Radio is one of the mainstays for enterprises which are looking to build their business locally. Why is it so popular with local advertisers?
1) Radio talks to people at the right time and place
Radio works in “real time” so ads can be run at just the time when people are most ready to be influenced by the message. For example, a leisure centre can advertise on a Friday night when people are planning their weekend; a car dealership can target the ‘drive time’ to reach people in car; a local retail outlet can advertise on Friday and Saturday morning to promote weekend offers.
Research shows that ads are far more effective when people are thinking about a related subject.
2) Radio can talk to people who are one click away
Recent research into surfing behaviour revealed that 20% of internet users are listening to radio at any time (Clark Chapman Research 2006).
This is great news for businesses which use the web to bring customers in, as it means many of the listeners can go and check the website immediately.
3) Radio reaches out to everyone – including new customers
While it’s easy to skip the ads on TV and in newspapers, radio ads are harder to avoid. Research shows that people just don’t avoid the ads like they do in other media.
This means that radio is ideal for reaching out to new customers (the lifeblood of most businesses) – they will hear the ads regardless of whether they think they are in the market or not.
4) Radio reaches the right local audiences
Naturally the listeners to a local radio station are locals. But more importantly they are also the right kind of locals. Compared to the typical local newspaper readers, commercial radio listeners tend to be significantly younger.
This means they are more likely to have families and to spend more on shopping.
5) Radio is a ‘local friend’ for listeners
Listeners typically describe their favourite local radio station as a friend, and that friendship can be used by advertisers to change the way local people perceive them – to keep ahead of the competition.
This is especially true for branded content (sponsorships and promotions). If a radio presenter says that prizes are “thanks to our friends at ABC Motors”, listeners will begin to feel a warmer relationship with that company.
6) Radio is the most flexible medium
Business conditions can change fast, and radio is well set to meet those changes. Production of commercials is quick and relatively low-cost, and this allows local advertisers to put out just the right message at the right time. This flexibility works particularly well for advertisers who’s business changes fast with late deals, extended sales, reaction to news/ weather
7) Radio builds long-term brand dominance
As the growth of Carphone Warehouse proved, small businesses can become much bigger businesses by using radio as their primary medium.
Because radio messages are repeated more often and have lower levels of avoidance, by the time a listener is ready to make a purchase, the retailer’s brand name and values are strongly established in their mind.
This is particularly true for brands which invest in sonic identities or jingles.
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