Tag Archives: Radio

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Insights into CES

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Once viewed as an event for techies, CES has radically evolved. CES 2020 was not about consumer electronics, it was about the consumer experience. Technology is shifting everything. It is driving brand transformation and enhancing the experience for consumers, while also having an impact on everything they do – banking, cooking, shopping and raising families.

During RAB’s team coverage of CES, the intelligence of things was not only seen, but heard throughout the convention. There was also a shift in how companies are shifting how they engage and present themselves to consumers. It is no longer about brand marketing, but brand storytelling.

Brand positioning and innovation

Creating products that consumers may want is no longer considered a viable option for today’s brands. Brands now need to place the consumer at the forefront, in order to innovate and remain relevant. As a 182-year-old company, P&G has pivoted and adapted the mentality of a startup, identifying a consumer’s problem and developing a solution. Retailers must reevaluate how to engage with consumers, both virtually and physically, as consumers shop both online and brick-and-mortar. Retailers can mine data to enhance the value and knowledge of their customers to determine what customers need and how to service them.

Shift in social

Facebook. TikTok. Instagram. While these and many other social media platforms and influencers remain popular, what is their future? At CES, the forecast is one of change.

John Holdridge of Fullscreen, a social content company, believes that there is a pending social recession. While people continue to engage with content on social media, he believes that people are “at a time when they are trying to manage their time better.” Holdridge goes on to say that as people “optimize their time for their health and well being, there may be a point of turn-off for social.”

There will also be a shift in influencers – from highly-recognized celebrities to microinfluencers. Jason Jercinovic of North Highland, a global management consulting firm, believes that 2020 will be the year of microinfluencers. Jercinovic defines microinfluencers as normal people talking about what they are doing, such as mom bloggers and even people you turn to for advice on specific products. These microinfluencers place more importance on the audience being influenced, giving brands the opportunity to take advantage of a more intimate relationship, formed via social media.

Success with podcasts

Still in a high-growth mode, the key to successful podcast content and engagement is simple. Anya Grundmann of NPR touts their success to keeping ad messaging limited and “not so in-your-face.” According to Grundmann, the message must sound authentic and not negatively impact the reason for the people listening to that show.

What it means for radio

Thanks to technology, there is a collision between audio and voice and consumers are benefiting from it all.

  • Radio is now more discoverable. HD Radio delivers a rich multimedia user experience – rich graphics, images and supporting text that enhances the end-users’ broadcast radio experience.
  • Voice is now part of the ecosystem. With AI devices, it is now convenient for listeners to shout out something and make it happen – whether it is listening to a radio station or finding out more about a product they heard during a broadcast.
  • Focus on the importance of community. Advances in technology may never be able to replicate the connection to community. Auto dealers recognize the importance of that connection and the power of audio and its scale, which leverages the channel of audio to help serve their community.
  • Radio works. Attribution and metrics prove that. According to March Pritchard, P&G, “radio is as efficient and a delivers a higher ROI than other media.”

As a consumer, what advice would you give the brands you engage with that might improve your experience with them?


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Radio’s Top 10 to Usher in 2020

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

As we leave one decade to enter another, we couldn’t be prouder of the progress that radio has made to continuously deliver first-class and relevant content to listeners any way they wish to consume it. Among consumers today, audio is hot and radio is hotter. Advertisers from Main Street to Wall Street are tapping into radio’s incredible power and unique attributes. Why? Because radio is emotionally engaging, personal and measurable with the ability to deliver ad messages in a safe and receptive environment.

So, as we usher in 2020, our last post of the year provides you with our Top 10 favorite pieces of newsworthy facts of 2019 (in no particular order) that emphasize the power of radio:

