Archive for the ‘Target Audience’ Category

Service of Demographics in Radio Advertising

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Matt Mecs’ comment to Jeremiah, who wrote “Service of Mature Music,” [July 16] was so insightful and worthwhile that it needed the platform of a post.

Responding to Matt’s comment, Jeremiah wrote: “I’d be a fascinated reader were you to write a post about ‘The Service of Radio Advertising.'” Subsequently he asked Matt to tell him more about the validity of the 18 to 54 demographic.

Matt has superlative credentials to address the topic and generously shared his views with us. He is vice president and director of sales for Local Focus Radio, New York and adjunct professor in media for the MBA program at Metropolitan College of New York.

Matt writes:

Jeremiah, you asked why A18-54? It has been that way for decades now, and does not take into account people living longer. Nor does it factor that baby boomers are the most affluent for their generation in history. Like the railroad and record industries, radio has stumbled badly keeping up with the times.

Like TV and print, radio has lost share in terms of ad dollars. There is that famous Wannamaker quote that “I know half of my ad budget is being wasted, I just do not know which half.”

In this hyper-niched, Return on Investment, quantifiable era of information, that no longer cuts it.

Internet will continue to take an ever-growing share of ad revenue. For example, if you log onto Rachel Ray’s website, not only will marketers know which site you came from, and which site you went to afterwards, but they will also know if you print out a recipe, what zip code you live in, your probable income, and so forth.

For an advertiser’s point of view, compare this to spending millions advertising on a TV show. With Tivo and DVR your commercials have no guarantee of being seen. Or radio stations running 10 commercials in a row – like anyone in their right mind would listen to that?

I met an owner of one cell phone company who will pay you .2 cents if you have an ad playing on your cell phone. So, if I call you, instead of hearing the ringing, I might hear a 5 second ad for the NY Philharmonic. The cell phone company gets .5 cents per call, so makes a huge profit % wise, and the client (Philharmonic) knows that their ad is actually being heard at a minimal cost.

This is tremendously tacky and sure to annoy your friends but it is these interesting new business models that might in 10 years time from now appear to be normal.

For instance, Google has sold ads in people’s private emails for approximately eight years now, so if you write to a friend in a “private” email about going to the Delaware Water Gap, you might see an ad for Delaware car insurance on the side of the page in your email. This raised a huge fuss as an invasion of privacy when it was introduced as a business model because computers were “reading” your email, but now it is just business as normal.

My mother is 74, and cannot imagine life without her New York Times in print (not on computer), listening to WQXR, and drives me to insanity with her inability to use her cell phone, or email. As she is retired, she is fairly careful with her money, and has her definite brand loyalties. You can see from a business point of view that she is a nightmare for advertisers to target, and they mainly do so through print, such as AARP The Magazine, with pharmaceuticals being the largest spenders.

Pharma has a tough time advertising on radio because they have to have at least a 10 second disclaimer (which might be sped up to sound as gibberish) and is particularly tough with the move to 30 second radio spots as opposed to 60.

In fact, radio stations are now selling 3-5 second ads (maybe a quick “come to Burger King,”) because they know that people have much shorter attention spans these days.

I got my MBA last year in marketing and am looking to get into internet marketing, but coming from a radio background, and in my mid 30s, I am seen as a bit of a dinosaur as well. This sounds melodramatic, but I go to networking events where cocky 20-somethings have exciting business plans, money from venture capitalists, and speak a jargon that I can only vaguely follow. When I say I sell radio time, I just get a patronizing look.

Radio will always have a place in small-town rural America, particularly with certain loyal formats that take pride in having a place in the community. Examples are country music (the most popular format by number of stations), African American and particularly Hispanic stations. Joe’s car dealer does not care about ratings, just about customers coming through the door. Unfortunately, classical stations are dying around the country, because while the listeners have money, there are just not enough of them, and there is no way of proving to advertisers that their message will be heard.

For big cities, where expenses are magnified, we will see more and more obscure and different ways of “breaking thru the clutter.” My old office building (before the radio company I worked for went bankrupt) at a prestigious mid-town Manhattan Park Avenue address sold a wall mural to Timberland shoes that was about 20 ft. by 20 ft. It was up, generating income for the building and exposure for Timberland, for a couple of months.

These are just a few random thoughts about demographics and the radio business!

If you have questions for Matt, fire away! How would you reach his Mom if you had something to sell?

Service of Moving Targets

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Have you noticed that the people and companies you should do business with-or try to get a job from-aren’t necessarily the same as two or three years ago?

If you read my June 19th post, “Service of a CEO’s Support: Keeping Up To Date,” about the Associated Press’s Interactive Media Summit, you know that the AP has embraced this fact and is sharing its news through smartphones directly with readers instead of exclusively through their traditional customers-newspapers, radio, TV stations and on-line news distribution partners.

At this Summit, Eric Bader, partner in Brand in Hand and John Montgomery, COO of GroupM Interaction [a WPP Company], joined the AP’s director of multimedia services, Jim Kennedy, as panelists. They addressed the challenges of reaching consumers on the run-specifically people on smartphones. We heard thought-provoking information and questions worth sharing.

When determining a target audience, there are the standard questions that any correspondent, communicator or marketer must ask– “who am I addressing?” –which, as always, is best done before anyone picks up a pen or fleshes out an idea. For people who read the news, your tweet or Facebook update–or your advertisement–on their smartphones, the panelists suggest that you also figure out, “When am I reaching them? Where is my information being consumed–On a trip? At a soccer field?”

How will you engage people when rather than a newspaper, they reach for a Kindle [or similar device] first thing in the morning and on it read the Wall Street Journal and New York Times?

From this panel, we heard further evidence that the consumer is now really in control because most obviously, if you’re an advertiser, you can no longer capture them on primetime from 8:00 to 11:00 at night.

Following are a few additional tidbits from this panel.



 ***Predicted that if you have content that people want, they will pay for it even though it may be free now.

***Warned that just because YouTube has millions of downloads doesn’t meant that it is necessarily important for advertising.

***Pointed out that Google’s appeal was that it recognized how people searched for information and took advantage of this behavior.

***Noted that the best recipe for marrying advertising and news is for news to be engaging-and advertising as well. “If it’s great, it will get noticed.”

***Identified retail as having the best affinity with hard news because it is most associated with what is happening today.

So have your future target clients, employers–audiences–changed in the last few years and if so, how have you altered your methods of reaching them?

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