It’s about Effectiveness, not Platforms

One of radio's great problems is its inherently parochial nature.

We rightly celebrate increases in revenue year-over-year without necessarily recognizing that this growth does not happen in an otherwise static environment.  And it is these very transformative changes which are making today's "100-Arbitron-share world" less relevant by the day.

The bigger picture is where the advertiser plans to spend their money, regardless of the media involved.

In a recent STRATA survey of ad agencies, there are several tidbits worthy of note:

Nearly 40% of ad agencies believe it will be at least five years before they anticipate spending more on digital media than traditional media including broadcast and print. However, just as TV ad share continues to decline, traditional print advertising appears to be declining even further. Nearly two-thirds of respondents say their clients are less focused on print than they were a year ago. Not one agency polled feels it will increase print ad buys.

The most interesting thing about this excerpt is that it acknowledges the belief by a plurality of agencies that digital spending will exceed traditional media spending in as few as five years.

Tv And what medium is currently advertisers' favorite?  TV – at 42%.  Radio stations saw a slight increase from the previous quarter with 16.4% of agencies pointing to radio as their top advertising choice.

Meanwhile, 32.1% of the agencies say that their clients' focus on spot radio will be less than it was a year ago.

And one "buried lead" sentence that, in a few words, spells out the core of the opportunity for big media, radio and otherwise:  "Our survey taps into the perception that digital has its limitations in reach and effectiveness and must still be used with traditional media like TV."

In other words, it's not about radio – and it's not about digital – it's about effectiveness, not platforms.

Are you thinking about effectiveness?  Or ratings points?

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  • Big Tuna

    Any survey of ad agencies is inherently flawed….buyers are liars.

  • Mark

    Local media companies, especially radio stations, have every opportunity to grab a large chunk of the growing digital spend. Although most agencies have focused on national buys, the largest opportunity for web and mobile is local.
    The core problem is education and lack thereof. It takes time to train sales people on how to sell digital, whether it’s web, mobile, or email. Streaming seems like the quick ‘fix’ where they serve up the same spot and call it a day. We’re doing digital and our revs are up!
    I strongly believe large broadcasters need to hire experts in digital verticals or acquire companies that can help them take advantage of the opportunity. Promoting the DOS in a market that happen to sell a few online deals and is keenly interested in new media won’t cut it when you compete with a sea of strong competitors. For some odd reason, radio groups continue to do so.

  • Hey, those are your clients you’re talking about!
    All opinion surveys have their flaws – especially ones that attempt to predict future plans, as this one does.
    Although this may persuade you to take the survey results with a grain of salt, I don’t think my conclusions require that same grain.

  • Yes, this kind of reinvention requires intense and directed effort and (choke) investment – in time, money, training, people, etc.
    All things that are not built into an industry which has sucked up ad dollars like a sponge for 80 or more years.

  • It is all about the impact, perceived or real, on each stakeholder. On this we can heartily agree.

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