Advertising and Direct Marketing Topic10: Using Radio Radio plays an integral role in the media plans of advertisers who invest billions in media placement. There are several options for reaching target audiences. A split of national and local is an obvious geographic choice. More specifically advertisers can choose among the following categories each with individual characteristics: networks, syndication, AM and FM. Additionally, there are now satellite radio options as well as streaming radio broadcasts through the internet. Networks operate much like television networks in that they deliver programming via satellite to affiliate stations. They tend to concentrate on news, sports, business reports and short features. Some of the successful networks include ABC, CNN and AP News Network. Syndication provides complete programs to stations on a contract basis. Large syndicates offer stations complete 24-hour a day programming packages that relieve a station of any programming effort. They will also supply individual programs, such as talk shows. Large syndication organizations like Westwood One and Satellite Music Networks place ads within programming, making syndication a good option for advertisers. AM versus FM: Am sends signals at signal designations 540 to 1600 AM, and even stereo AM signals cannot match the sound quality of FM. Therefore most AM stations focus on local community broadcasting or news or talk formats that do not require high quality audio. Talk radio was the salvation of AM radio. FM radio transmits on frequency modulation and is of much higher quality, attracting a wide range of music formats. The various types of radio advertising include local spot radio, advertising, network radio advertising, or national spot radio advertising. Spot radio attracts 80% of all radio advertising dollars spent a year. In spot advertising, an advertiser places ads directly with the individual station rather than a network or syndication. Spot radio dominates the three classes of radio advertising because there are more than 9,000 individual radio stations in the United States, and spot allows the advertiser a wide range of choices. Spot radio reaches well-defined geographic audiences, making it an ideal choice for local retailers. Network radio advertising is placed within national network programs. There are few of such programs. National spot radio offers an advertiser the opportunity to place advertising in nationally syndicated radio programming. An advertiser can reach millions of listeners by contracting with Westwood One for a program that will then be carried by thousands of stations across the US. Radio can become either a primary or secondary vehicle in a media schedule. Because it is portage, it allows advertisers the ability of reaching listeners while they are in the marketplace (only advertising at the point-of-purchase is able to reach prospects closer to purchase). The closer the message is to the register, the more it will influence the purchase. Consumers spend more time with radio than any other medium during shopping hours and research indicates that consumers are 2 to 5 times more likely to use radio within :30 minutes of purchase. This close proximity to sales is one of radio’s greatest advantages. Radio reaches 98.8% of young adults aged 18-34, 95.5% of African Americans and 95.6% of Hispanics. In other words, radio reaches all audience segments. Unlike television stations, a single radio station may belong to several networks at the same time. In television the local stations sell advertising time on the basis of the strength of the network programming whereas in radio the networks depend on the local ratings to get national advertising support. Radio dayparts: 6 - 10 A.M. – drive time – breakfast audience – news, weather, traffic 10 AM – 3 PM – daytime – programs characteristic of the station,- talk or music or all news 3 – 7 PM – afternoon drive time – radio primetime – same as morning drive time 7 PM – 12 AM – night – news, music, talk 12 AM – 6 AM – late night – music, talk Primetime is both morning and afternoon drive time (TV is between 8 – 10 PM) Drive time is the most desired and costly and has the highest ratings. Run of station (ROS) – station has the choice of moving spot wherever it is the most convenient (premptible ROS is the least expensive). Special features – time adjacent to weather, news time, traffic or stock market reports – this placement has premium pricing. Spot time is generally sold in weekly packages called “total audience plans” (TAP) – a flat rate for a number of time slots divided in different proportions over the broadcast day and equally distributed. Advertisers can buy a total plan or parts of it. One difficulty with radio is the problem of maintaining some sort of audience research. Radio audiences do not have regularly scheduled programs like television audiences do by which to recall their listening habits. Therefore recall is undependable. There is a large out –of-home audience in cars and offices and the existing diary method does not provide data necessary for advertisers. Arbitron is experimenting with portable people meters to measure listeners. The major source of radio network ratings is RADAR (Radio All Dimension Audience Research), Statistical Research In. and the data is collected through telephone recall interviews. The advantages of radio over television for direct response include: 1) program formats to which advertisers can better target their messages and 2) lower costs for time. Targeting the right program formats is important. If an advertiser is soliciting phone-in orders for a rock album or tape, they most likely run the commercial on a station that features rock music. Financial advertisers solicit inquires from potential investor and numerous might target that audience (Wall Street Report or an FM station with upper- income listeners). Creating spots for radio Radio is a writer’s medium using words, sounds, music and even silence. These elements are woven together by the writer to produce a piece of image and persuasion. Connection with the listener is direct, personal, emotional and primal. Writing for radio must consider the station’s format. The difference audiences require tailored messages, though sometimes it does make sense to break the flow of programming and stand out. Radio is more personal than television, carried with the listeners, in car, beach, office, jogging and even bathrooms. Because the radio listener supplies important elements in the message, the suggestion is that the message may be more firmly held than in a medium in which the individual has not participated. Don’t fill in all the blanks. Allow the listener to provide some pieces. Use language that is clear in meaning and emotional content and use recognizable/understandable sounds. If not, then your listener will be distracted and now follow the full flow of the message. Use music whenever you can because music is an emotional common denominator that more than justifies the cost. You can purchase music at low cost from a music library (referred to as “needle drop” as if comes off a disc of produced music available for rental). Another aspect of radio is its casualness. Television commands all of the viewers time, attention and concentration whereas radio only gets a small portion of this attention. Keeping the spot simple and intrusive through the use of special sounds or even silence can arrest your listener’s attention. To hold this attention, the idea content must be cohesive and uncomplicated. Drive the point home. Most radio spots are :60 seconds and this is the length that most listeners are accustomed to. :30 second spots are available but are not a good choice/buy for direct response purposes.
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