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NAB Show 2024: Radio’s Point of Purchase Proximity Drives Revenue.

Radio proximity to the point of purchase is getting a new lease on life from the digital dashboard. Speaking at NAB Show 2024 Tuesday in Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group Chief Revenue Officer Tina Murley said most of its advertising has a synchronized visual element displayed on car dashboards.

The visual ad unit made possible by technology from Quu, which Beasley is a minority investor in, has become especially popular with personal injury law firms targeting drivers involved in an auto accident. “They look down at their dashboard and see a local lawyer’s name and phone number and they pick up the phone when they need some help,” Murley told attendees. “That's given radio that visual cue that we were missing.” Murley said the combination of audio and visual messages delivered close to the point of purchase has been shown to produce a 60% brand lift for clients.

While he sees potential for delivering in-car visuals to enhance radio ads, Rob Babin, Executive VP, Radio, Cox Media Group, said CMG’s focus is on offering custom solutions. “How we go to market is not to make a sale. We build customers by developing custom solutions,” he explained during a session moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau VP Of Marketing Leah Kamon. This involves applying the right media assets to drive all aspects of the sales funnel, Babin elaborated. Different product categories have different consumer cycles – at any given point only a small fraction of consumers may be in the market for a new washer/dryer, for example. That’s one reason why CMG sales teams focus on long-term campaigns that keep clients top of mind for when audiences enter the purchase funnel. “We shouldn't be selling any campaign for less than 12 months. We sell as a long-term commitment, knowing that who’s available to buy that product at that time will always change,” Babin said. “To me that's the strength – long term advertising, building engaging relationships, being at the point of purchase.”

Newfound Optimism For National Ad Biz

It's no secret that national advertising has been challenging for radio during the past few years. Murley chalked that up to an overreliance by marketers on bottom-of-the funnel tactics. However, there was some encouraging news at this year’s RAB board meeting, with reports that national advertisers are seeing their brand equity drop as a result. “We're thinking they're going to be coming back to traditional media” to build top of funnel awareness, Murley suggested.

For local advertisers, the focus remains on ROI. “They want that attribution and brand lift, they want to see that their purchases are going up as a result of using radio,” Murley said. To move the sales needle, Beasley builds custom integrated solutions that tap into a long list of ad products that include not just radio, but also digital display, video, OTT, and SEM. “We're really trying to drive that funnel from top to bottom,” she explained. “Our goal is to be their one-stop shop so that they don't need 10 different vendors to achieve their marketing goal.”

The need for consultative sellers is greater than ever among local clients, Babin said, because many are not aware of where they stand in relation to their direct market competitors. “Our duty has changed,” he said. Before a seller can ask for a prospect’s business, they first need to bring them info about their business and their market. “You have to bring value to customers to show them how to win in the marketplace,” Babin said.

In CMG’s local markets, that takes the form of top of mind awareness (TOMA) studies the company conducts for top categories such as finance, legal, home services, and automotive. The TOMA studies identify the top 100 companies in the sector, based on their brand equity in that market. Radio advertisers frequently dominate the top of these lists, Babin said. Companies that show up in the middle of the pack – some of which believe they own the hill – are targeted. “We teach them how to market to the consumer and how to apply the right media asset,” Babin offered. From there the account exec tracks how the campaign helps the brand’s perception improve in the market.

Attribution For On-Air Campaigns

One of the themes in sales-oriented sessions at NAB Show was the imperative for radio to better demonstrate attribution for on-air campaigns. While Beasley has a client-facing white label dashboard that shows in real time how many times an ad aired and the keywords consumers are searching for, it lacks real-time attribution for radio spots. Murley said they are working on developing that functionality. “We need to show the attribution across tactics so that they can decide what's working for them,” she said. “And we can shift from tactic to tactic depending on the results that we're seeing.”

Apart from providing clients with research about their business and campaign attribution studies, Babin made a case for radio to reframe how they talk about their reach in the local market. In the Miami region, where CMG has a formidable presence, Babin said their radio audience could fill 64 sold-out stadiums. “Think about that reframe for a second and the money spent in stadiums. We have to continue to reset and reframe this opportunity in our markets. We’ve got to be bold and confident in what we do.”

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