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Tag Archives: Radio

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Meet the New Retail Shopper

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

We know that consumer shopping behavior changed dramatically in 2020 – due to both restrictions and personal preferences. However, live events are on, places are open, and consumers are ready for it all.

The National Retail Federation revised their 2021 annual forecast and now projects that retail sales will total anywhere from $4.44 to $4.56 trillion this year. Yes, consumers are ready to shop, but where they shop, why they shop and what they buy will look different in 2021.

Nearly one-fifth of Americans are excited about going back to shopping in-store, yet despite recent store openings, over half of them are still concerned about COVID-19 when going to retail locations. According to Provoke Insights, a full service brand strategy and market research firm, 44% of Americans still prefer to make their purchases online. Meet the new retail shopper.

Based on surveys fielded in summer 2020 and across winter/spring 2021, Americans enjoy the convenience and ease of shopping online. Seventy-eight percent feel that the internet takes the hassle out of shopping.

All consumer product categories experienced dips and spikes in consumer purchases. As households across the country found themselves working from home or schooled virtually, furniture and home office supplies peaked at 25% and 29%, respectively. Based on the survey results, these two areas will see decreases in the next six months. However, there will continue to be upticks in personal care and grocery purchases.

Whether a consumer prefers to shop online or in person, there are both differences and similarities in what they have purchased the past three months. Sixty-seven percent of those who prefer to shop in person shopped for personal care, as opposed to 61% who prefer to shop online. Sixty-two percent who prefer to shop in person, shopped for packaged food, as opposed to 56% who prefer to shop online. Yet when it comes to clothing, vitamins and footwear, online and in-store shoppers are similar.

Online shoppers are younger, are more likely to work full time and have a higher household income than those who prefer to shop in-store. They also describe themselves as open-minded, intelligent and efficient.

While habits and purchases vary among online and in-store shoppers, general consumer trends are quite clear on what matters most to them in selecting the brands they purchase. Quality ranks first followed by price. Trust, as noted before, is also important. Consumers buy brands they trust.

Advertisers interested in reaching the new retail shopper would be well-served by including radio as part of their campaign’s plan. There are similar characteristics between the new retail shopper survey results and radio listeners as it pertains to quality and price. Seventy-one percent of radio listeners buy based on quality and not price and 76% of radio listeners also believe that price is more important, according to MRI-Simmons April 2021 COVID-19 Study.

The behaviors of consumers have evolved and will most probably continue. Advertisers who sell consumer product goods, clothing and other items should promote the quality of the goods they sell in order to drive and increase shopper loyalty. As a medium that drives engagement in a trusted environment, radio can make registers ring – both in-store and online.

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In Your Ears – The 30th AnniversaryRadio Mercury Awards

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Author: Madison Wright, Associate Producer, Radio Mercury Awards

For the past 30 years, radio broadcasters, agencies and advertisers have entered their creative work into the Radio Mercury Awards. Produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau, it is the only awards competition that exclusively honors creativity in radio and audio since its creation in 1992. Around 20,000 commercials have competed for close to $3.5 million in prizes.

When reflecting upon the Radio Mercury Awards, especially during this special anniversary, two things come to mind – the rich heritage of the awards show and how they continue to matter to the creative community as the medium continues to evolve.

Since their inception, the Radio Mercury Awards continue to seek the best of the best in radio – a medium creatives continue to declare the hardest to execute well. From the first Best of Show winner in 1992, Motel 6’s “Singing Phone Number,” courtesy of The Richards Group, to the most recent winners like 2020’s “Radio Recliner,” by the Luckie agency, these advertising commercials not only made their mark first at the Radio Mercury Awards, but they have also become a part of popular culture. Many have gone on to be recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, The One Club and the Clio Awards after being recognized at the Radio Mercury Awards. Our award winners have gone on to do amazing things, including rising from junior writers to chief creative officers at agencies across the U.S. They continue to feel an important connection to the Radio Mercury Awards, and they think fondly of their first Radio Mercury Awards experience and what it means to be a finalist and winner.

“The show has always meant a lot to me; it was something I entered as a student, something I became a finalist in as a young writer and finally I was able to do some winning work,” said Mitch Bennett, chief creative officer of Luckie, who is a multiple Radio Mercury Awards winner. “It’s such a special show.”

Above all, the Radio Mercury Awards serve as a place for radio and advertising leaders from across the U.S. to celebrate radio creative. Whether it’s a luncheon, an evening cocktail event, or even a virtual show in 2020, the creative work honored at the event sets the bar for creative excellence as well as motivates and inspires the next generation of creatives. The future is also bright for the Radio Mercury Awards, as radio and audio’s footprint continues to innovate across media platforms, captivating listeners and creating unique opportunities for brands. 

