Ad Technology

The Importance of Radio in the Overall Media Mix

cindy2-260I’m not part of an agency creative team, rather a media professional that has over the years worked closely with the creative department at various agencies.  Sometimes, the creative department can go into an assignment thinking radio creative isn’t very sexy.  They think it’s limiting in its execution; “you can’t win any big CLIO awards” like you can in television.  From a media perspective however, radio can be a critical medium and an important part of the overall media mix for a multitude of reasons:

Radio’s Reach – Radio reaches 91% of all people 12+ or 244 million every week according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.  In contrast, comScore reports that the potential digital audience reach of people 12 + is 233 million across all available sites.  Even with radio’s fragmentation across a handful of stations in a market, its overall listenership exceeds the number of people who can be reached through the Internet, where reach is fragmented over a much larger number of websites.

Radio’s Frequency – Due to its low out of pocket cost radio not only adds reach but is the perfect way to ramp up the frequency of a campaign.

Radio’s Targeting – In addition to demographics, radio can target through format selection and dayparting.  Say you’re trying to reach moms 35-54 with kids 6-11 years old.  You might choose to purchase midday (Monday-Friday 10a-3p) when the children are in school on CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) stations that play current hits with strong personalities or DJs. The selection process is nearly endless.

Radio is Community – The ability to take radio beyond on-air and tap into the community is one of its many positive attributes.  Van hits at your retailer, community events where DJs distribute your collateral material, and a contest that involves the listener on-air and online are just a small sample of added value options that stations can add to your campaign.

Radio Endorsements – On-air DJs will voice a commercial that endorses your product or service.  For example; This is Todd your favorite DJ and I’d like to tell you about a great new product I’m using……

Radio Flexibility – No produced creative?  No problem. The station announcer will record your script.  Need to move your flight because your pharma brand is not yet approved?  No problem, if you’re within a two-week window, radio will accommodate your move.

As I’m sure you can tell, I’m passionate about the myriad capabilities that radio offers.  So it might not be sexy from a creative perspective, but in terms of effectiveness, it should be strongly considered on most media campaigns.