Even in a highly fractured media market, radio still captures the public’s attention in a big way. It appeals to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or even the language they speak. We hear so much about the influence of emerging media like search or social and the tremendous reach of television, but radio still dominates audience attention – and it does so in a big way.
For one thing, it’s readily available. No matter where a listener is – at home, in the office and in the car – they can tune in. And for the last nine years, the overall audience reach of broadcast radio in every format has remained steady at about 90% – while other media have declined, according to Pew Research Center and Nielsen data[i]. Altogether, more than 20% of the content people consume is radio.
Clearly, this is a compelling argument for radio stations and their sales teams to make to advertisers. However, the power of radio advertising is far more complex than reach or drive time. Consider that research has proven radio:
- Raises brand awareness
- Excels at driving brand recall among potential customers, according to Nielsen[ii]
- Delivers a 29% incremental lift in brand online search results, research from Media Monitors and the Radio Advertising Bureau shows[iii]
- Increases TV campaign frequency by 80%, Nielsen data reveals[iv]
- Supports local sales by connecting to listeners “in the moment.”
Advertisers invested $17.6 billion in radio last year, AdAge reports[v], and that spend is expected to remain flat over the next few years. While it’s lower than other media – such as television and digital – there’s still tremendous upside for radio management and sales people. But to build sales pipelines and close more deals, they’ll need to adopt an innovative approach to pitching clients.
For example, how do you identify the most promising clients? How can you tell a more personalized story about what radio advertising will do for a particular client?
“For sales representatives, the biggest challenge isn’t telling the story about the reach of radio. It’s convincing clients and media agencies that radio advertising has a real impact on sales,” says Philippe Generali, President/CEO of RCS Worldwide. “The most successful way to do this is to with data and analytics about ad spots and expenditures.”
This eBook illustrates how radio advertising data can be used to answer these questions. Let’s start by looking at some of the year’s top radio advertisers and then walk you through how you can use data and analytics to find and close more business.
Top Trends in Radio Advertising
2018’s Top 25 Advertisers
A look at the top advertisers of 2018 so far provides valuable insight into which brands are actively buying air time and, thus, should be on radio prospecting lists. The list was compiled by analyzing data gathered from tracking millions of radio commercials every day in every market.
- National brands Home Depot and GEICO are both heavy investors in radio advertising. The home improvement center is noteworthy for running twice as many ad spots as jobs board, Indeed, which landed in third place.
- Of the top 10 advertisers, six are retail companies, all of which have brick-and-mortar stores in multiple markets: Macy’s, JCPenney, Lowe’s, CVS and Walgreen’s.
- McDonald’s, at number 10, is the only quick serve restaurant in the top half of the list.
|1||The Home Depot||The Home Depot Inc||Home Centers & Hardware Stores||1,750,225|
|2||GEICO||Berkshire Hathaway Inc||Insurance Providers||1,312,472|
|3||Indeed||Indeed Inc||Employment Services||794,898|
|4||Macy’s||Macy’s Inc||Department Stores||728,110|
|5||JCPenney||JC Penney Corporation Inc||Department Stores||688,978|
|6||Lowe’s||Lowe’s Companies Inc||Home Centers & Hardware Stores||685,044|
|9||Progressive||Progressive Casualty Insurance Co||Insurance Providers||573,118|
|10||McDonald’s||McDonald’s Corporation||Fast Casual-Quick Service Restaurants||567,364|
|11||Staples||Staples Inc||Office-Computer Supplies, Equip & Furn||548,561|
|12||AutoZone||AutoZone Inc||Auto Parts, Services & Towing||529,919|
|13||O’Reilly Auto Parts||O’Reilly Automotive Inc||Auto Parts, Services & Towing||500,061|
|14||AZ State Univ||AZ State Univ||Colleges & Universities||477,542|
|15||Discover||Discover Financial Services Inc||Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||470,303|
|16||US Dept Of Transportation||US Government||Government-Unions||436,803|
|17||US Dept Of Health & Human Services||US Government||Government-Unions||433,286|
|18||Sprint||Sprint Corporation||Wireless Carrier||428,773|
|19||Optima Tax Relief||Optima Tax Relief LLC||Accounting, Auditing & Tax Prep Svcs||428,230|
|20||Quicken Loans||Quicken Loans Inc||Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||405,917|
|21||Diamonds Direct||Diamonds Direct Online USA LLC||Jewelry-Watches Sales & Repair||378,912|
|22||Wendy’s||Wendy’s Intl LLC||Fast Casual-Quick Service Restaurants||368,245|
|23||AT&T Wireless||AT&T Inc||Wireless Carrier||364,367|
|24||T-Mobile||T-Mobile USA Inc||Wireless Carrier||353,785|
|25||Shane Co||Shane Co||Jewelry-Watches Sales & Repair||331,193|
*Source: Media Monitors
Top Categories of Radio Advertisers
Beyond specific brands, radio sales teams have an opportunity to target brands in the hottest segments for radio. Consider the following discoveries:
- Automotive, not surprisingly, is the most active category by far, with 50% more radio spots than the Banking and Financial Services, which ranks second.
