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Radio Works to Drive Business Forward

Tapping into radio’s loyal, attentive, and social audience yields a boost to the bottom line

Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

The current economic environment and consumer concerns over inflation are challenging marketers and media alike to do more with less in an increasingly complicated and competitive marketplace. Add to that the ongoing threat of another health crisis, the rapid influx of advancing technology, and the multiplicity of events in 2023 and their long tail impact, one thing has remained stable, efficient, results-driven, and a trusted partner to marketers. Radio.

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Amplifying Brand Buzz: How Radio Redefines Conversations and Influence

Harness Radio’s Unique Ability to Fuel Purchase Intent and More

Contributor: Vanessa Lontoc, VP of Marketing, Engagement Labs

In the ever-evolving landscape of media impact, radio emerges as a potent catalyst for brand conversations. The study “Radio Drives Brand Conversations,” commissioned by RAB in partnership with Engagement Labs, dives deep into radio’s role in driving brand discussions and explores its profound influence on purchase intent, societal discourse and the bottom line. In this blog, we dissect key findings and offer actionable recommendations for brands and advertisers looking to harness the untapped potential of radio conversations.

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Using Radio to Drive Growth in Local Markets

Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

Supporting and connecting with local communities can pay dividends for brands, studies show

The phrase “Think globally, act locally” was popularized by the environmental conservation movement in the 1970s, but it holds relevancy today for marketers looking to drive brand growth. Regardless of the size and scope of a brand, the ultimate point of purchase and consumption is often within a local community.

In a recent CMO Council report based on a survey of more than 140 marketing leaders in B2C and B2B brands, a third of respondents say 40 percent or more of their company’s revenue comes from local business partners. Yet, the report says, less than 30 percent of small businesses have fully recovered from the pandemic. The report underscores national brands’ responsibility to drive local demand to grow revenue and aid the performance of local partners.

Supporting local economies and resonating with people in local communities (i.e., keeping them informed, entertained, and connected) is a fitting definition for radio. As CMOs face pressure to reach profitable goals and are often expected to do more with less, radio can help brands drive local demand and sustainable growth in neighborhoods coast to coast.

The Local Connection

Eighty-nine percent of radio listeners believe that one of radio’s primary advantages is its local feel, and appreciation for local content among listeners is on the rise, up 33 percent over the past five years, according to the 2023 Jacobs Media Techsurvey. Couple that with Horizon Media’s finding that 72 percent of adults appreciate brands that try to get to know their local culture and community and using radio becomes an obvious path for brand marketers to drive local engagement and action.

According to a recent Katz Radio Group survey, localizing radio messaging leads to increased attention and impact among listeners. The study tested generic and localized versions of audio advertising for a retailer, insurance brand, and healthcare provider in different geographical areas. The study found that while every ad improved purchase intent, ads that incorporated local elements averaged a 24 percent lift in effectiveness.

The same is true for contextual messaging. When there is synergy between an audio ad and the content, the better the outcome up and down the purchase funnel. Reaching people at the exact right moment and place with relevance and with local nuances can move KPIs.

Arguably, part of the effectiveness of local radio can be attributed to the bond shared between radio’s local on-air influencers and their listeners. “Imagine picking up the phone and calling a friend and chatting twice a month for a few years,” Damon Amendolara, host of The DA Show for CBS Sports Radio, told Barrett Sports Media in a recent interview. “With how much we text today and how infrequent we all actually call one another, a caller to a radio show may actually have a closer bond to you than some of your friends or family. Hearing that person’s voice regularly creates a deep connection.” Brands can leverage these connections in authentic ways for more effective campaigns.

Getting Involved

Community engagement and experiential marketing can build strong connections and foster a positive brand image. Arguably, radio pioneered experiential marketing to mass audiences through live, in-market events that provide entertainment and information to local communities. And now that live, in-person events are back following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands can leverage the immersive experience of radio-hosted events such as music festivals, fundraisers, and block parties to build relationships, boost demand for local products and services, and, ultimately, drive growth for their local business partners.

Indeed, when brands make the most of what radio offers, the results can exceed expectations. In 2022, Nissan, in collaboration with iHeartMedia, the Black Effect Podcast Network, and popular on-air host and podcaster Charlamagne Tha God, developed a campaign to invite students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to sign up for a groundbreaking mentorship event focused on professions in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The vast majority of HBCU scholars who participated in The Black Effect Podcast Network’s Thrill of Possibility Summit indicated the event met or exceeded their expectations and provided an unforgettable learning experience.

Lanae Jackson, senior manager of multicultural marketing strategy at Nissan, speaking at the 2023 ANA Advancements in Measurement Conference, said the campaign “performed better than they ever could have imagined.” The combination of efforts to promote the Nissan-sponsored event leveraged iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God’s platforms, including broadcast radio, digital and social media, and podcasts, to not only drive massive lift for the auto brand, which saw a 73 percent increase in upper funnel metrics, including unaided awareness, but also worked to solidify the brand’s commitment to increase Black representation in STEAM-related careers.

Local Reach, Global Outcomes

The concept of thinking globally and acting locally brings together a brands’ global aspiration with relatable local value.

As consumers continue to seek out local businesses and prefer brands that understand the nuances of their community, brands that drive resonance within these communities and at national scale through the power of their local and national radio partners will undoubtedly achieve sustainable growth.

How Radio Builds Effectiveness for RMN Campaigns

The complementary effectiveness of radio’s always-on audience and retail media networks’ deep dataset

Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP/Business Development, RAB

The marketing industry has long leaned into results-driven marketing efforts that square up against specific goals, audiences, and strategies. Today, due in part to the current financial climate, seemingly all marketing is performance marketing, with metrics defined by cost per audiences reached, served, and, ultimately, converted.

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Top Cultural Trends of 2023

Contributors: Maxine Gurevich, SVP/Cultural Intelligence and Courtney Mota, VP/Cultural Intelligence, Horizon Media

In 2022, we saw several pivotal events — the overturning of a 50-year law by the U.S. Supreme Court, Elon Musk’s seemingly impulsive Twitter takeover, FTX’s high-profile collapse, nationally televised hearings of the January 6th Committee and a contentious mid-term election. These are the kind of events that force people to question how the actions of a powerful few impact the majority. In 2023, we’ll be asking what role there is for brands to play in helping the current systems work better for more people. People are tired but better informed, and brands should prepare to demonstrate value upfront before asking people to part with their already-stretched, too-hard-earned money.  

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Radio’s Resolution – A Champion for The Community

Contributor: Fleur Voruz, Senior Director, Programs (Media), Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

As a new year begins, this is a time to reflect on the health of our businesses.

Fundamental to this checkup is applauding the meaningful work that defines a business’ culture. Frequently, cause-connected partnerships set local radio stations apart in their communities increasing positive listener sentiment, fostering employee engagement and generating business value.

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