Our brains can process a sound in 0.05 seconds. This is 5 times faster than it takes for our minds to process visual stimuli. We can recognize the beginning of the 5th symphony by hearing just one or two notes, but we would need to see thousands of pixels to recognize that it is actually Beethoven sitting on the piano bench hammering those notes out. The fastest way to a man's heart may be through his stomach, but the fastest way to a consumer's brain is through her ear.
Perhaps, this is why Portland radio, an ears only medium, is used by more people in Maine than TV, newspapers, smartphones, PCs, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM or YouTube. This is also why so many Maine small business owners successfully use radio advertising to market their goods and services.
In 1943, 21 years after the first commercial was broadcast, 93% of all Americans tuned into radio each week. But there was no television, Facebook, Spotify, or Pinterest to compete for the attention of these listeners.
Flash forward, to 2016. It seems every day that we are introduced to a new media or digital distraction. Regardless, radio is still used by 93% of all Americans each week, just like in 1943. And, according to recent research by Nielsen, radio is used by more Americans of all ages, than any other medium.
Source: Nielsen Total Audience Report Q2 2016
Traditional AM/FM radio is not the only audio medium that competes for the ears of Maine's consumers. But, no one else even comes close.
According to a new study from Edison research, AM/FM radio monopolizes 52% of all the time that consumers spend using radio. The number two medium? People's own CD/MP3 collections command a 13% share of ear. The remaining time is filled with the also-rans, Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Sirius/XM.
The dominance of Portland radio in the lives of consumers is not lost on Maine small business owners and marketers who depend on the medium to make cash registers ring. This includes Scott Libby, owner of Royal River Heat Pumps in Falmouth.
According to Mr. Libby his sales of heat pumps have doubled over the past year. He attributes a large part of this achievement to the advertising he does on Portland radio. "When it comes to reach," says Mr. Libby, "Radio is second to none."
Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, has had similar results utilizing Portland radio as part of her company's marketing mix. "When we began advertising on the radio several years ago," says Ms. Manchester, "our business doubled! We went from selling 100 homes a year to approximately 200 homes each year! Radio advertising continues to provide a steady stream of well qualified customers for us!"
Jon Goodman, who is the front man of Time Pilots, a Maine based wedding band also experienced accelerated growth when he started advertising on Portland radio. "It would be fair to say," says Mr. Goodman, "that our wedding business has tripled."
Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick, also lets reality not perception guide her company's media and marketing decisions. "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."
It is easy to understand how all of the press attention on new media may seduce Maine small business owners to believe that no one listens to the radio any more. But the truth is, nobody listens any less. The ear wants what the ear wants.
Free Download For Maine Small Business Owners