Quick five with Radio City’s Satyanarayana Murthy

Quick five with Radio City’s Satyanarayana Murthy

Author | Saloni Surti | Monday, Oct 29,2012 8:48 PM

Quick five with Radio City’s Satyanarayana Murthy

Integrated campaigns have been an important strategy for radio players this year. Combining on-air properties with on-ground activations not only enhances the medium’s reach among the target audience, but also gives advertisers and sponsors the opportunity of creating a visual connect.
While Radio City is known for its on-air properties such as ‘Babbar Sher’, the Network’s activation arm has been very active in terms of on-ground properties. According to Satyanarayana Murthy, VP and Head – Marketing, Radio City the on-ground properties have helped the Network grow better than the industry. The Network witnessed a 12 per cent hike in ad volume as compared to last year and has seen major brand integrations this year.

In conversation with exchange4media, Murthy speaks about Radio City’s marquee properties and how they have helped the Network expand and connect on a larger scale.

What are some of the trends you have witnessed in the radio space?
Radio is an engaging medium. It is the best media vehicle that can offer fantastic ATL/BTL mix. Radio is a personal medium that is both, engaging and interactive. To contextualise this, let me share our recent experience. For the Radio City Super singer we executed this year, the smaller markets such as Jaipur, Coimbatore, Nagpur and Vizag witnessed participation of about 5000 plus, clearly indicating to us that when a property is local, the kind of engagement is far higher.  

There are apprehensions that the radio medium is the last resort for brands. Please share your views on this?
We have moved a considerable distance from that point. Any progressive brand manager in the country has radio and digital in the media mix because of the intrinsic strength of these mediums. You see radio stations going the extra mile and creating excellent innovations every day. To top it, most radio stations also offer on-ground brand activations. This is a potent mix and this one-stop-shop approach has considerably increased the traction from advertisers across categories.

How and when do you think radio will be looked at as a mainstream marketing tool?
Radio is certainly a part of the marketing mix of almost all campaigns. The critical question is, is the investment enough? The strength of the medium is still largely under leveraged. Brand managers need to think beyond just the immediacy and should ask themselves and their media buying team how the medium could supplement their effort on a medium term. This conversation would help them build a meaningful strategy and therefore allocate resources. Radio can be the lead or supplementary medium for campaigns when used appropriately and there are enough case studies to prove that using the medium consistently grows recall or impact considerably. It’s about time, these conversations began.      

Do you think ad volume for radio has increased in the previous quarter? Which brand verticals advertise more on radio?
Year-To-Date September the ad volume is up 12 per cent over last year. Major sectors such as FMCG, telecom, consumer durables, auto mobiles, realty estate, media, etc. spend on radio advertising. Apart from the national clients, retail advertising has also witnessed an increase in the last one year. At Radio City, the properties helped us grow better than the industry. For Super Singer we had brands such as TVS, Johnson & Johnson, Kent RO, etc. who had come on board as national sponsors. Such campaigns ensure that these brands get national visibility and optimum mileage and help in creating immediate connect with their target audiences.

Please share with us the highlights of the last quarter for Radio City?
When we wrote the balance score card for the organisation, we knew exactly what we needed to deliver for the business to achieve its objectives. At the end of the first half when we look back, there is a great sense of satisfaction and pride that we achieved what we set out to achieve.

Last quarter we executed two of our marquee properties – Gully Premier League followed by Radio City Super Singer. These two campaigns were scaled up over the previous edition and this year, we witnessed an outstanding response. With 38000 team registrations across 14 towns Gully Premier League, Radio City created the biggest cricket league in the country.

With 80000 singers participating in 20 towns, Radio City Super Singer has become one of the biggest singing talent hunt reality show in the country. We are elated with the kind of response we have received and the scale of listener engagement, and also the value these properties delivered to the sponsor.

Another significant highlight this year is the line-up of celebrities that willingly came as celebrity judges for Radio City Super Singer. We had luminaries from the music industry such as GV Prakash, Daler Mehendi, Javed Ali, Neeraj Shridhar, Devang Patel and many more. This is probably the only reality show in which 12 of the winners got offers to sing for these great names.

We also expanded our footprint this season by developing an app for direct auditions on Facebook pages and PlanetRadioCity website. This enabled us to talk to a new set of people who overwhelmed us with their participation.

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