Correcting advertising buyers ‘unconscious bias’ against radio #RDE19

The UK Radiocentre’s Judith Spilsbury hosted a workshop at Radiodays Lausanne to help radio stations overcome advertisers “unconscious bias” about radio and other media.
Advertisers often buy media based on “predictably irrational” thinking. The assumptions they make about radio affect how they buy it, but those assumptions are not always right.
In 2018 Ebiquity published the findings of a major study for the Radiocentre  (Re-Evaluating Media) which showed that, based on evidence, radio ranks second only to TV in its ability to grow brands, however, spending on radio advertising did not reflect this reality.
“There are so many choices and so much conflicting data and complexity… It is difficult for advertisers to get the full picture so they default to what they know or think they know,”  said Spilsbury.
Advertisers often rely on intuition and what their friends say, not on facts.
The report studied actual performance of campaign media compared with actual ad spend. In the study radio was ranked second in effectiveness, but sixth in ad spending.

So radio has to remind advertisers of the realities of performance and the strengths of radio, which include:

Can do other things while listening
Close to point of sale
Frequency medium
Intimate personal connection
Cost effective
Radio is easy to understand

As well as restating radio’s strengths, the weaknesses have to be countered too.

Some of the misconceptions are the radio
Can’t be measured
Perceived as old
Not visual
Not as targeted as digital can be
Can’t interact in the way that social media can, ie likes and follows.

“Our buyers are not always our consumers, find ways to make them listen to your radio station so that they can overcome their wrong perceptions,” said Spilsbury.
The study was commissioned because radio takes up 16% of media consumption every day in the UK, but only gets a 4% share of revenue. “The spend value is not reflected in the reality…. People are surprised when we show them the reality.”
Another wrong perception is that radio is a short term medium, but successful advertisers know that campaigns for short term sales need to be balanced with longer campaigns that build the brand. This is another element of the Radiocentre campaign.
“Advertisers think radio is good at short term activations, but they forget that it is also good for brand building, it has a broad reach and appeals to the listener’s emotion (how the brand gets inside my head).”
The Radiocentre is using the study and a range of other resources to campaign for more ad spend to radio by presenting evidence that reassures ad agencies that using radio is still effective.



Some useful resources that the Radiocentre uses include:

The ReEvaluating Media study on the radio centre website
Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow
Effectiveness in Focus – Les Binet
The Long and the Short of It – IPA study (purchase here)
Radiocentre case studies.



Our exclusive coverage of Radiodays Europe direct from Lausanne will continue over the next three days.


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