  1. Radio remains the #1 reach medium for 16 consecutive quarters. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, September 2019:
    • Radio reaches 86% of teens (12-17), higher than any other medium or device
    • Radio reaches 92% of Black adults 18+
    • Radio reaches 96% of Hispanic adults 18+
  2. Smart speakers bring Radio back in to the home – 19% of total listening hours to AM/FM radio streams occurred on smart speakers in January 2019, representing a 111% year-over-year increase, according to Triton Digital.
  3. Podcast listening and advertising are on the rise!
    • 39% of agencies and marketers are currently advertising in podcasts, up from 32% in May 2018. Podcast advertising today is over 2.5X greater than it was in September 2015. Read more.
    • Podcast listening increased from 44% to 51% of population in 2019, equating to 144 million people, and 197 million people 12+ are familiar with a podcast.
    • 54% of consumers surveyed regularly listen to 2-3 podcasts.
  4. 96% of advertisers surveyed by RAB plan to create a sonic identity for their brand.
    • 85% agree: “My brand needs to establish audio cues on radio for the growing adoption of voice-activated devices.”
    • Nearly 92% will use radio to trigger voice commands.
    • 83% think radio is the strongest media to establish a sonic brand (followed by 17% digital –0% for TV, Print and OOH).
  5. Radio supports communities from coast to coast – keeping them informed, entertained and engaged, and millions to local charities.
  6. P&G’s Old Spice Pomade wins the $50,000 Best of Show Radio Mercury Award, created by and awarded to Wieden + Kennedy. Get inspired by all the 2019 winners.
  7. Audio advertising is stronger in engaging consumer emotions than visual advertising. Read more.
  8. AM/FM Radio continues to rule the road as the #1 in-car audio entertainment choice.
  9. Radio drives results: significant incremental online activity for businesses across categories, $10:$1 ROI, 8X greater call volume.
  10. Radio has massive reach among registered voters, and rules audio share.
    • Registered voters spend 59% of audio time with ad-supported media, and AM/FM radio accounts for 80% of the daily audio time spent with any ad-supported platform.

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Local Driving Business

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Small businesses. They are the heartbeat of America and Main Street. Despite the current trend of online shopping, consumers across the country still love to support and shop at small businesses where they live and work. This Saturday, we celebrate small businesses across the country.

According to the Small Business Association, there are well over 30 million small businesses across the country. They are as integral to the local landscape as the schools, public libraries and local radio stations.
Defined as those businesses with fewer than 500 employees, small businesses help to drive economic growth in the communities they serve. Created in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday (nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday) became an official event in 2011 and has continued to drive consumer spending each year.

According to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 94% of consumers appreciate what small businesses do for the local community and 91% believe that it is more important than ever to shop or patronize local small businesses.

With radio’s ability to drive foot and web traffic for advertisers of various sizes and categories, broadcast radio, as the true local medium in any market, is an important medium to reach small business owners.

And when it comes to reaching consumers and patrons of these local establishments, radio drives business. According to Scarborough, radio reaches:

• 93% of adults whose household that used tutoring service in the past year

• 92% of adults whose households that used a cash advance or title loan shop in the past year

• 92% of adults who shopped/used any day spa in the past year

• 91% of adults who used any dry cleaner in the past year

• 90% of adults who shopped or used a jewelry store in the past year

• 90% of adults whose household used a local insurance agent in the past year

So, this week, when listening to local radio stations via whatever device is available to you, we’re certain that you will hear radio ads promoting sales and driving traffic to local businesses.

Do you have a small business establishment that you frequent? Tell us how you feel about it.


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Radio Generates 8X More Response

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Contributor: Bruno Tabbi, President and Co-Founder, Ignition Toll-Free

Results. That’s what all advertisers want from any media channel they use. Radio has proven that it can drive in-store traffic and online traffic but what about phone traffic? Despite all the tech options available today, many consumers like to make their initial inquiry to a business over the phone. But using a random phone number on radio makes it incredibly challenging for listeners to remember how to reach the advertiser they just heard. That’s where vanity phone numbers come in. 

While phone calls seem like an unusual way to determine results, there are still advertisers that successfully experience positive results when using a phone number to increase their sales – also known as direct response.

When it comes to direct response advertising on radio, using an unforgettable vanity phone number is one of the best ways to get big results. One advertiser saw its sales increase 8x after adding 1-800-IDEAL-YOU to its radio ads. Before using 1-800-IDEAL-YOU they had used less memorable numbers like 844-323-THIN, shortcodes, and websites. 

But nothing came close to the response they received using 1-800-IDEAL-YOU. 

