Has Radio Missed the Point of Digital Media Marketing?



Is commercial radio too analogue for its own good? Is it utilising "digital media marketing"? As part of our research into the latest state of the global radio market place we have found an interesting factor. When it comes to harnessing the power of 'digital' most stations and clusters are looking at different ways to package up their audio offering, to reflect our platform agnostic lifestyles.

This seems fair enough, but is it far enough? We are hearing a lot about monetising digital technology like streaming and podcasts, digital or HD radio and the like, but we aren't aware of too many radio business using the basics of digital marketing in anything like the way they should be.

If there were ever a medium that suits 'digital' its radio. It's always had extremely strong and direct links with its audience, is famously fast to react to bad weather, local news, and even traffic incidents. And its has used some of the most sophisticated audience research to help direct its programming since well before most businesses had even heard the term 'data driven'.

So why has radio seemed to have ignored what the rest of the world has been learning? Many radio groups have CRM systems for their sales teams, but how many are building secure and responsible data on their audiences? Not only for their own programming needs, but from a commercial perspective too.

What is radio doing when it comes to sales enablement? That is making sales easier for its commercial teams using digital media marketing technology and automation. Have radio sales teams even adapted to the new world sales people are working in? Or are they peddling the same old tired spots to the same tired clients they always have?

Ten years ago radio sales people had the power! They had all the knowledge and the ability to offer a unique set of expertise unavailable anywhere else in their market. Now, with the ability to research that the internet provides us, we all have the potential to be more educated in the product or service we are interested in than even the sales person.

And what does that do to the sales process?

It's breaks it, that's what it does. All over the world sales teams are finding that the tactics they've employed for the last decade or more dont work anymore. The world has moved on from seminar sales and CPT's. Now its about ROI and website audience generation. A couple of things radio has always struggled to demonstrate.

Here are 6 things radio needs to do right now:

  • Radio needs to bring their stations into this new world, and build communities and welcome them to their online properties as well as they do that on air.
  • They need to use data collated from their own websites to add colour to their own in market research.
  • Radio needs to develop its own real estate online, not just blindly drive everyone to Facebook for them to make money out of Radio's audiences.
  • They need to teach their sales teams how to sell to a client who has more information about marketing and advertising than they do.
  • They need to teach sales teams to have more information about marketing in general! Especially digital media marketing. A phrase by the way, that's slowly dying out - one day soon, it will all just be 'marketing'.
  • They need to help their clients understand the medium and how to get the most out of it. And not just podcasting, the actual airtime the stations are build on too. They need to teach them about the intricacies of radio and how to talk to their audiences the way only they, as radio experts know how to.

And they need to do it soon, before radio just becomes another irrelevant media in this irrepressible digital revolution.



Tony Dowling

FCIM | HubSpot Platinum Partner | Revenue Consultant | HubSpot Certified Trainer | South Wales HUG Leader | Tony@realinbound.co.uk | 07812 582213

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