Back in the olden days, say 1999, Maine small business owners didn't have very many choices for where to advertise. There was radio, of course. There was TV. There was newspaper. Those three options comprised what we called mass media.
Then came the new media. Websites, Facebook, Pandora, YouTube, Apps, Groupon, Living Social, podcasts, and hundreds of other options where Maine business owners could market their products and services. This onslaught of choices could, at first, seem daunting for advertisers. After all, each month, according to Nielsen, consumers engage with 55 different websites on their desktop computers; 27 different apps on their mobile devices; and 20 different television stations.
Radio listeners, on the other hand, listen to only 7 radio station per month. Rich Tunkel, a Nielsen Vice President, points out that as a less-fragmented, high-reach medium, radio is easier to use. “It’s simple to execute, it’s effective, it’s going to deliver the reach,” he said. “And any one station will have engagement with that audience because they’re not dividing their time up among 55 different radio stations.”
Radio Reach Is Consistent Among All Consumers
Another important distinction for radio, compared to other media, is that its share of media consumption is consistent across the demographics. According to Nielsen’s forthcoming Q1 2016 Total Audience Report, radio’s share of weekly time spent with media stands at 17% among persons 18+, 18-34, 35-49 and 50+. No other medium shows that demographic consistency. “Radio’s share is consistent; it doesn’t matter what demo you’re trying to reach,” Tunkel said.
This comes to no surprise to Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick. "We have been using Portland radio as a primary marketing source for about 10 years now." said Ms. Dodge. "We have seen very measurable results and are able to target our audiences more effectively."
"We are also more effectively able to market specific brands to a specific audience which is sometimes harder, and more expensive, to do with other mediums, said Ms. Dodge. "Radio is a very cost effective way to get your message out to the people you want to hear it."
Radio Focuses On Advertisers' Target Markets
Dick Schweppe, who owns Massage Envy in South Portland also understands the value of radio among the vast number of advertising option. He says, "Radio is the go to for us. It does a number of things that can't be accomplished in other media. For instance, it helps us to focus directly on our target market...our most likely, potential customer. If we want to reach men we can advertise on one station. If we want to reach women of a certain age we can go another so we can really laser-beam our message directly on the people we want to focus on."
Doug Schoen, a marketing professional with more than 35 years of experience, agrees with Ms. Dodge and Mr. Schweppe. Schoen recently wrote in an article published by Forbes, "Despite how often the media reports on newer forms of advertising, it is in fact free broadcast radio – yes, a mass market medium that’s been around since the 19th century – that often most effectively reaches and truly influences consumers. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency."
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