According to a March 2021 Audacy report quoted in RAB’s most recent Matter of Fact article, “audio — comprising over-the-air, streaming-over-the-air and podcasts — is more immersive than other media” and with that comes more opportunities for companies to dip their toes into the audio pool. The definitions of audio and radio have changed drastically from the past five years, let alone the past three decades – from the way we tune into our favorite shows, how we connect with our favorite local stations, from where we can tune into and how the audio medium as a whole infused itself into social media platforms like Clubhouse and Facebook. Especially after the past year, the conversations being fostered over the airwaves have changed, and that also affected how businesses promote themselves to their local communities. 

The Radio Mercury Awards evolve each year and reflect the current and future audio landscape. This year, along with favorite categories like Creative Spot for a Cause and Integrated Brand Campaign, new categories emerged, like Purpose-Driven Spot or Campaign. This new category will showcase the topical radio work that was done during the pandemic and how advertisers and companies used radio to promote their actions and efforts towards the public good and demonstrated how they addressed social, environmental or public health/safety issues. Another exciting change beginning this year is that all categories are open to all languages for work that was broadcast, aired digitally, released or transmitted initially and primarily in the U.S. and its territories.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is the sentiment we feel when hearing some of our favorite radio commercials from years past and the anticipation of who will become a finalist in 2021. Take a few moments, and may we suggest you delve into the Radio Mercury Awards Audio Library, press play, close your eyes and remember the feeling you had when you first listened to Wieden+Kennedy’s work for Old Spice, Fitzco’s “Share a Coke” campaign for The Coca-Cola Company, DDB’s “Real Men of Genius” for Anheuser-Busch, Motel 6’s “We’ll Leave the Light on for You” commercials by The Richards Group or the Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the Room” spots spanning across different agencies.

In short, the Radio Mercury Awards’ legacy and their future shine bright – as long as creatives continue to produce great audio work. The Radio Mercury Awards will be there to award and honor them. If you’ve created a spot you’re proud of lately or have heard a great one – we encourage you to enter it in the competition or to urge your colleague to do so today!  

The Radio Mercury Awards, the only competition exclusively devoted to radio and audio, was established in 1992 to encourage and reward the development of effective and creative radio commercials. The annual Radio Mercury Awards competition draws entries from advertising agencies, production houses, radio stations and educational institutions across the country. The Radio Creative Fund (RCF), a nonprofit corporation funded by the radio industry, governs the Radio Mercury Awards. The Radio Advertising Bureau produces the Radio Mercury Awards.

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You Can Count on Radio for Banking

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

There have been numerous articles, studies and surveys on shift in consumer shopping preferences and behavior. While percentages for each survey may have varied, there was one consistent finding – Americans have increased their use of online transactions. The implication of this behavioral shift is not just limited to retail but also to banking – 27% of consumers agree that banks will be more flexible over the next two years.

The use of cash has been declining, as only one-third of Americans still pay with cash. According to EY’s Future Consumer Index, 20% of respondent expect to be using contactless payments more and less cash over the next few years.

Consumers also place the same expectations they have of businesses supporting local communities to the banks they engage with. Over half of the respondents to EY’s index indicated that their purchase decisions were determined by “banks supporting the community, being transparent and ensuring they are doing good for society.” This is an important aspect to consumers, because only 17% stated that they trust the activities of financial institutions during times of crisis.

Why does this matter? Consumers are planning for the future, and financial institutions will play an important role in helping them accomplish this. Twenty-five percent of respondents stated that they would be willing to pay a premium for products that promote their well-being.

Clearly, consumer views on banks and financial institutions are now about personalization. An industry once viewed as stoic and impersonal now works hard to understand and connect with consumers. What better medium is there to use to create that human connection than with radio?

Radio connects and engages like no other medium. Listeners have a personal connection with the radio stations and the personalities on those stations, and people trust radio and the ads that run on radio stations. When it comes to reach, radio reaches 83% of adults who have a savings or checking account, personally or jointly. Eighty-five percent use any type of banking service offered – from savings to overdraft protection.

Radio listeners are still financially sound, based on MRI-Simmons 2021 April COVID-19 study. Eighty percent of adult radio listeners state that they are in about the same or better financial state compared to a year ago.

When trying to reach radio listeners who may be considering changing banks, it is important to know what matters to them. Like the behavioral shift with shopping, radio listeners prefer to bank online. Based on the April study, 44% of radio listeners hate having to go to their bank branch or savings institution. Radio listeners prefer to do it all online. Seventy-five percent would be happy to use the internet to carry out their daily banking transactions.

Radio listeners are also financially aware. They keep track of their financial accounts, as 86% state that they broadly know how much is in their bank account at any given time. Sixty-eight percent disagree that they only save for a specific purpose.

So, what does matter to radio listeners when choosing a bank? The top items that matter are about service, location and trust. Sixty-six percent of radio listeners believe that customer service is very important when they select a banking institution, and 44% state location. When it comes to trust, 35% believe in the company’s reputation, and 48% expect the company to be financially stable. Personal recommendations, rewards programs and years in the business do not rank high. These insights should be considered and incorporated into any messaging toward the radio-listening audience.

