Archie Moore was a great boxer. For ten consecutive years ending in 1962, he was the light-heavyweight champion of the world, a record that still stands. Mr. Moore also scored 131 knockouts over his career, another record. Yet, on ESPN's list of the greatest boxers of all-time, Mr. Moore only ranks 18th behind more flamboyant personalities such as Muhammad Ali (#2 on the list), "Sugar" Ray Robinson (#1), Joe Louis (#4), and Jack Dempsey (#9). But none of these stars ever came close to Mr. Moore's records.
Traditional AM/FM radio has something in common with Mr. Moore. When asked to rank radio's place in the pantheon of media, like Mr. Moore, radio sometimes gets misplaced on the list of greats.
Noting radio's undervalued status as an advertising medium, a few months ago Doug Schoen wrote in Forbes Magazine, "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."
Since Mr. Schoen musings on the state of the media, newer research has been done and radio, again, clobbers the competition.
Two weeks ago, Nielsen released its Total Audience Report for the first 3 months of 2016. This report quantifies how Americans consumes media. The results show that 97% of Americans listen to AM/FM Radio each month. Television (including time-shifting) draws only 93%. At risk of mixing my sports metaphors: all other media were also-rans.
Here's is how America's media consumption shakes out:
Not everyone, however, undervalues radio. Many of Maine's business owners and marketing professionals depend on Portland radio to fulfill their marketing objectives. This includes Stacy Dodge, an owner of 8 automobile dealership in Southern Maine.
"We have been using 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."
Ms. Dodge goes on to say, "It is extremely important to be able to keep your ads current and there is a very quick turn around with radio. A new program or incentive can be announced to us in the morning and we can be on the air with a current ad reflecting the most recent information in the afternoon."
"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."
Portland Radio Provides Word Of Mouth
Jim Darroch, Director of Marketing for Madison based Backyard Farms, has successfully utilized the endorsements of Portland radio personalities to expand his company's business. "Our most powerful marketing tool is a happy customer telling his/her friends about our tomatoes, said Mr. Darroch. "When popular radio personalities share their honest thoughts and opinions about Backyard Farms with their audiences, we're able to reach thousands of people with the power of a friend's recommendation."
Theresa Torrent, Senior Planner of the Maine Coastal Program, echoes Mr. Darroch's strategy of leveraging the equity radio personalities have with their listeners. "It has proven to be the most effective method that we have tried for getting our message to a receptive audience," said Ms. Torrent. "With radio we have been able to create engaging messages often working with the radio hosts who the listeners know and trust."
Advertising on Portland Radio Delivers Qualified Leads
Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, credits her advertising on Portland Radio with the ongoing success of her business.
"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!"
Advertising on Portland radio allows one Maine small business owner to define the quality of her business. Michelle Raymond runs Heirloom Consignments in South Portland. Her store sells "re-circulated" home furnishings and decor. According to Ms. Raymond, "Listeners think [radio advertising] is expensive and feel you are a successful business if you're on the radio. Also radio reaches a much wider range of audience than paper or internet advertising."
To finish with the analogy we rode in on: pound-for-pound, Portland radio remains the undefeated champion for both consumers and advertisers. In the words of Mr. Schoen, "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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