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Radio’s The Big Reach Medium. But RAB Says Message Hasn’t Made It To Marketers.

Radio may be celebrating its centennial, but there is still a lot that marketers don’t know about the medium. Reach is said to be an important part of 99% of brands’ media strategy, but only a third of marketers are aware that radio is the medium with the biggest reach of all. That is according to the latest Audio Pulse survey, a joint project by the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers.

The reality is that 229 million Americans listen to broadcast radio according to Nielsen, with radio still the most-used medium in the car. That number could help address the survey finding that shows less than half (45%) of marketers consider radio an effective channel.

The RAB/ANA survey finds that as a mainly local medium, radio should be well-positioned to meet marketers’ objectives. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the marketers surveyed said that it is either “important” or “very important” for their media efforts to engage locally with consumers.

The survey does have positive points for radio. Industry executives have become fond of saying that radio is the “orignial social media” and that viewpoint is one that is shared among marketing pros. Eight in ten said they consider radio’s on-air personlaities as “celebrity influencers” and 85% said trust is the most important quality they look for in an influencer that works with their brand.

There is also a growing sense that more brands will need to develop an audio strategy. Eight in ten marketers polled said their brand needed to figure out what to do with audio to address the growing adoption of voice-activated devices. The challenge is a majority (57%) think the quality of radio creative is not as good as with other media.

It is not just smart speakers that advertisers are keeping tabs on. Nine in ten (92%) marketers surveyed said that hearing podcast content on broadcast radio will help drive awareness and downloads to the long-form podcasts.

As the industry makes its case, the good news is that marketers’ perceptions about AM/FM are largely unformed. The data shows nearly two-thirds (64%) of marketers said they are only “somewhat” or “not enough” in the know about all that broadcast radio platforms have to offer.

The findings of the RAB/ANA Audio Pulse poll are based on interviews with 357 marketing professionals between Oct. 2019 and June 2020.

See the full presentation HERE.

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