The events of the past year and a half have taught us all a few things and underscored others.

  • The role that trust plays in any relationship, personal, or business, matters a lot.
  • Businesses of all types must adjust to the new habits and expectations of the consumers who patronize their businesses.
  • The role that media, and specifically radio, plays in creating a personal connection among businesses and the consumers who patronize those businesses matter.

Like you have heard and read before, radio works for businesses – from local retailers to large financial institutions. Including radio in any media campaign is a sound investment and will deliver results you can bank on.

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Radio Post-Pandemic

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

The challenges that the marketing, advertising and media community faced throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021 have been like nothing any business has ever seen or experienced before. These challenges brought opportunity and have demonstrated a collective resilience in nearly every sector of business.

The next frontier for radio has been shaped by many of the lessons learned as consumers, businesses and brands have leaned in to audio across all platforms as the soundtrack to their daily journey.

What is new is old. What is old is new. Radio trends born from past truths.

With a goal of allowing a consumer to feel part of what is being presented to them, immersive experiences are not new to radio. Audio, in its purest sense, is an immersive form of media with nothing between the listener’s heart, mind and their headphones or speakers. They ingest content and contribute their own thoughts, making it a much more relatable and resonant experience. As Dr. Tiffany Eurich stated in a contribution to Medium, “Audio creates an opportunity for mental space for creativity to flourish.”

In early to mid-2020, there was an incredible surge in television binge-watching, which ultimately plateaued and began to decline due to screen fatigue. As consumers began to come out of their COVID-19 cocoons, radio harnessed what makes it such a special medium for its listeners, with a renewed focus on creating immersive experiences that are built on trust.

In March 2021, Audacy released a study to define and measure engaged impressions across media channels with immersion as the key metric, because immersion is predictive of action. This study showed that audio (comprising over the air, streaming over the air and podcasts) is more immersive than other media, including linear TV and social media, Google Search results, print media, and AI-driven pureplay platforms. Trust is at the basis of the most memorable content. Audacy found that their listeners trust audio brand recommendations more than non-Audacy listeners do, and that trust is earned by their consistent delivery of relevant local content. Listeners have confidence in what an audio host has to say, especially when immersed in an environment that is full of shared references and a sense of communal connection to their everyday lives.

Radio welcomes you to the club

One of the most prevalent media trends of the past year has been the rise of social audio platforms, such as invitation-only Clubhouse, Facebook’s impending launch of a suite of social audio tools, Twitter Spaces and dozens more. It has been noted that the 2020 quarantine accelerated social audio platform launches to capitalize on video and Zoom fatigue. These new audio-first social platforms are in the early stages of consumer adoption, some will survive and some will not, but the trend is here to stay.

The success of social audio stems from what radio knows and delivers. Radio is the original social medium, connecting communities of like-minded listeners, with a radio personality initiating the dialogue. The conversations, the storytelling, the connection to local and national news and information, the entertainment, pranks, celebrations and the live play-by-play sporting events that put you in the middle of the game – all of this provides the social connections consumers crave.

Radio’s social connections extend well beyond the broadcast, seamlessly moving to digital platforms and back again. Broadcasters have embraced social audio technology by bringing its trusted and brand-safe equities to these platforms. By hosting conversations on Clubhouse, driving increased engagement on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and advancing technology on their own digital apps and online platforms, radio will continue to innovate on pace with technological advancements providing additional opportunities for brands to connect with listeners.

Access for all

Each year, millions upon millions of people attend radio-hosted and brand-sponsored small and large events in local markets across the country. But the pandemic upended live events and experiential marketing, and radio broadcasters were quick to reinvent the wheel. Throughout 2020, radio broadcasters produced events and experiences that ultimately drew wider appeal and increased engagement, delivered exceptional content and united communities when they needed it most.

One such example is how Connoisseur Media’s Chaz and AJ morning show delivered throughout 2020 and 2021. The morning show that airs on 99.1 WPLR and 95.9 The Fox in Connecticut has historically raised funds and toys to donate to countless families across the state through a series of events that lead to a December toy drive. In 2020, the Chaz & AJ Toy Drive event kicked off in September with a first-ever Food Truck Festival – a two-hour culinary extravaganza where attendees sampled their way through some of the best food trucks known in Connecticut, safely from their own vehicle and served by the station’s on-air personalities. The event sold out in an instant, helped to showcase many of the local restaurants who were struggling during the pandemic, brought people together for a couple of hours of pure joy and listeners have been more giving and more generous than ever before.

