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Revisiting Our 2020 Radio Refresher

date 13th January 2021
user Post by Sheridan Hill

At the beginning of 2020, bright eyed and optimistic for the year ahead, we published an article called A 2020 Radio Refresher. The purpose of this article was to pinpoint the key pillars of radio that make it an effective advertising channel, and to underline what advertisers should be mindful of for their upcoming campaigns.

What unfolded – as we all know - was a suitably unprecedented year. So, rather than create a brand new list, we have chosen to revisit our 2020 refresher with the hindsight of the past 12 months.

A key companion
In 2020, we highlighted the one-to-one relationship listeners enjoy with their favourite announcer(s). We also referenced a figure which showed the majority of listeners tune in to radio alone.

This companionship is often the very reason why people listen to radio. In a study commissioned by TRB in April, one respondent said, “I’ve been self-isolating alone, so it’s been lovely to hear another voice. I love the music, it’s my happy place and to have it playing made me feel safe and calm.”

In the same study 56% of respondents categorically stated they trusted the information told to them by their favourite presenters. Radio for many then, is a trusted friend.

Specific targeting and reach

The second pillar of radio in 2020 centered on radio’s significant audience reach, with 3.3 million Kiwis aged 10+ tuning in to commercial radio each week. From this figure, we touched on the ability to target specific audience segments based on age, location, culture, language and more.

While some were afraid audiences would decline due to lost commuting time, New Zealand commercial radio ratings identified growth to a total audience of 3.4 million.

During our Christmas Countdown we asked our agency partners what they thought was the shiniest feature of radio advertising – overwhelming they responded it was the targeting capabilities.

Advertisers can be safe in the knowledge that whoever their target audience is, radio has a way to reach them.

Unrivalled cut through

There is still no ad-blocker for radio, you still can’t fast forward and you can’t opt to skip ad breaks through a subscription model. Ad avoidance is a challenge for modern marketers, but perhaps not so with their radio campaigns.

Our vox pops series (though filmed in February 2020) even identified the majority of participants didn’t change stations during the ad breaks, with some even stating they enjoyed them because of the clever creative some brands adopted.

With radio, advertisers have an engaged and attentive audience. They should capitalize on this with a well thought out plan for conveying their message. Our ORCA 2020 winners have some tips on how to do this.

Top of mind
It’s not just the reach of a campaign that advertisers should focus on, but the number of times each listener will hear their message.

Because of the cost effectiveness of radio, a higher frequency level is easier to achieve on radio than some other advertising platforms. This hasn’t changed year on year.

TRB’s team of experienced planners can help to define a good frequency level for each advertiser. This will differ based on the brand and the campaign objective, so it’s best to get in touch for a discussion.

Multiplies other media

This buildable frequency doesn’t just apply to radio only schedules. Rather advertisers can benefit from adding radio to a multichannel campaign, to help build overall brand awareness and recall.

The studies we referenced in last year’s article are now historical, but during a period where some other media was and remains less visible (or boycotted), radio is a great addition to multiply the effectiveness of multichannel campaigns.

Drives a response

Radio isn’t just an entertainment platform. It is a chosen media for campaigns like the New Zealand Government’s Covid 19 response because it drives effective advertising results. In particular, 75% of respondents in our Covid 19 study said they trusted radio to give up to date information about the pandemic.

Tuning into the retail sector, 49% of respondents specifically relied on radio to inform them of what stores and services were open. This statistic would suggest audiences were actively listening out to determine which brands they could make purchases from. Those not advertising on radio may have missed out on these dollars.

The case studies section on our website provides more information about how radio has driven specific responses for advertisers.

Overall, our 2020 radio refresher has held up or even become more accurate for the 2021 landscape. We’re again optimistic for what we can only hope is a little more precedented year.

Get in touch to discuss how these elements of radio can be harnessed for your next campaign.

Sources: GfK NZ COVID-19 Study, April 27-28 2020, Nationally representative online study, People 18+, (unless otherwise specified), n=500. GfK New Zealand Commercial Total New Zealand Survey 4 2020, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 10+, Cumulative Audience (000).

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