found other means of playing music. Another big reason for radio’s resurrection is Clear Channel’s ‘bad-ad’ purge which you can read about on Adage here (http://adage.com/article/media/clear-channel-s-bob-pittman-calls-innovation-radio/242021/). Albeit there are still annoying adverts on the radio, but I still believe there’s one crucial element radio offers to listeners and advertisers alike that TV and social media simply can’t manage.
I wasn’t able to explain it until I read this article on Dolly Wagon (http://www.dollywagon.com/2011/01/why-do-people-still-listen-to-radio-is-it-a-social-network-thing/) in the line ‘listeners feel, at some important psychological level, that they’re not the only witness to their subjective experience.’ When you listen to the radio in the morning, you know that hundreds, thousands, or more people are listening to the same thing in their kitchens. How reassuring!
Not only that, but you don’t actually have to own a digital radio to listen to it, there are tens of thousands of stations online and they all have the same curious effect. Instead of overloading the brain with flashy images, interaction-this and share-that, they rely purely on one sense: audio.
Albeit this presents something more of a challenge for advertisers like Nike who rely on image-image-image, but there’s something a bit whacky about a radio ad that can stick in your brain for a much longer time afterwards. As well as having the advantage of regional targeting, (local radio stations broadcasting about local businesses), without a visual stimulus it seems our brains fill in the void: all it takes is positive audio reinforcement and your audience will sell the product to themselves!
Marketers heed this advice – radio is far from dead, though you won’t hear it from me…