Making us better people for better communities

The extraordinary events of 2020 put the spotlight on the growing importance of inclusiveness, diversity and community – equity for all individuals and equity for all businesses and brands. Radio has always and will continue to be inclusive, meeting with, entertaining, informing, inspiring, connecting and supporting diverse audiences in the communities where they live. Consider the examples Annette Malave, SVP Insights for the Radio Advertising Bureau, shares in a Radio Matters blog post: “How often has someone called into a sports station to share their opinions on last night’s game or the more recent controversies that take place on the field? Consider the on-air personalities that ask their listeners to share their experiences with racism and discrimination. What about employees and family members of small-business owners who called a local radio station for help on notifying the community that the location was open for business?” These are all examples of the ways that radio has included the thoughts, concerns and emotions of those within their listening community. But it certainly does not end there, and there is more work to be done. Throughout 2020, radio stations across the country rallied more support for local communities and small businesses than any other medium. Look no further than the “Celebration of Service to America Awards” presented by The NAB Leadership Foundation, highlighting a selection of the significant impact radio stations have on the lives of those in the communities they serve.

Moving forward, radio’s unwavering commitment to supporting the communities it serves will continue to inspire and create positive change that improves the lives and livelihood of all people and all businesses.

America is on the move again

A Katz Radio Group analysis of Apple Mobility data shows that driving levels among Americans in April 2021 are up 37% from a pre-pandemic baseline, and they have increased 76% from April of 2020. Increased consumer mobility sets the stage for more radio listening in local markets as 75% of consumers state radio is the audio source used most often in the car, far exceeding any other audio option. According to Edison Research Share of Ear study, AM/FM radio enjoys an 88% share of ad-supported audio time spent in the car. So what will happen to time spent in a vehicle with AM/FM radio now that the country is on the move?

  • According to a MyMove.com study based on United States Postal Service data, over 15.9 million people moved their primary residence during the pandemic. This, coupled with increased sales in 2021 for used and new automobiles leads to the prediction that there will be more shuttling of children, more errands outside of walking distances and more driving in general.
  • 2021 road trips are expected to surge. In a recent survey by Erie Insurance, 56% of consumers said they plan on traveling more than 100 miles from home, with the vast majority (80%) saying they will travel by car, SUV or truck. 51.2% of respondents said they plan on taking at least one road trip in their own vehicle this year, while another 30% would like to take a road trip in their own vehicle, depending upon the state of the pandemic. Of those who will travel, 55% plan to drive more than 500 miles from home.
  • Personal vehicles will dominate the work commute. A Cars.com survey referenced by NBC News revealed that among those who will go back to their offices, over 60% plan to swap public transportation for their cars. And almost a quarter have purchased a car during the past six month, with more than half of those saying they did so specifically because of the pandemic.
  • The flexibility that will be offered to employees to continue working from home part-time or full-time is likely to lead people to increase the time spent in a vehicle versus those that decrease it. According to Slate, teleworkers tend to travel quite a bit, and the places they reach are typically further than if they were at the office.

It is clear that the time spent in a personal vehicle is a trend that will not soon pass as consumers remain more comfortable in their own personal spaces. Radio is along for the ride as the primary audio companion to both drivers and passengers. The dayparts that listeners spend in their vehicles listening to radio will continue to evolve. Whereas all radio dayparts have always been important to an effective and efficient media plan, in a post-pandemic world, all dayparts are increasingly more important as commute times will vary, weekend road trips will surge and daily shopping, dining and other leisure activities will increase.

The hottest new audio platform is broadcast radio

Audio was experiencing tremendous growth prior to 2020 as platforms continued to expand, podcast consumption exploded, online and mobile listening grew and listening through voice assistants continued to climb. This growth continues in 2021 at an accelerated pace because audio provides consumers with a haven due to its immersive and intimate nature.

With its unrivaled reach and its pervasiveness across over-the-air broadcast, streaming, mobile, podcast and voice-enabled digital platforms, radio is not only the leader in the audio space, but it is leading the media industry, reaching more than 235 million people ages 12+ every week.

Broadcast radio is the definition of social audio. Broadcast radio provides access for all. Broadcast radio is the backbone of support for the individuals, small businesses and communities it serves. Broadcast radio is on the move with consumers across America.

In many ways, the year that was 2020 is analogous to a masterclass on flexibility, adaptation, survival, respect, understanding and purpose. The post-pandemic future for radio is bright and marketers poised to leverage its strengths have the opportunity to connect in a more immersive and inclusive way with consumers.

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The Value of Trust

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Author: Jeff Schmidt, SVP/Professional Development, RAB

‘Trust me.” Ever have someone say those words to you? Or “I’m going to be totally honest with you…” Just saying those words is likely to raise red flags for the people with whom you’re talking. If people can trust you to be honest, why would you have to say it?

According to Harvard Business Review, “The one thing that’s been hit hardest because of the pandemic might be our ability to trust.” While some of us will be going back into the office soon, others will not be going back at all, and many will work in a hybrid model. A hybrid model can be rife with the potential to build or erode trust. Trust is a feeling and a perception. It’s an emotion that is built slowly over time through repeated interactions. So how, in a hybrid work environment, where we don’t congregate around the coffee pot or in the break room, can we build trust with our colleagues or an organization?

