Competition is nothing new for radio. But now there are new tools to make the sale. | Story


“Audio is definitely under attack,” said Cara Lewis, chief investment officer at Dentsu. “It’s like content anywhere,” she said during a publicity panel last week in New York. But as a giant ad agency like his looks at the options available to his clients, such as Procter & Gamble, Chevrolet and Coca Cola, Lewis said there’s still a compelling case for marketers to be in audio.

“Audio can fit into a bunch of different buckets and its audience is growing, mostly due to digital audio and podcasting, but you shouldn’t leave out terrestrial radio. Every time you step into your vehicle, what do you do? You turn on the radio,” Lewis said.

Dentsu relies on a variety of proprietary media planning tools to track its audience and buy places where it finds them. Lewis said audio remains a complement to TV purchases, but she also said that today her buyers are looking to make it work on media plans across a range of media options.

“Let it be earthly [radio] for brand awareness, digital audio to get that extra reach, or podcasting to really build brand awareness, all have a fit,” she said. “Sound has changed. It’s not just about terrestrial radio, but it’s about where consumers are actually listening, and what device they’re on, and then how we can best reach them to be contextually relevant. .

Audio is catching up with video

The call of the audio, especially among national brands, has seemed fragile in recent decades. But Brian Benedik, Chief Revenue Officer of Audacy, points to the evolution of data that has enabled the audio industry to better target listeners and better attract CMOs. The first of these is to collect more listener data to help not only with advertising, but also content recommendations, as age, gender and location are complemented by analyzed listening habits. by application algorithms.

“The media caught up with the video,” Benedik said. “A lot of first-party data is collected, and it’s used for content creation, but also for ad targeting and it’s used in the back-end for attribution. This is probably one of the periods the most transformative for our medium that there has ever been.

New advertising technology has also helped audio companies show they are going further beyond the top of the purchase funnel, from brand messages that drive product awareness to top-down action like buying real.

“It’s always been known as a branded top funnel way. And it’s good. We can be known like that. But what we’ve been able to do, whether it’s on linear radio or online, is prove the results downstream,” Benedik said. He said this has allowed Audacy to work with more direct-to-consumer brands than ever before. “If we want to prove a sale, we can do it now,” he said. “And now we can have very substantive conversations with performance-based brands that we never could have had.”

Triple game audio

The options that audio now offers help to increase its awareness among listeners and advertisers. While radio offers a vehicle for wide reach, Audacy chief digital officer JD Crowley said podcasting allows for crafted storytelling, niche audiences and hosts who can endorse brands. And streaming radio also offers the kind of targeting and attribution that digital ad buyers have come to expect. The combination of the three brings more advertisers to audio. “Each of these works very well independently,” he said.

Advertisers realize this. Dentsu and its client Chevrolet were among the partners of the Urban One branded content project “More Than That with Gia Peppers,” which exists in the form of a radio report and a podcast. It targets black listeners with 20-minute shows focusing on wellness, entertainment and wealth. Now in its second season, Lewis said the partners plan to develop a companion series that targets Hispanic audiences.

“We have a content team that works with partners and finds the right brands to integrate with them,” Lewis said. “We have a ton of brands that want to be on the radio because people are driving to their outlet to shop. And then we have car brands. So we have a lot to do and a lot of content that I think we can create together.

Boomer Esiason, morning co-host at Audacy sports “The Fan” WFAN New York (101.9, 660), said advertisers can’t ignore the power of traditional radio either, as evidenced by his own experience. on the radio for 15 years.

“It really is a powerful medium,” he said. “More people know me now as a radio talk show host than as a TV personality or a former NFL quarterback.”

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