The idea of using a vanity phone number might seem a little passé in the era of the internet, AI and self-driving cars but their effectiveness is directly attributable to their ease of memorability and how they place consumers in direct contact with advertisers. That’s why vanity numbers on radio generate 58% more calls than random phone numbers. And when it comes to consumers’ ability to recall URLs compared to vanity phone numbers, URLs are 78% less memorable than vanity phone numbers

The effectiveness of vanity phone numbers is bolstered further by the simple fact that communicating by voice is faster, easier, and more effective than typing into a smartphone. 

Calls are the gold-standard in lead generation, outside of face-to-face, nothing compares. In fact, calls are 10-15 times more likely to generate a successful sale or follow-up activity than digital form submissions, which only convert 1% to 2% of the time, which means calls are much more efficient at generating revenue.

Many people will point to the uptick in web traffic an advertiser receives after its spot has run as an indication that radio works. But that data only tells a partial story. What that data does not tell you is how much more business you could have gained. Over 80% of people use search instead of entering a URL, so consumers are often exposed to items that run counter to the advertiser’s interest such as competitor ads and websites. Advertisers are aware of this possibility and attempt to combat it by running a pay-per-click (PPC) ad simultaneously with their radio campaign. A quality vanity number can provide substantial savings to radio advertisers by allowing them to bypass many of the obstacles found online. 

Vanity numbers boost response rates so well because they are easy to remember and direct, whereas sending listeners online requires additional steps before they can connect with the advertiser. There are also practical limitations to sending listeners online, such as if they are driving or in motion. 

Once online, the listener will begin to enter their search query and the web browser will then make suggestions in the search bar with its autocomplete feature. These suggestions can present the listener with common search terms about the advertiser and its competitors. Once their search query is submitted, the results will present several different messages which may include the radio advertiser’s own PPC ad along with their competitors. The listener may also encounter competitor websites, review sites, websites recommendations, etc. 

There can also be confusion over whether the site the listener found is the one that belongs to the radio advertiser. (For example, I personally made this mistake when I searched for a roofing company names Oakes Roofing. I had entered Oaks Roofing instead.)  

The path for a listener to become a customer can be longer online compared to a vanity phone number. Imagine a plumbing company advertising on radio with 1-800-PLUMBING. When the listener hears that ad, the path for them to connect with the advertiser is simple and direct, all they have to do is dial and press send.

Radio’s strength is in driving awareness, traffic, and sales. Radio, combined with the use of vanity numbers, has proven to drive interest and sales – eight times.

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Here’s What RADIO Stands For

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Anything is possible on radio.  You can hear a singing garbage bag, a hamburger rap song or something that sounds like a bull elk.  What you hear on the radio can also make you laugh, gasp or cry. 

Yes, anything is possible on radio and that’s what attendees heard on June 6 at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards, held at SONY HALL in New York. 

Radio can deliver an ad message like no other medium and this year’s winners did just that.  “They innovated.  They had fun. They created little worlds that made me want to be there,” stated Jeff Kling, Chief Creative Officer at Lightning Orchard, and a final-round judge.   

A total of 14 Radio Mercury Award winners did just that.  And winning isn’t easy.  Chief Judge Chris Beresford-Hill, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York’s Chief Creative Officer, knows all too well.  It was the first creative award he won and he understands that “to be a winner, you have to do something that’s undeniably great.  You have to be excellent.”

As an award that recognizes and celebrates creative excellence, the Best of Show Radio Campaign (and $50,000 grand prize winner) did just that, creating a surprising and engaging spot that used a real radio personality and listeners to drive awareness of a new product – Old Spice Pomade.  You can hear it and all the winners here. 

During the event, attendees also learned what RADIO stands for.  Jeff Charney, Chief Marketing Officer of Progressive Insurance, shared a childhood experience and his first interaction with radio — a remote at a local retailer.  While accepting the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards’ “Radio Marketer of the Year” honor, he shared what he believes the letters R-A-D-I-O stand for. 

  • R is for relevance.  If you’re not relevant, we shouldn’t be in the business. We are very relevant today. 
  • A is for authenticity.  Every single spot that won was authentic and incredible. 
  • D is for disruption.  Everyone who won was disrupting. 
  • is for insight-based.  If you do stuff based on insight you’re going to win. 
  • O is for out-create. Every one of the winners was trying to out-create the other.  There’s never anything wrong with a little friendly competition.