Recent Harvard research indicates there are a few things you can purposefully do to build trust:

  • Acknowledging other people’s emotions can strengthen social relationships at work. The simple act of verbally recognizing emotions makes people feel understood and builds a connection.
  • Acknowledging negative emotions boosts trust more than positive emotions. Negative emotions lead to more meaningful conversations.
  • Acknowledging emotions boosts trust more than acknowledging the situation – people give more credit to those who acknowledge and empathize with emotions. (For example, saying to someone “You seem upset.”)

As with the other elements of trust, sincerity is crucial. If your co-workers, clients or friends believe your actions are selfishly motivated, it will not result in effective communication. Your sincerity, authenticity and empathy are critical to building trust.

In a post-pandemic world (can we say that yet?), we’ve learned that brand choice and brand loyalty have been severely impacted by current events, lack of inventory or misfired communication strategies and an increase in customer expectations. People expect more of brands and organizations than ever before and they expect it in advertising. We know that consumers trust radio ads, but what role does trust play in personal and business relationships? In this role, it has never been more important.

Search the word “trust,” and you’ll get nearly two billion search results. Meaning, it’s important stuff. Trust is defined as: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone. This is how to build trust.

Mark Altschuler is responsible for general business management and operations at MediaVilllage. In a recent article, Ad Sales Excellence Begins with Trust, he shares some critical information from The Myers Report Survey of Advertiser & Agency Executives:

Trust and reliability was ranked as the most valued attribute according to 700 advertiser and agency influencers who responded to the 2021 survey.

Altschuler shares seven things he says are common to media that contribute to positive or negative trust:

  1. Delivering on Audience Guarantees.
  2. Being proactive with information. Transparency about changes in your company build trust.
  3. Everyone plays a role. A promise fulfilled earns trust. A promise broken damages trust.
  4. Trust is an all-the-time thing.
  5. Reverse actions that damage trust quickly. Solve problems and mistakes quickly.
  6. Organizational trust is won by teams.
  7. Trust is a habit to be discussed, understood and honored in the organization. 

Without a doubt, the events of 2020 have changed everyone. Sixty-three percent of adults agreed that COVID-19 has changed the way they will act permanently, according to the 2021 April COVID-19 MRI-Simmons. These changes will extend into relationships – whether they are personal or business-related.

Whether you work for a radio station, advertiser or agency, there are expectations in our working relationships, and that is how trust is created, nurtured and developed. No matter what research you look at, the common threads of trust are honesty, transparency and consistency.

The advertising industry applies and uses acronyms for everything – because it helps us remember. While TRUST is a simple five-letter word, we at the Radio Advertising Bureau are using it as an acronym. Trust as an acronym embodies these elements:

T – TransparencyYour friends, clients and co-workers deserve the straight story – no spin.

Things change, and mistakes happen. Sometimes, with the best intentions, strategies fail to deliver. When they do, don’t sugarcoat it or try and spin it in a favorable light. Tell the truth – even the ugly truth – and work with the client to make the appropriate adjustments.

R – Responsibility – Behavior, not words, mean the most.

Take responsibility for your actions. This can be as simple as showing up for appointments on time or making calls when you said you would. If you make a commitment, take responsibility for it – follow through. When mistakes happen – and they will – admit them immediately and take action to create solutions.

U – Understand – It’s our job to understand challenges our friends are facing, the nuances of ad categories and the changes to business.

Running a business today is more complex than it ever has been. The more you can demonstrate that you understand businesses’ unique challenges, the more likely you will be able to serve them. People trust and work with people who “get it.”

S – Service – Superior service demonstrates the importance of the value placed on the trust you’ve earned.

As representatives of brands or organizations, you can never maintain a long-term relationship based solely on product, price or other item. It is what you do beyond that. It’s your service that will set you apart.

T – Truth – Be truthful in all interactions.

Truth is the foundation of trust. In the other areas of trust-building, there is likely some latitude and room for mistakes. But when it comes to truth, a single lie or misrepresentation can kill a relationship.

Trust is critical for relationships to flourish personally or professionally. As a medium, radio is consistently ranked highest above other mediums for trust based on our ability to super-serve our local communities. Responding to the crisis, being the voice of calm during storms, listening and interacting and providing support wherever and whenever needed. Radio’s consistent service to its local communities has earned it the badge of trust. We can all learn from what radio has done as a medium and apply it to our personal and professional relationships.

 

 

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Reaching Auto-Buying Radio Listeners

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

While there have been many shifts in consumer behaviors, many consumer preferences remain unchanged. If there is one thing that the pandemic has proven, it is that personal connections matter.

Throughout 2020 and to date, there have been numerous articles covering the shifts in consumer behavior across a wide array of categories. From online purchases to curbside pickup, consumers have shifted the way that business is done. Yet, in-person and personal contact are still important.