- Insurance providers, public service organizations and quick serve restaurants round out the top five.
Each of these categories can be mined to uncover new prospects or new ways to expand existing advertising relationships.
Top Categories of Radio Advertisers
|Cars & Trucks, Local Dealers||7,676,243|
|Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||4,951,102|
|Public Service & Organizational Adv||4,189,359|
|Fast Casual-Quick Service Restaurants||3,881,767|
|Business & Consumer Services||3,721,033|
|Auto Parts, Services & Towing||2,934,023|
|Home Centers & Hardware Stores||2,884,716|
|Live Theater, Opera, Music, Dance||2,536,366|
|Wireless & Internet Service||2,509,011|
|Restaurants, Night Clubs||2,211,110|
|Diagnostic & Medical Services||2,188,576|
|Amusements & Events||2,074,980|
|Jewelry-Watches Sales & Repair||1,952,867|
|Home Improvement Products & Services||1,665,112|
|Accounting, Auditing & Tax Prep Svcs||1,628,602|
|Television & Cable TV||1,530,118|
|Colleges & Universities||1,466,068|
|Food & Beverage Retailers||1,463,083|
|Food & Beverages||1,415,239|
*Source: Media Monitors
Advertisers Who Are New to Radio
With so much noise about digital and social media, some brands may not – at first – consider adding radio to their media plan. But radio can maximize a brand’s investment in digital marketing. For example, in a RAB-commissioned study on the impact of radio on search, one brand discovered radio drove 228% more search than TV in their mixed-media campaign[i].
These 25 advertisers decided to begin radio advertising this year.
- DazzleMe is a chain of furniture and jewelry consignment stores located in affluent communities in California and Texas. It also has an e-commerce component. The company tops the list of new advertisers, running almost three times as many spots as any other brand on the list.
- Global consumer goods Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline PLC make the top five with spots focused on individual product brands.
Top 25 New to Radio Advertisers
|1||DazzleMe||Home Consignment Center||Jewelry-Watches Sales & Repair||162,785|
|2||Banyan Hill||Banyan Hill Publishing||Business & Consumer Services||60,750|
|3||Secret||The Procter & Gamble Company||Toiletries & Hygienic Products||60,275|
|4||TUMS||GlaxoSmithKline PLC||Medicated Pdts & Remedies-Non-Rx||60,006|
|5||Pier 1 Imports||Pier 1 Imports Inc||Home Furnishings||55,059|
|6||NECTAR Sleep||DreamCloud LLC||Bedding Retailers & Manufacturers||42,208|
|7||PayDay||The Hershey Company||Candy, Gum, Confectionery & Snacks||38,215|
|8||Samsung Household Appliances||Samsung Electronics Co Ltd||Household Appliances||36,679|
|9||Univision Comm-Dish Network Dispute||Univision Communications Inc||Television & Cable TV||36,010|
|10||Redfin||Redfin Corporation||Real Estate Agents, Agencies & Brokers||35,363|
|11||Pepto-Bismol||The Procter & Gamble Company||Medicated Pdts & Remedies-Non-Rx||34,766|
|12||Tomorrow||Tomorrow Sleep LLC||Bedding Retailers & Manufacturers||34,253|
|13||Zelle||Early Warning Services LLC||Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||34,032|
|14||True Sobriety Hotline||True Sobriety Hotline||Business & Consumer Services||32,716|
|15||Samuel Adams Sam ’76||The Boston Beer Company Inc||Alcoholic Beverages||32,334|
|16||AMTA American Massage Therapy Assoc||American Massage Therapy Association||Trade Association||31,315|
|17||Fair Financial Corp||Fair Financial Corp||Business & Consumer Services||29,793|
|18||Polident||GlaxoSmithKline PLC||Dental Hygiene Products||29,109|
|19||Puffs||The Procter & Gamble Company||Toiletries & Hygienic Products||27,978|
|20||Gillette Venus||The Procter & Gamble Company||Shaving Equip & Supplies-Unisex||27,820|
|21||Credit Karma Tax||Credit Karma Inc||Accounting, Auditing & Tax Prep Svcs||25,195|
|22||Suddenlink Int-TV||Suddenlink Communications||Telecom Bundled Services||25,110|
|23||CA Dept Of Public Health||State Of CA||Government-Unions||22,961|
|24||MoviePass||MoviePass||Discount Membership Club||22,885|
|25||Third Federal Savings & Loan||Third Federal Savings & Loan||Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||22,774|
*Source: Media Monitors
Top 12 New-to-Radio Advertising Categories
While each of the above new-to-radio advertisers should be on the sales team’s radar, another way to spin the data is to look at potential growth categories. These hot spots of activity indicate there is a high potential for sales.
