Audio is Booming – Turn Up Your
Radio Strategy

Author: Jateen Parekh,  CTO and Co-Founder, Jelli.

Digital has transformed advertising in the last few years but audio as a medium has been left behind. Jateen Parekh, the CTO and co-founder at Jelli, shared his thoughts on the matter in an Adweek article entitled “Brands Need to Join the 21st Century and Tap Into Radio Advertising.”

In his piece, Jateen points to the fact that radio is a massive market – bigger than TV – that marketers have largely ignored, primarily because of the medium’s particular challenges.

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Radio Strategy”

Falling in Love with Radio

Author:  Pat Walsh, President & Chief Operating Officer, Emmis Communications

When the team at Emmis sits down to talk about what sets radio apart for our advertising clients, the discussion always leads back to the power of connection. Radio’s connection is an intensely personal relationship with personalities and content that has become a central part of the lives of nearly every American. The fact that this powerful connection comes in the form of an entertaining and ever expanding LOCAL content portfolio that includes broadcast audio content, events that excite and engage, and digital content that combines the power of audio, video and social, makes radio a truly special partner to the advertising community. Delivering on this intimate and connected local relationship makes radio a trusted friend in just about every American’s daily life. This type of relationship is what enables radio to continue to reach and resonate in the lives of 93% of Americans but it’s the trusted partnership radio has with its vast audience that feels special at this time of year.

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Radio Wins in Chicago – A Case Study

“Radio is the most important thing we use on the media side because it touches so many people.” 
Ed Wehmer, Founder, President & CEO, Wintrust Financial Corp.

“It’s personal, it’s daily & we can tell our story in an evolving way on radio.  That’s hard to do in other media.”
Diana Sikes, Senior Vice President, Art Van Furniture 

“We can target different demographics, change the message.  It’s a tremendous, flexible medium.” 
Roy Spencer, President & Owner, PermaSeal Basement Systems

“Radio is the core of our influence strategy.” 
John Alfirevich, Dealer Operator of Apple Chevrolet and President of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers Association

These are real, current testimonials that speak to the effectiveness of radio and are highlights from a bi-product of the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland (RBC), a committee of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, focused on demonstrating the power, influence and evolution of radio as the most effective results-driven medium through innovative collaboration.

These testimonials represent phase 2 of what is called an “RBC Roadblock” concept where more than 40 radio stations in a single major market (Chicago) simultaneously air the :60 spot.  Phase 1 of the Roadblock campaign was first introduced through an unprecedented and uninterrupted “live” 30-minute “Town Hall Meeting” conversation between Hall of Fame broadcaster Bill Kurtis and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Since then, the “roadblock” concept has been used to support fundraising efforts for 2017 hurricane victims and, more recently, this campaign featured advertisers who believe strongly in the medium of radio.

The results have been terrific.  Click here for the case study.


Inaugural Event: Chicago Radio Town Hall Meeting

One third of the population listened to the broadcast.

7 in 10 Chicagoans were aware of the event, with nearly half knowing  about it prior to the air date.

88% of those who tuned in listened to all or most of the broadcast.

Eight in 10 adults dialed in to their preferred station.

The location of listening was equally split between those listening at home and away from home.

Radio: Still the One

There is little doubt that we are in a golden age of media overall, as content is available everywhere and across all devices.  Yet, according to Nielsen’s second quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, radio remains the top way to reach consumers across all media platforms – 93% A18+. And radio also provides advertisers with effective digital opportunities to compliment and extend its large over-the-air audience. Such as: streaming, on-demand podcasts, HD radio, NextRadio, and pure plays… the list continues to expand. Radio’s social media websites provide advertisers with new ways to relate to the enthusiastic radio audience. As smart marketers, we must look ahead to understand these drivers of change and signals of progress to navigate forward. The media landscape is vast, complex with technology changing the way consumer’s engage with media and radio remains the best way to reach consumers across demographics.

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Local Radio Reigns Supreme

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported on the shuttering of a chain of Eastside community newspapers. One article even went so far as to say, “Local and regional newspapers that serve Southern California are going through tough times, leading some to question whether traditional newspapers can survive.” Radio has always been there – now it is even more valuable! The importance of local radio to the local community can’t be understated.

The challenge for local Newspapers has been how to sustain a newsroom and make a profit when print advertising is fleeing to lower-cost space on the Internet.  Most digital ads are concentrated on Facebook and Google, not newspaper websites. These two Internet giants take in 60 percent of online ad revenues.

Radio was shown as the most trusted platform used after the impact of hearing about “fake news” in political coverage.  See below for the Kantar “Trust in News” study where it was revealed ‘mainstream news media’s’ reputation remained largely intact while social media and digital-only news platforms sustained major reputation damage. In addition, Facebook and other digital platforms are not designed to promote civic connection, but rather communities of interest often unmoored from particular geographies.

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Radio Delivers For Local Businesses


Small businesses are thriving and looking at 2018 in a positive way, and radio is the perfect vehicle to help them meet their 2018 revenue expectations and goals. Each year BIA/Kelsey conducts Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM), a survey that tracks small-business advertising and marketing spending, buying preferences, and reported return on investment. Within the LCM, BIA/Kelsey also examines franchises. A franchisor licenses its know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee.

In the past year, strong economic growth has led to an increase in spending by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and franchisees on advertising and marketing.

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