According to Capital One’s Car Buying Outlook survey, consumers still plan on visiting, test driving and financing vehicles in person at dealerships. Fielded in October 2020, results from the survey of 1,000 adults ages 18 and older:

  • 94% of car buyers are most comfortable purchasing a vehicle from a dealership.
  • 92% of car buyers say the test drive is an important part of the buying process.
  • 82% of future car buyers say they plan to visit more than one dealership.
  • 43% of future car buyers plan to have financing discussions at the dealership.

We know that radio can help drive dealer site web traffic, but did you know that radio reaches consumers who plan to purchase a vehicle? Of those adult households who plan to buy new/lease a vehicle within the next 12 months, according to Scarborough data, radio reaches:

  • 91% who plan on getting a pickup truck
  • 90% who plan on getting an SUV
  • 88% who plan on getting a luxury vehicle
  • 88% who plan on getting a compact car

Capital One’s Outlook also noted that 54% of car buyers don’t think about vehicle financing until after they settle on a vehicle. One of the primary reasons that radio listeners used a particular dealer for their last new purchased/leased vehicle, 87% stated that it was because that is where they financed it. Other primary reasons:

  • Location 86%
  • Previous business 85%
  • Reputation 86%
  • Selection 86%
  • Service 86%

Although vehicle sales are on the rise, dealers should not minimize the value of advertising – specifically radio advertising. Based on radio listener’s primary reasons, radio ads should focus on the service, selection and financing opportunities dealers offer. Additionally, one of the best practices for radio advertising is to personalize/localize the ad.

Buying or leasing a vehicle is one of those very personal events and despite the conveniences that are being made available to consumers today, the in-person experience still matters.

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Play Ball with Radio

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The role that sports plays in the lives of Americans became magnified during 2020. Whether it was the dribbling of a basketball on a court, the crack of a bat or the sounds from a huddle – people needed to watch and experience sports.

Sports fans are passionate, and they are engaged in the team or player they are following. They are emotionally connected – just like they are with radio.

Whether the person is a general or super sports fan, they are looking forward to watching a sporting event in person once COVID-19 has ended – 34% more likely than the U.S population. During the last six months, these sports fans were 38% more like to have attended a sports event virtually, based on MRI-Simmons April 2021 COVID-19 study.

Fans do more than just attend sports – be it live or virtual. They also listen to the radio. According to MRI- Simmons 2020 Doublebase data, 71% of general or super sports fans listen to broadcast radio. These general or super sport fan radio listeners are also smart lifers. They are 26% more likely than the U.S. population to listen to live radio on a smart speaker and 87% more likely to get sports updates.

These radio-listening sports fans are 136% more like to listen to any sports event on the radio, 112% more likely to have listened to a sports podcast in the past month and 202% more likely to tune into a sports-formatted radio station.

However, with a mean household income of over $107,000. these radio listening sports fans are also a rich target for advertisers across various sectors. When it comes to intentions, compared to the total U.S. population, they are more likely to:

  • Lease a vehicle +47%
  • Start or buy a new business +22%
  • Remodel their kitchen +16%
  • Buy a first home +15%
  • Purchase a new vehicle +14%
  • Travel within the U.S. +10%

As restrictions across the country begin to ease and sports fans are introduced again to the emotionally engaging thrill of live events, radio will be there to broadcast the events on-air, provide updates and discuss the events of each game. Radio will also be there to deliver the ad messages to this passionate, engaged and opportunity rich audience.

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Motivating Listeners to Act in 2021

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Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

Forecasts reveal that digital is driving the advertising rebound in 2021 and, according to Tony Hereau, VP of cross platform insights at Nielsen, “Radio is the soundtrack of America’s recovery.”

Radio, across all of its digital platforms, has and continues to experience exponential growth, earning significant share of media consumption throughout 2020 and the post-pandemic. While over the air AM/FM radio accounts for 76 percent of the daily audio time spent with any ad-supported platform, understanding consumer behavior as they move across platforms and what motivates listeners is critically important for marketers who are poised to succeed in the rebound.

Radio is seamlessly experienced throughout a consumer’s day, regardless of platform, with motivations for listening ranging from companionship to escapism to mood elevation. Listeners rely on the medium to connect them to the content they desire when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it.

A day in the life of radio listeners varies by motivations, demographics, and psychographics, but there are certainties that remain true. Between August and October 2020, Audacy conducted a groundbreaking study, “Audio Amplification: Defining Engaged Impressions,” in partnership with Alter Agents, and the results showed how audio across platforms draws audiences, moves them emotionally and leads to action. The study found that over-the-air (OTA) radio listening and streaming across all formats tend to be anytime occasions, with significant peaks in listening when people wake up in the morning, and while they are out and about or commuting to work and school. Podcast listening is reserved more for time alone. The Katz Radio Group identifies radio as “the soundtrack to listeners’ daily journey.” Listeners lean into the audio that suits their moods and interests. In turn, audio has the power to improve a listener’s mindset, moments, and receptivity.

