In Radio You Can Trust

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

No word has ever had a greater impact on brands as trust. Consumers today are in control and not only expect but demand that the brands they engage with be authentic to keep their loyalty.

Security breaches and concerns about data privacy are now at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and trust is as important a component of brand consideration as brand value. For marketers, finding the balance or sweet spot tapping into data, consumer engagement and maintaining trust are what may keep many chief marketing officers up at night.

Earlier this year Brand Keys, a brand research consultancy, asked nearly 600 CMOs and brand managers what keeps them up at night. It shouldn’t be a surprise that “establishing trust between my brand and the consumer” was one of the top three items mentioned most often on the list. On that list is another concern that creates insomnia for marketers – “creating relevant and engaging advertising content and storytelling.” These two concerns can be addressed by one medium – radio.

There is a reason why nearly 250 million people listen to radio weekly. It’s a trusted medium. Listeners tune in to radio for various reasons according to the Jacobs Media Techsurvey 2019 – for news, companionship, favorite songs/artists and the personalities on-air.

While social media may be prevalent within a brand’s strategy, there is nothing like the human voice to connect and influence. Radio station personalities are part of the local listeners’ community and circle. Listeners consider radio personalities like a friend and have intimate knowledge of the personality’s marital status. According to the Katz Radio Group’s Our Media panel, 83% of listeners value and trust their favorite personality’s opinion, 77% would try a recommended brand and 78% speak to friends about what they hear from their favorite radio station personalities.
Radio, falling under the category of traditional media,  is trusted more than online-only and social media based upon the results of the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. And perhaps that’s also why 62% of Americans trust radio news bulletins or programs (Kantar, Trust in News U.S. 2017).

When it comes to relevant, engaging advertising content and storytelling, radio’s abilities are second to none. One look at the large attendance of a radio station-created event proves just that. Radio stations’ listeners are fans – following personalities online and off, contributing to charities and organizations and delivering goods in times of need. How does radio do it? It is naturally authentic. Personalities speak and listeners tune in and engage in a two-way dialogue – via texts, tweets, call-ins contests, etc. Tune in to any radio station and listen to how the personalities on those stations speak of events, venues or brands – what you will hear is true authenticity. It’s a prerequisite for trust.

What should brands do to earn and keep a consumer’s trust?


One thought on “In Radio You Can Trust”

  1. Great Article. Of all the things that attract consumers, TRUST is at the top. One of my suggestions to radio people (or anyone) is “check your TTs” Always make sure you earn the trust of listeners and buyers. And the other “T” is TRUTH. You must tell the truth to earn another’s trust. Even the greatest personality, or sales person, needs truth as a large part of their presentation. If the product does not perform as you promised, even the most faithful listener will not believe you again. Thanks for sharing these truths.

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