Accountability in Advertising: Radio’s Biggest Challenge

Why don’t more of our sessions on radio’s future focus on the accountability issue?

And no, I don’t mean proving that spots ran and when they ran. I mean proving that spots work and when they work.

For the industry to surrender this challenge to Google is to surrender our very future to those with a future of their own.

Just curious…How often did this come up at the recent RAB conference?

From today’s Inside Radio:

Google’s in search of the Holy Grail — ROI metrics for radio. It’s been two years since the biggest online company embraced traditional media with its purchase of dMarc for $102 million. Today it sells remnant ads on 1,600 radio stations. In recent months the focus has turned from adding new stations, to increasing demand. One Google insider says “Our key priority is growing the advertiser base.” Google has had the most success attracting buyers among its existing 100,000 advertisers. But those companies are used to online ads that can easily track click-throughs to purchases, so the fuzzier tracking of radio’s success has been an obstacle. Google insiders say the firm is looking to develop a clearer ROI methodology that could open up new media advertisers to traditional media including radio and newspapers. In its promotional material to would-be advertisers, Google suggests until they get there, marketers create a special phone line, website URL, coupon code or change in foot traffic to “identify leads coming specifically from your radio campaigns.” But such tried-and-true techniques may not be enough for today’s tech savvy advertisers.

Wait. You mean stuff that most radio stations still rarely do – special phone lines, website URL’s, coupon codes, etc. – will not be enough for today’s tech savvy advertisers – and even these we barely do?

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, it is our business to fulfill the goals of our advertisers, not simply to “sell spots.” And accountability is a key component of that.

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