Why 'investors' invest money on radio?

Interactive nature of the medium, brand recall & ability for market-centric campaigns give radio a thumbs-up from BFSI marketers

e4m by Saloni Surti
Updated: Jul 23, 2013 8:55 AM
Why 'investors' invest money on radio?

The Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2013 predicted that advertising activity across BFSI would see a northward trend in 2013. Factors such as RBI allowing new players to enter the banking system and the release of new norms by the end of the fiscal are expected to trigger AdEx across the sector.

To keep up in the strong competition and create distinct brand image, Banking Financial Services and Insurance brands are seen increasing ad spends across radio and print. While latter promises strong brand communication through headlines and relevant images, the former offers interactivity; thus, helping create brand recall, share experts.

On the ‘spot’ connection

“A sizeable core customer segment spends a significant amount of time on this medium,” said Chandramohan Mehra, Vice President and Head – Cross Sell, Brand and Corporate Communication at SBI Life Insurance, explaining the brand’s objective of choosing radio.

“The time spent on radio is not divided with other distractions. Hence, radio for us, like for many other marketers, forms one of key media in the media mix. Other than for conventional reasons, we have used media to initiate conversations, enhance interactivity and conduct market-centric campaigns,” added Mehra.

SBI Life has used radio as the prime medium for various campaigns, including CSR and Valentine Pension campaign.

While radio is highly attractive due to its mass reach at low cost, the tactical nature of the medium also comes in handy for BFSI marketers.


Anisha Motwani, Director – Marketing and Sales, Max Life Insurance stated that radio is a very effective advertising medium when used in a tactical manner. “Brand communication created intelligently with interactivity for localised market in a frequent and tactical manner helps BFSI marketing a lot. Most of the BFSI messaging is around creating lead and not conceptual. Thus, the brand communication should not be thematic or general.”

BFSI is a vast sector with a sea of brands. Thus, creating communication for generic brand building on radio might not serve the purpose as it might get lost in the clutter. Thus, radio is of immense help to BFSI brands for tailored communications specific to campaigns.

For instance, Axis launched a series of radio advertisements to promote the Axis Ladies First Card which offered series of discounts and other services to the users. The advertisements banked on effective announcements that introduced the product and a short script which shed light on various tasks handled by women and then connecting it to why do they require this card.

Numbers of ad spots across various time bands were created to reach out to the consumers. RJ mentions were also an important part of the radio campaign so as to create a call of action.

Radio has been a people medium from the very beginning and thus, interactive nature of radio is something marketers look at leveraging the most.

“Interactivity part of radio manages a two-way communication messaging,” explained Motwani. Life insurance, banking and other services require immense trust on the consumers’ path. Thus, a favourite RJ speaking about a BFSI brand takes consumer trust to a different level.

While interactivity and tactical nature of radio have been the key elements in attracting BFSI marketers on radio, conventional strengths of the medium continue to support the brands. For instance, cheaper advertising rates, flexibility of coming on board any time, localised marketing, etc. are some of the elements that boost BFSI advertising across radio.

“Depending on the marketing objective, the medium offers immense possibilities. Not only can the medium compliment the efforts on larger mass media, it also can be integrated with online strategy to deliver a higher yield,” concluded Mehra. 

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