Advertising Decisions Based on Data, Facts Must Outweigh Opinion

Staring into what seemed like yet another Zoom/Google Hangout/GoToMeeting webinar I found myself stunned last week.  In a presentation given to many local business owners about the best ways they can market and use their advertising dollars as we fight through this pandemic a media buyer stated that they were “not recommending using traditional media like radio because no one is driving anywhere so no one is listening to the radio”. 

This.  Got my attention.

As I sat back in my chair and listened, I became increasingly frustrated with what was being said by this “expert” on marketing.  These were statements backed by opinion, not fact, to small business owners and managers doing everything they can to survive the chaos this pandemic has caused their business.

This type of language is AM/FM radio has been dealing with for a long time.  The problem with it is that the radio has been either too proud or too reserved to fight back this negative, incorrect and misguided information about our business. 

Let’s start with FACTS about AM/FM Radio before the pandemic:

  • AM/FM Radio reaches 92% of the United States weekly (+303 million)
  • Radio is the largest mass reach medium in the United States
  • Smart Speakers have brought a resurgence of radio in homes
  • AM/FM Radio is live, local and our staff are a part of the community
    • Our DJ’s raised millions of dollars for Children’s Hospitals
    • Our Hosts lead walks, benefits and gala’s for non-profits
    • Our Talent interview local officials, musicians and athletes
    • Our Creative produces the majority of audio for local businesses

Now, let’s look at the FACTS about AM/FM Radio during the pandemic:

  • Radio maintained 96% of its reach in America weekly (291 million)
  • News/Talk stations like KFGO-AM surged 1.3% in shares
  • Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead launched Operation Gift Card aiming to invite listeners to purchase a $100 gift card to their favorite restaurant to help those affected by partial shutdowns during the pandemic on day 1 of closures
  • Streams on mobile apps & smart speakers grew 29% the last 2 weeks in March
  • Radio is still the largest mass reach medium that exists today
  • AM/FM Radio is live, local and our staff are a part of the community
    • Our DJ’s still raise millions of dollars for Children’s Hospitals
    • Our Hosts still share GoFundMe’s and are working with organizers of walks and galas to plan for their future re-scheduled events
    • Our Talent still interviews local officials, musicians, mayors, president’s
    • Our Creative team still brainstorms, edits, scripts and produces commercials unique to local businesses that tell their story

The ease of audio listening, the simplicity of a one-on-one connection with a local radio station and our commitment to serving our community/region is why radio continues to be the most ROI driven medium to advertise. 

Radio also provides a full suite of digital enhancements such as hundreds of thousands of unique users on our websites, targeted programmatic, OTT/CTV, text message marketing, e-mail marketing, SEO and SEM and it’s all handled within a single conversation. 

The next time you hear someone telling you that Instagram influencers or Facebook are where to advertise exclusively, just remember, radio and television have local faces, local personalities. They are your neighbors, your friends and they care about the place that you live. Not to mention the fact that both reach massive amounts of real people that want to buy your product or service. 

You have most likely heard recently heard decisions have to be made on data right now. Proven data that gives you the opportunity to make the smartest decision with the information you have. Don’t allow your decision to be made by someone’s opinion when real-time data shows the opposite. Traditional media has invested heavily in the ability to track response to terrestrial commercials. The people are confirmed and local and more importantly, when times aren’t great we will be there for you with products that reach the masses.

We’re all in this together.  Let’s never forget that and help each other make it through. It’s time to stabilize our businesses, stay healthy and bring back business stronger than it’s ever been before.