- The Business & Consumer Services segment not only leads the list for the number of new advertisers, but these six brands together have run more spots than in any other category – even more than DazzleMe, the top newcomer.
- Similar categories that offer top growth include Toiletries & Hygienic Products; Accounting, Auditing & Tax Preparation Services; and Medicated Products and Remedies – non-Rx.
By reaching out to other brands within the same category, radio sales teams can capture new advertising revenue.
Top 12 New to Radio by Category
|Category||# of companies|
|Business & Consumer Services||6|
|Toiletries & Hygienic Products||5|
|Accounting, Auditing & Tax Prep Svcs||4|
|Medicated Pdts & Remedies-Non-Rx||4|
|Banks-Credit Unions-Mortgage-Finance Svc||3|
|Cars & Trucks, Local Dealers||3|
|Live Theater, Opera, Music, Dance||3|
|Telecom Bundled Services||3|
|Wireless & Internet Service||3|
Radio Instances by Category
|Row Labels||Sum of Instances|
|1||Business & Consumer Services||176195|
|2||Jewelry-Watches Sales & Repair||162785|
|3||Toiletries & Hygienic Products||129623|
|4||Medicated Pdts & Remedies-Non-Rx||125082|
|5||Accounting, Auditing & Tax Prep Svcs||79916|
How to Identify, Pitch and Win Radio Advertisers
Radio sales teams have a compelling story to tell about the effectiveness of radio advertising. For the cost and effort, it’s an excellent choice for brands to drive awareness and sales growth.
But before they get that far, radio sales representatives must pinpoint the advertisers most open to their pitch. That’s the first step. The next is equally as crucial: They have to make the business case. By taking a data-driven approach and tapping into a wealth of advertiser information, sales people can identify, track and approach potential clients with a compelling, hard-to-ignore pitch.
Here are six questions every rep should ask – and suggestions for using advertising data to identify new opportunities, expand existing client agreements and cultivate client relationships long-term.
- Identify New Prospects
Who is advertising on radio today and which brands are missing the opportunity to have spots on the air?
- Uncover gaps in media plans and identify new sales leads by looking at when and where brands are currently advertising.
- Use media outlet distribution data to find brands that advertise with your competition but not on your station.
- Show Advertisers What Their Competitors Are Doing
Does your client know when, where and how often their competitors are advertising on radio?
- Create a report for every pitch that includes ad revenue, instances, media share and media outlet share for all of your prospect’s competitors.
- Convince Prospects to Add Radio to the Marketing Mix
Is your prospect happy with the performance of their digital and TV advertising buys?
- Advise clients to incorporate radio advertising into their mixed-media campaign to extend reach and frequency.
- Share campaign data from other segments and brands to demonstrate how radio advertising complements and supports other marketing efforts.
- Help Clients Improve Campaign Planning
Is your client finding it difficult to budget and plan for campaigns?
- Explain how you can take the guesswork out of campaign planning for your client. With access to advertising expenditure data based on radio airplay, you can help your client plan effectively and create accurate campaign budgets.
- Connect the Dots to Prove ROI
How easily can your prospect measure the impact and effectiveness of radio advertising campaigns?
- In your pitch, show how simple it is to access data for every commercial and then create reports for specific calls-to-action, such as promo codes for phone numbers. With this data, your client can determine the ROI of each campaign.
- Prepare for the Future
Is your client ready to track and measure radio advertising in other formats, such as podcasting?
- As radio stations extend their content to new formats, they’ll need new tools to help them measure and verify advertising. Be sure they know you can support them with speech-to-text technology.