Listeners are trusting and loyal to their radio stations, regardless of when or where they are listening. In order for brands to earn and maintain trust and loyalty among their target audiences, they need to not only look inward and toward their consumers, but to look at the environments for which their advertising is running.

Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, released end of March 2021, revealed that broadcast radio remains the No. 1 reach medium, and consumers trust the ads they hear on the radio more so than they do ads on any other media, with 60 percent of adults 35–49 and 54 percent of adults 18–34 considering radio spots very or somewhat trustworthy.

2020 also brought a renewed focus on the importance of local marketing. Nielsen’s Total Audience Report states that the vast majority of respondents agree that it is important to shop local and support local business, with 74 percent of urban dwellers feeling it was very or somewhat important to shop in person at local businesses, compared to 67 percent of suburban and 70 percent of rural residents.

It is a simple fact that the 15,000-plus local broadcast radio stations are rooted in the communities where listeners live, work, go to school or go about their day. According to the 2021 Jacobs Media Techsurvey, 49 percent of consumers strongly agree that one of radio’s primary advantages is its local feel, and nearly half say they tune in to radio to keep them company.

Localizing messaging and local advertising is more important now than it has ever been. Consumers recall advertising for locally owned businesses at a greater pace than national or online retailers. Radio is the solution for marketers to engage hometown consumers, providing the trusted environment that will build loyalty, influence decisions, and the local insight to create relevant connections. Read more.

Radio’s ability to influence and create relevant connections for brand partners brings another added benefit to them, which is generating significant word-of-mouth activity. According to Idil Cakim, SVP of research and insights at Audacy, and author of the book Implementing Word of Mouth Marketing, audio is uniquely positioned to propel word of mouth for brands. Cakim said “As our Engaged Impressions study shows, audio — including OTA, streaming OTA, and podcasts — is the most trusted medium, when it comes to product recommendations and advertising. Trust is what makes consumers pass along information with confidence.”

Jacobs Media has been measuring Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for the past 17 years as part of its annual Techsurvey. NPS is derived by asking consumers, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they are to recommend a radio station to a friend, family member, or co-worker. In 2020, commercial broadcast radio earned the highest NPS it has ever achieved, and it has been strong in the past. In a year that was anything but usual, Fred Jacobs, president and founder of Jacobs Media, attributes these breakthrough scores to the fact that “consumers gravitated to personalities and programming they were familiar with and they could count on. Stations that did an exemplary job of reflecting the local vibe — supporting local businesses and essential workers — may have helped power these all-important Net Promoter Scores.”

A few of the most successful drivers of word of mouth included trusted influencers, organic content, and online reviews. Each of these are uniquely part of radio’s DNA. Radio influencers‘ proven track record to drive trust, build brands, and drive word of mouth is undeniable. They are live and local personalities delivering native content to their loyal listeners via their broadcast, social media, and digital audio megaphones. Audio endorsements by radio personalities increase receptivity and consideration with 80 percent of listeners trusting and valuing their favorite personalities opinion and 77 percent indicated they are influenced by a radio personalities brand and product recommendations.

The combination of understanding behavior, as consumers move across radio platforms and what motivates them to act, leads to an omnichannel conclusion. Digital growth, which stems from the incredible surge in search and e-commerce behavior, is important, and understanding the power that radio brings to that digital activity is perhaps even more important. Tony Wright, CEO of WrightIMC, a full-service digital marketing agency, spoke about this in a recent post for Search Engine Journal. “The agency’s clients that effectively use radio have significantly higher click-through rates than their counterparts who are not using radio. We’ve seen the data for clients who are Fortune 10 businesses, as well as start-ups, and know it to be the case.”

Wright added, “when consumers are searching for something and they see a name they have heard of, they are more likely to click on that listing.” Combine Wright’s insights with the trusted, locally relevant, influential, and organic content delivered by radio, and it is a winning combination for any brand.

Throughout 2020 and continuing through 2021, there has been a strong call to arms for brands to step up as a force for growth and a force for good. The marketers who have implemented strategies and further defined their values and purpose to support consumers are making a difference, earning trust among consumers, and contributing to a more “equal, just, and better world” in the places consumers’ call home. Radio, across all of its live, local, experiential, digital, and broadcast platforms, is the most trusted environment for those brand messages to connect and motivate listeners to act.

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A Look at Black and Hispanic Audio Consumption

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Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The events of 2020 have magnified the importance of reaching ethnically diverse consumers. Advertisers across a wide array of categories, from Main Street to Madison Avenue, have increased their focus to reach Black/African American and Latino/Hispanic consumers. Knowing the media habits of each of these audiences is important to connect with them.

Based upon the available data from the latest Total Audience Report released by Nielsen, radio has the highest reach versus other media options for both Black and Hispanic consumers ages 18 and older. Broadcast radio reaches 87% of Blacks 18+ and 92% of Hispanics 18+.

