To take advantage of the oncoming upswing in consumer spending as pandemic restrictions begin to ease, one ad agency exec is urging advertisers to invest more in radio. Mark Lipsky, CEO of The Radio Agency, a national shop that focuses solely on audio advertising, says advertisers that get out in front of Americans’ pent-up demand will harvest a larger share of consumer dollars.
To take advantage of heightened consumer demand following more than a year of constrained behavior, Lipsky is urging clients to increase their radio advertising. “Americans can't wait to get back to life before COVID,” says Lipsky. “And that includes spending a sizeable chunk of all that money they haven't been spending. Advertisers who get out in front of the post-COVID spending spree will be poised to capture a disproportionate share of consumer dollars by being top-of-mind when Americans decide it's time to book that trip, buy that car, or renovate their homes. For radio advertisers, that means the time to lock in media schedules is now.”
Based in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square, The Radio Agency focuses exclusively on audio across four platforms: AM/FM, satellite, podcasting and streaming. In business for nearly 30 years, it has worked with such clients as ADT, Food Network, Dish Network, NBC, Priceline.com, Valvoline, Yelp and Zoom across North America, Europe, and Australia.
Lipsky also points out that although AM/FM listening levels had dropped through the pandemic – a natural result of less people driving around in their cars – it was not a steep decline. And listenership has largely bounced back toward pre-pandemic levels:
"Radio's value is still strong, with complementary alternatives like podcast sponsorships providing access to celebrity voices and endorsements at a fraction of the price of hiring those same celebrities directly to promote a brand,” Lipsky continues. “Beyond the prime Q2 retail season (Easter and Mother's Day), radio advertising should be affordably priced – or even discounted – through the summer months. And as Americans in all 50 states venture out to enjoy the fresh air, they are ready and able to spend."
Lipsky’s position is backed up by Nielsen’s latest radio consumer study conducted online from March 11-15 with a sample of 1,009 persons 18+. It showed nearly two thirds (64%) now agree it is safer than it was a month ago, a big jump from 52% in October and 38% in April. Consumers dubbed by Nielsen as “ready-to-go,” meaning they’re more optimistic and ready to resume normal activity, has grown to 61% for its highest level in a year.The “ready-to-go” group is an attractive consumer segment more likely to be employed, have kids and be upscale. Importantly, they’re more likely to be radio listeners.