Internet Radio is a Game-Changer for Regional Banks

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Internet Radio is a Game-Changer for Regional Banks

Map showing Dallas and surrounding citiesI recently attended the American Banking Association’s Marketing Conference in Baltimore.  Hundreds of banking CMOs and VPs of Advertising and Marketing gathered to compare notes and discover new ways to effectively market their brands and branches.

Many of the marketers I spoke with told me they had tried radio, but were unable to use it efficiently, given the finite geography of their brick-and-mortar locations.

For example, let’s take the Dallas-Fort Worth radio market, and a fictitious bank called Lone Star Federal with 22 locations in the northern Dallas suburbs of Plano, Richardson and Garland.  A conventional radio campaign on AM and FM stations would “waste” its message on well over half of the population who wouldn’t consider transferring accounts to a bank that didn’t have a branch within 3-5 miles of their home or business.

Enter the New Radio Platforms.

AM and FM radio stations ONLINE sell audio commercials – plus online banners and email blasts – targeted by county and zip code.  For Lone Star Federal, no messaging would be wasted in counties and zips where listeners wouldn’t venture beyond their neighborhoods.

PURE PLAY RADIO (50,000+ online stations that aren’t simulcasts of traditional AM and FM stations) also target down to the zip, delivering the same ability to geo-target.

PERSONALIZED RADO STATIONS (like Pandora, Slacker and LastFM) have over 100 Million registered users nationwide – and can also target down to the zip.  They can also isolate (in this example) Plano residents and send them a message that’s different from the ad that plays in Richardson.  (One area might be concerned with speedy drive-thru windows while their other is in a rate war with neighboring banks.)  Then there’s the vast array of marketing add-ons (emailing offers, tapping a smart phone to download an app, etc.) that make these services a supercharged alternative to mass market AM and FM broadcast stations.

So now a regional bank – or a five-location restaurant chain – or even a single location hair salon – can harness the power of radio without wasting their message on the cross-town masses unlikely to become customers.

With each passing month, the convergence of radio advertising and technology just keeps sounding better.

Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website