Thanks to technology, radio can be tuned into beyond the home. As more people continue to leave their homes and commute to work, they are in vehicles and have various audio options available to them. Despite these options, AM/FM radio ranks the highest as an audio source ever used in vehicle, not only among the entire U.S. population, but also among African Americans and Hispanics.

According to Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial, done in partnership with Triton Digital, 64% of African Americans 18+ and 65% of Hispanics 18+ currently use radio in the car – significantly higher than owned digital music or satellite radio.

Consumers also tune into radio online. Online audio, defined as AM/FM radio station listening online and/or listening to streamed audio content only available on the internet, is also tuned into via a cellphone in car. African Americans 12+ will listen to online audio more in car than the total population (57% versus 50%) and Hispanics 12+ (43%).

When not in car, Blacks and Hispanics spend more time listening to online audio than the total population. Hispanics 12+ will spend nearly 19 hours each week listening to online audio and African Americans 12+ will spend just slight less at 17.9 hours, based on this same report. However, this time spent is much higher than the total population – 16.2 hours weekly.

When consumers tune in, advertisers should take note that the listener may not be alone. According to the Infinite Dial, 51% of the total population ages 12 and older frequently/sometimes listen to audio with other people. Blacks/African Americans tend to listen more with other people (52%) while 48% Hispanics say they do.

What does this mean? Audio, and radio specifically, has a role in the daily lives of Blacks and Hispanics. Not only does radio have higher reach versus other options, Blacks and Hispanics engage with radio across devices and platforms and may do so with others. Including radio within any ad campaign, both broadcast and online, is a must to reach these diverse consumers.

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Gen Z is Tuning into Radio – Social Media Platforms are Taking Notice

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Author: Madison Wright, Events and Communications Coordinator, RAB

You may be looking at this title and are thinking “Gen Z doesn’t listen to the radio; social media is where you reach them.” Did you know that radio reaches nearly 44,000 Gen Zers every week, according to Edison Research? While this group makes up around 20% of the U.S. population, per Statista, there is no denying the listening power of Gen Z.

Before diving into this blog, we need to better define who Gen Z is. Generally, Gen Z can be defined with varying end years (2010, 2012 and 2015 being the most common), for the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on the 9-24 age group. While millennials grew up with the beginning of the internet as we know it today, it’s Gen Z who grew up with the social media ecosystem and the introduction to modern smartphones and smart speakers. Through these devices, Gen Zers are always connected with friends, family and social media influencers. With that being said, it is truly no surprise that, according to 2020 MRI-Simmons data, over 70% of 18+ radio-listening Gen Zers used Facebook in the last 30 days and over 72% of 18+ radio-listening Gen Zers used Snapchat in the past month. 

Gen Z connects with radio and radio personalities on-air. According to Nielsen’s RADAR data, 78% of them listen to AM/FM radio. While many listen in the car, radio listening also occurs across devices and platforms, via a smartphone, tablet, laptop and even a smart speaker. Radio reaches them through the tech they are accustomed to while delivering the news and entertainment they trust. In fact, in Edison Research’s “Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership,” some qualitative interviews they did with Gen Z radio listeners found that:

  • Radio provides a human connection, particularly during quarantine.
  • Radio offers the surprise of songs that have not been curated in streaming playlists.
  • Radio is a source for additional information about music and artists.
  • Radio is a source for news and information.
  • Radio is associated with nostalgia and good memories.

While Gen Z is listening to radio, they are also contributing to the growing listening patterns in other audio options, like podcasts. According to a Morning Consult survey, nearly 32% of Gen Zers consider themselves regular podcast listeners with categories like comedy, true crime and pop culture piquing their interests. 

Audio is hot! Even social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter are taking notice and are better serving users by including audio into the mix of their visual-heavy content. For example, on June 17, 2020, Twitter began experimenting with Twitter Audio, a function that allows users to upload audio as tweets to expand on its “280 characters” and TikTok, a fan favorite for Gen Z, has created a podcast called “For You Podcast,” hosted by one of its creators, Brittany Tomlinson – also known as Brittany Broski. But the big trend right now is audio apps, like the ever-exclusive Clubhouse platform. as well as new audio projects in development from Twitter, Twitter Spaces and Facebook announced it’s in the works of creating its own app to rival Clubhouse.

Gen Z artists are using social platforms like Soundcloud and TikTok for distributing music. Why? It is because they still value the experience of hearing their songs on the radio. If you know a  Gen Zer, you’ve probably heard the song “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo. When her song played on the radio for the first time, she was tuning in to a local radio station and shared the video on social media with the caption “heard my song on the radio for the first time the other day. somebody say sike rn [right now].” Her live reaction is a reminder that for young artists, being on broadcast radio is still a pivotal moment in their careers. 

Rishad Tobaccowala said in RAB’s most recent sizzle video, “Radio works because it is audio and audio is the most important way to tell stories and move people.” By telling stories and keeping listeners connected, radio holds its title as the first social medium; it keeps Gen Z tied to their local communities while delivering the information and entertainment they need from radio personalities they trust.

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