Drive the Future

Local Market Radio –BIG Picture Planning
September 23, 2014
242,000,000 Creatures of Habit
October 7, 2014

Drive the Future

Did you know that the US is home to the largest passenger vehicle market of any country in the world? A study by the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that nearly256,000,000 vehicles were registered in the US alone. And just about every vehicle is equipped with an AM/FM radio. That’s a quarter of a billion car radios plus hundreds of millions of smart phones that are able to deliver radio.

And get this: According to a poll conducted earlier this year by Edison Research and charted by Statista, Phil Izzo of The Wall Street Journal reported, “More than half of Americans listen to AM/FM radio nearly every time they get in the car, while 86% listen to it at least some of the time.”

In a Radio Ink Magazine article titled “Radio Owns the Automobile,” Infinite Dial data shows that “consumers want in-car entertainment at their fingertips.” It reported that “radio still dominates in-car listening, with 84% stating they listen to AM/FM. Fifty-eight percent say they use AM/FM all of the time or most of the time while only 4% say they listen to online radio all of the time or most of the time when connected in the car.”

These percentages identify positive pacing for radio, and as an advertiser, this information is valuable. My daily commute ranges anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour, each way, and I listen to my radio during my entire drive. I’ve talked to many people with similar commutes, and they all listen to their radio as well. With millions of people spending hours each day in their car, your ad will be heard.

Radio is an effective and essential way to advertise, and it makes sense to develop an annual campaign. Here are a few vital points to consider in the planning stage:

  • Set up an advertising budget for the entire year. You may need to change your plan throughout the year to adjust for market conditions, but this is common practice. Budgeting and investing in the right properties are critical components of running a successful campaign. Knowing what’s on the horizon is imperative in driving a successful campaign in the right direction.
  • Develop three advertising plans based on best case, normal, and worst case scenarios for your industry. Be realistic and know your business. Expect the unexpected. Review prior months’ results and determine what you should expect for upcoming months.
  • Manage your campaign. There will always be curves in the road that need careful navigation. Set up a best practice solution so “if this happens, we do that.” Being able to shift gears without going too far off-road is key.
  • Talk! Direct feedback, social media and phone interviews can provide measurable information. Good communication is essential and will steer your campaign in the right direction.

Start with what you know and adjust to changes as they become known. Build your campaign by placing your advertising dollars on the right radio stations. Test various formats, dayparts, and creative. If your campaign takes a slight downshift, don’t panic. Radio is a long-term investment, and like any other venture, it takes time to get up to speed. Stay in for the long-haul and you’ll get you where you want to go.

The future is yours. Drive it.