Charney, passionate about both radio and the event, encouraged the creative audience to follow the letters R-A-D-I-O and guaranteed that they will become the Radio Mercury Awards’ 2020 “Marketer of the “Year.”

“Radio.  There’s nothing wrong with this business!” – Jeff Charney, CMO, Progressive Insurance 

If you missed the event, you can watch it here. 

Does the acronym R-A-D-I-O mean something to you?  Please share it with us. 

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Radio on Main Street Podcast Featuring Lori Lewis, Vice President Social Media at Modern Luxury

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Social media has become one of the most popular ways of connecting for both personal relationships as well as for use in professional brand building. In fact, it has become such an important means of communication it is hard to believe it has only been around for 11 years.

In this edition, Erica Farber, President and CEO of the RAB speaks with Lori Lewis, Vice President Social Media at Modern Luxury. She is also the lead volunteer that produces the annual Conclave. An early adopter Lori reminds us the actual focus of social media is to be used to share positive messages and to remember it is ok to take a break from it now and then.

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In Radio You Can Trust

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

No word has ever had a greater impact on brands as trust. Consumers today are in control and not only expect but demand that the brands they engage with be authentic to keep their loyalty.

Security breaches and concerns about data privacy are now at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and trust is as important a component of brand consideration as brand value. For marketers, finding the balance or sweet spot tapping into data, consumer engagement and maintaining trust are what may keep many chief marketing officers up at night.

Earlier this year Brand Keys, a brand research consultancy, asked nearly 600 CMOs and brand managers what keeps them up at night. It shouldn’t be a surprise that “establishing trust between my brand and the consumer” was one of the top three items mentioned most often on the list. On that list is another concern that creates insomnia for marketers – “creating relevant and engaging advertising content and storytelling.” These two concerns can be addressed by one medium – radio.

There is a reason why nearly 250 million people listen to radio weekly. It’s a trusted medium. Listeners tune in to radio for various reasons according to the Jacobs Media Techsurvey 2019 – for news, companionship, favorite songs/artists and the personalities on-air.

While social media may be prevalent within a brand’s strategy, there is nothing like the human voice to connect and influence. Radio station personalities are part of the local listeners’ community and circle. Listeners consider radio personalities like a friend and have intimate knowledge of the personality’s marital status. According to the Katz Radio Group’s Our Media panel, 83% of listeners value and trust their favorite personality’s opinion, 77% would try a recommended brand and 78% speak to friends about what they hear from their favorite radio station personalities.
Radio, falling under the category of traditional media,  is trusted more than online-only and social media based upon the results of the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. And perhaps that’s also why 62% of Americans trust radio news bulletins or programs (Kantar, Trust in News U.S. 2017).

When it comes to relevant, engaging advertising content and storytelling, radio’s abilities are second to none. One look at the large attendance of a radio station-created event proves just that. Radio stations’ listeners are fans – following personalities online and off, contributing to charities and organizations and delivering goods in times of need. How does radio do it? It is naturally authentic. Personalities speak and listeners tune in and engage in a two-way dialogue – via texts, tweets, call-ins contests, etc. Tune in to any radio station and listen to how the personalities on those stations speak of events, venues or brands – what you will hear is true authenticity. It’s a prerequisite for trust.

What should brands do to earn and keep a consumer’s trust?

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Be Brave with Growth Drivingthe Mission

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP, Business Development, RAB

The takeaway from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) annual Media Conference was to embrace bravery, take risks and step up and recognize that business and brand growth is the “shiny new object.”

In his opening remarks that set the stage for the 700+ brand media and marketing attendees, Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA, stated that the world’s leading brands are “activating brave.” It’s a shift from ensuring consistency to stimulating desire among consumers, from being marketing centric to acting enterprise centric, and from creating functional and emotional differentiation to changing a way a business goes to market. In order to do this, brands must intuitively understand their customers and they need to be willing to communicate in brave, iconic ways that will delight and deliver the way the consumer wants to receive it.

