In 2015, radio celebrated its 95th birthday. And the news about radio in 2015 was astounding. Radio surpassed TV to become America's number one advertising medium, reaching 93% of all consumers every week. Also in 2015, radio proved to deliver a higher-return on investment than any other medium. This good news led to an article in Forbes magazine that proclaimed, "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."
Below are the 10 most read articles in 2015 by Maine small business owners at our Radio Results blog. These are 10 awesome articles about advertising and marketing on Portland radio.
1. Four Misconceptions Maine Business Owners Have About Portland Radio
We wanted to put Doug Schoen's thesis to the test to see if, in fact, Maine small business owners' perceptions of traditional AM/FM radio have been misguided by the lopsided share-of-attention enjoyed by newer media options.
Doug Schoen is a pretty smart guy. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard where he also received his law degree. He earned doctorate of philosophy from Oxford. He co-invented overnight polling for political campaigns. He has written tons of books. And the clients of his market research company, Penn, Schoen & Berland, include Proctor & Gamble and AT&T.
A few weeks ago, in an article published in Forbes magazine, the very smart Schoen said, "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference. Schoen goes on to say, "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."
To test Schoen's thesis we surveyed Maine business owners and media buyers who depend on Portland radio to market their goods and services. One hundred of them told us what they thought. Here is what they know about radio that just ain't so. Read More.
2. A Maine Small Business Has Unexpected Success on Portland Radio
Mathews Brothers, a Maine small business that manufactures windows, is not the biggest advertiser on Portland radio station WGAN. Actually, some of the boxy stores who are a threat to Mathews Brothers' business run more commercials on WGAN. But if you engage any regular WGAN listener in a conversation about the station, then the name Mathews Brothers is sure to come up. It happens to me 3-4 times every week. So why, of all the hundreds of different companies that advertise on WGAN, are the Mathews Brothers commercials remembered so prodigiously? The answer has something to do with the Beatles and nocturnal predators. Read More.
3. Advertising on Public Radio: What Maine Small Business Needs to Know
WMEA-FM can be found at 90.1 on the Portland radio dial. Each week in southern Maine, 74,200 adults listen to this public radio station. It is possible for Maine small business owners to advertise to this audience, but they must be willing to adhere to very strict rules, which will be discussed in a moment.
WMEA is part of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN), a chain of 7 public radio stations broadcasting an identical mix of local and national news; classical music; and a variety of entertainment programming. WMEA and the rest of MPBN are the Maine outlet for national programming from NPR (Nation Public Radio); PRI (Public Radio International) and PRX (Public Radio Exchange). Besides WMEA, which serves southern Maine, other MPBN outlets are located in Camden, Waterville, Bangor, Presque Isle, Fort Kent, and Calais. One drawback for Maine small business owners wishing to advertise on WMEA is that they must pay to be on all 7 stations and cannot target the specific area of the state they would like to reach. Read More.
4. What Maine Small Business Owners Can Learn From The Mad Men Finale
An epiphanic smile appeared on Don Draper's face. Then came the first note of the most famous commercial of all time. Within 150 milliseconds (the time it takes humans to recognize a sound), viewers of the Mad Men finale learned Don was responsible for teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.
Listeners to Portland radio first heard Coca Cola's "hilltop" commercial in 1971. And that's the time everyone watching Mad Men on May 17, 2015 was instantly transported back to as the iconic jingle unfurled.
So why do these musical bits of commercials get embedded in our brains and how can Maine small business owners benefit from the phenomenon? Read More.
5. Five Things You Can't Say On Portland Radio
There's free speech and then there's expensive speech. The first amendment of our constitution prohibits Congress from "abridging the freedom of speech." On the other, in 1946 Congress passed the Lanham Act which provided for the first federal system of registering and protecting trademarks. The power to do so is granted by Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, also known as the commerce clause. As a result, Maine small businesses cannot utilize trademarked words, phrases, or images in their radio advertising without permission of the trademark's owner. Read More.
6. Portland Radio Fills The Skill Gap for Maine Employers
There is good news, bad news, and better news for Maine small business. Spoiler alert: the better news is Maine employers are successfully using Portland radio to engage, recruit, and retain their best new employees.
The good news: the U.S. economy added 252,000 new jobs in December. According to the Labor Department, this caps a 12-month stretch of job growth unmatched since 1999, according to the Labor Department.
The bad news: Maine small businesses are having a hard time competing for qualified and skilled employees. In a recent article in Forbes, management consultant Dan Schwabel said, "If you ask any HR executive what their biggest challenges are, the skills gap is typically unanimously noted. I’ve been paying close attention to this trend over the past few years and the gap is actually widening instead of closing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there were 4.7 million job openings in June and more than half of employers say that they can’t find qualified candidates. This issue will progress until the college curriculum aligns with the current job marketplace. This year, we found that only 2% of companies are recruiting liberal arts majors but schools still offer those degrees. Companies need to start working with colleges so that students get the necessary skills to fill the gap." Read More.
7. Two Portland Radio Pros Maine Small Business Owners Should Know
You wouldn't think that the readers of The Portland Phoenix Newspaper and of DownEast magazine agree on many things. You would be right. Phoenix readers could likely be found at a Guster concert while DownEast readers might be more comfortable at the Portland Symphony. But there is one thing readers of both publications agree on: Who are the best personalities on Portland Radio?
In recent polls of its readers, both The Portland Phoenix and DownEast magazine declared Blake & Eva from Coast 93.1morning show to be the best radio personalities in Maine. This is not an easy task given the number of stations that live on the Portland radio dial. Given the response to these polls, undoubtedly Blake Hayes and Eva Matteson have figured out how to connect with their station's 67,516 weekly listeners. This is a lesson worth learning for Maine small business owners who depend on radio advertising to market their products and services. Read More.
8. The Verdict Is In: Portland Radio Works For Maine Small Business
Ok. So don't just take our word for it. We have been making the case for several years that after 95 years if testing, Portland radio has proven to be a powerful marketing tool for Maine small businesses. We have published testimonials from Maine small business owners like realtor Cathy Manchester who doubled her sales in just one year when she started advertising on radio. We have printed studies from major research companies that clearly demonstrate that radio adverting delivers a greater return-on-investment than any other medium. Now comes two more pieces of evidence that shows radio's dominance in the pantheon of advertising supported media.
Exhibit 1: The venerable business publication Forbes published an article this week about the dominance of traditional AM/FM radio. In the article, writer Doug Schoen writes, "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference." Read More.
9. Maine Small Business Owners Listen Up: Radio Produces 17 Times ROI
A recent article by Doug Schoen in Forbes begins, "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference." A Maine small business owner who is considering marketing her goods or services on Portland radio may, understandably, want to know if the medium's superior reach translates to sales.
According to a study just released by Nielsen revealed that when retailers spend $1 on radio advertising, they enjoyed $17 in incremental sales. The study compared quarterly sales results for 4 retailers who invested in radio advertising with the same quarter or the previous year when radio was not used. Read More.
10. Portland Radio Listeners Treated To Awesome Super Bowl Commercial
More than 23 million people listened to last weekend's Super Bowl* on the radio. The New England Patriots fans who listened to the game on Portland radio station WJJB (The Big Jab) were treated to commercials that rivaled those on television. The Westwood One radio network, who syndicated the big game, took a poll of listeners to determine which commercials were best. Here are the top 5 radio commercials that were broadcast during Super Bowl XLIX. Read More.
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