Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Media Spike #8 – What’s Your Wavelength?
Thanks for taking the time to join me. Not too long ago I heard a familiar statement from one client who said they’d like to start advertising again. I replied with customary – WONDERFUL!! enthusiasm and began asking a few questions.

Well that’s exciting Peter, have you thought about which media you’d like to use?

Without missing a beat, Peter said, ‘Absolutely, we’re going to use Radio!’

An excellent choice I countered, how are you going to use it?

This prompted the first of a series of quizzical looks?

What do you mean, how?  We’re going to be on radio.

Yes, and that’s exciting but HOW do you intend to use it?

A blank stare met this second question.

Okay Peter, here’s what I mean. Radio is deemed both the physical unit which delivers the sound via airwaves, as well as the media which communicates with no visual experience. Because each of us experiences radio through the listening to our own tastes, time, and location, radio has become a very personal experience. Unlike Television, where viewers are program loyal, radio listeners are station loyal and tend to keep it fixed on one dial position for the majority of their tuning day. What we want to do in our radio advertising is find the best station or stations that our target group is listening to. Put our message in their ears on an ongoing basis, in a format that is appealing and relevant to them.

Peter was non-plussed so far. But Dennis you told me that Radio reaches over 90% of Adult listeners every week. What difference would it make, as long as we’re on ‘Radio’? Peter does raise a valid point. Nearly every forum of advertising is good and it will help get your name and message out there. But the important part of putting that sparkling message out there is making sure it reaches the people who count, and you’re not just counting the people you reach. The way you reach them is the How, I was asking about. 

Let’s just take our home base to start with Peter. We are in a prominent city in Canada. We have, in our city alone, twenty-one (21) radio stations at this writing. Each of them with a different mix of music, personalities, information, sports, talk, weather, language, and everyone of them looking for your advertising dollars. In each of those stations, the audience composition will vary depending on gender, age, education, musical tastes, affection for the radio personalities at each daypart, and the location (home/drive/office/patio/other) of the listener.

Peter was starting to shift his weight, that kind of glazed over look was forming? Wait a minute. Are you saying that all of this happens on each station!?!

Yes Peter. That’s it exactly. In addition, when radio airtime is sold, it can typically be sold as a 60 second commercial, or 30 second commercial and there are options for using a 15 second spot now as well. These are often sold in timeblocks or ‘daypart’ segments best known as:

• Breakfast: 5.30am – 10.00am
• Day: 10.00am – 3.00pm
• Drive: 3.00pm – 8.00pm
• Evening: 8.00pm-1.00am

There are sometimes minor variations from market to market and station to station, but in the majority, these are the segments you are purchasing. You might already know, Peter, these are typically sold as a Reach Plan meaning you purchase an equal number of spots in each of the dayparts.  For example, it can be a 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 spot weekly reach plan. Meaning that each of our 4 dayparts would air 4 , 5, 6, 7, or 8 spots per week. This gives you a balanced rotation of commercials to stay with your listeners all day. It also means that deeper pocketed advertisers don’t swoop all the ‘Breakfast’ period spots and leave the rest of the day to other advertisers.

So, Peter asked, if I only wanted say 20 Breakfast spots per week, I couldn’t do it?

Well, depending on the stations’ available inventory, you might be able to, but it commands such a high rate premium to isolate just one daypart that it’s often not advantageous to do this. You pay a very high price to reach the same audience, and only those listeners, multiple times. It’s a smarter strategy to extend the reach using multiple dayparts, AND if budget allows, to use multiple radio stations.

Does this mean I have to buy reach plans?

Not at all. There are opportunities for you to buy just a specific daypart, but higher premiums may deter you. Some stations will allow you to go a bit heavier on some dayparts where it’s more relevant for you. Ie: Move a spot or two from each of Day and Evening into Drive daypart if you offer say ‘Take Out Food’ and want to reach the crowd going home after work. One strategy we’ve used to great effect, and it’s easy to do, is to buy a sponsorship package.

What does that mean, posed Peter?

It means Peter, it’s time to exhale for today and continue this discussion tomorrow. See you then.

Stay tuned.

- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
 
 
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

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Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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