Much was discussed around the subject of the fragmented and arguably “broken” media supply chain. In fact, Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at The Procter & Gamble Company, stated that the company is no longer focused on fixing the problem; it’s now focused on creativity and taking control of the media supply chain. He said, “We (P&G) want to buy from companies where the content is known, controlled and consistent. Content that is entertaining, informative and engaging. Content that accurately and realistically portrays all people.” This is RADIO! Pritchard’s advice to marketers and media directors is to “step up – focus on your objective of controlling the new media supply chain. Do what you are already doing and look to where you can do even more.” This was confirmed by Rob Rakowitz, Director of Global Media for Mars. He said that media channels don’t die off; rather the method of delivery changes, and he advised that marketers need to be focused on audiences instead of channels. The simplest of answers came from Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee). When asked how do we fix the media supply chain, his response was, “Stop buying dumb shit!”

In a presentation that reviewed the state of media in 2019, Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media & Communications Planning at The Hershey Company, advised marketers to focus on mastering the new fundamentals of questioning assumptions, doing and pivoting and following the doers not the sayers. He also identified 5 key trends to watch in media throughout 2019 and beyond. These trends include:

  • Fragmentation: Audio has been REBORN while traditional TV today is changing, and digital has a long way to go to continue its path towards improvement. Marketing fundamentals help navigate media fragmentation – understanding your target, where to reach them, how to communicate to them and how to measure it.
  • Data & Technology: Challenger brands use data & technology to precisely buy targeted reach. Legacy brands use scale and awareness to efficiently buy mass reach. The strongest brands and best marketers need to be both and do them both well.
  • In-housing: Taking more control is the right thing if you are doing it for the right reasons and it will only make agency/client relationships stronger.
  • The New Marketing Organization: It’s time to break down the silos and bring brand marketing teams and measurement teams together.
  • AI/Machine Learning: Every brand and media company should invest in great data scientists to drive insights forward.

Brands taking risks, brands acting bravely are the ones that are realizing that shiny new object called growth. Advice to our readers that came from Gary Vee – “You should push for something if you actually believe it. Don’t be shy, don’t be crass, but there is a respectful way for you to be on the record historically. If your idea works, if your belief is true, you will have the credibility that you can trade on.”

How are you taking respectful risks to drive business?  Where do you fall on a bravery scale?

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Radio’s Amazing Numbers

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Radio is an extension of every part of us.  It’s our ears that listen. It’s our fingers that touch the dial or app.  It’s our eyes when we want to know the traffic.  It’s our heart when we hear the songs that we grew up with, and it’s our soul when we hear of any devastation in a local community.

Radio is an incredible force and impacts listeners like no other medium does. A look at some of the figures that pertain to radio helps to both quantify and qualify radio as a powerful medium.

249.7 Million — The total number of radio listeners ages twelve and older that tune into radio every week.1

15,514 — Local radio stations connecting with listeners in their communities. 2

90% — The percentage of people radio reaches on a weekly basis even as the population grows. 1

13.7 — The total number of hours tuned into radio by African Americans 18+ each week.1

48% — Percentage of Hispanics and African Americans who use broadcast radio most often in-car. 3

169 million – The number of people 18+ who have listened to online audio in the past week. 3

51% — Percentage of people 12+ who have ever listened to a podcast. 3

8 – Average number of years listeners have been listening to their favorite radio personalities. 4

But radio isn’t just about listening; radio is also about taking care of people in their community annually:

  • Millions of dollars raised for charities, hospitals, community centers
  • Gallons and gallons and gallons of water bottles collected for emergency relief
  • Tons and tons and tons of clothing, food and toys
  • Thousands and thousands of lives saved when disaster strikes

No matter how you look at it, the numbers prove it. Radio:  It’s every part of us and our lives.

What does radio mean to you?


Sources:  1) Nielsen RADAR 140 (Monday-Sunday 24-Hour cume estimates); 2) FCC.gov, March 2019; 3) The Infinite Dial 2019, Edison Research/Triton Digital; 4) Katz Radio Group, Our Media Survey, April 2019

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Radio on Main Street Podcast Featuring Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research

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Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. recently released the results of a research project titled, Understanding Parents, Teens and Country Music, conducted by Edison Research. Although the focus of the study was based on country music users, the overall findings of the research are applicable for parents and teens who listen to any type of music format on the radio.

In this edition, Erica Farber, President and CEO of the RAB speaks with Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research. Radio by far is the most listened to form of audio among the parents of teens but the research suggests that due to the vast technology options available, it’s the teenagers that may be changing their parents listening habits.

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