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Spending on radio? Here is what marketers should avoid…

01-April-2013
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Spending on radio? Here is what marketers should avoid…

One cannot learn as much from a success story as one can from mistakes. Integrated media planning, right number of spots, proper sampling, original ideas, balance between music and talk, etc. – a lot of tips are available for marketers to help them create an apt radio communication. However, very little is spoken about what should NOT be done while investing in radio.

Marketing on radio goes beyond the traditional realms of creating a normal advertisement with strong brand communication and thus, a lot of elements should be avoided and a number of myths should be demystified while utilising the radio space.

exchange4media speaks to experts to throw light on the mistakes often done by brands and marketers while investing in radio.

Considering radio a drive-time medium
Lack of research and measurement often creates a myth that radio is drive-time medium. However, marketers need to understand that the usage of radio depends on the target audience and the target market.  For instance, youth usually tune into radio from their cell phones and are not restricted to the drive-time hour. Thus, marketers need to identify the target audience and understand their radio listening habits. Radio as a medium is not restricted to the same time slot for all its listeners.

Limiting a campaign to spots
Fixation with the number of spots or relying on only spots for increase in footfalls is a mistake that marketers tend to do very often. A spot is more a less a broadcast and brands need to grow beyond the traditional 30 to 60 seconds spots. Marketers need to focus on quality rather than the quantity of spots. They should look at blending jock talk with the brand communication and know well what kind of content needs to go on air when and then contextually align it.

Focussing on talk
Marketers often forget that listeners tune into radio mainly for music and then maybe to listen to their favourite RJ, and with modern formats such as non-stop music hours, listeners are more used to music. To make the best out of radio, marketers need to focus more on songs and music. Instead of creating an advertisement or a spot, brands can create songs that deliver the message. Brands such as Coco-Cola and Domex have created songs in the past which connected well with the audience.

Repeating television content
As much as we say that marketers have grown to learn that radio is more than a background medium, it is still thought about only at the end of creating the entire marketing mix. Thus, a lot of times marketers use the same brand communication that was made for advertising on television.

A number of times we hear the same jingles that we have seen on television. While it is a good reminder for existing TG, it will not be of any use in tapping new audiences. For instance, while BlackBerry’s ‘Action starts here’ radio campaign mainly consisted of the same television jingle, Microsoft Windows 8 campaign used the same communication but used peer influence to give an edge to the radio commercial.

Myth of big stations
Marketers often decide on which radio station to invest in on the basis of the big names. While a radio station was number one in a particular region for a particular time, it is subjected to frequent changes. Marketers need to learn which station is listened to the most by their target audience in their target markets. Choice and preference of the listeners can change and it is very important that advertisers keep a track of it.

Marketing is a lot about trial and error and thus, it might be difficult to say what will work and what will not for a particular brand. Nonetheless, keeping a few things in mind that should be avoided can always help in reducing the risk factor.

The above report is compiled on the basis of thoughts shared by Kartik Sharma, Managing Partner, Maxus and Anindya Ray, Vice President, Lodestar UM.

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