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Radio Holds Firm With Brighter Forecast for Future



You may be wondering why Marketing Pilgrim, the Internet News blog, is talking about radio. Especially that silly old school over the air radio.

Well, it’s like this. One thing we understand and need everyone else to at least consider is that while the online space is certainly the most intense growth area for marketers and it is going to be a significant part of the future, there are still other very viable channels for marketers to consider.

We see a bit too much of the “online v. offline” marketing talk rather the smarter and more effective “online plus offline” discussions. A report from BIA/Kelsey reminded us that radio is still alive and may even have some growth on the horizon. Take a look for yourself.

Like Warren Buffet I like to consider things that I actually use myself and radio is certainly one of them. I’m a sports guy so when I am in the car I have sports radio on most times of the day. As a result of this habit, I can recall several occasions where radio ads prompted further investigation of a product or service online which ultimately resulted in a sale. As a result, it’s fair to think that while we exist in this transition phase where traditional media is still very much in play as the online world continues to grow and evolve, it is imperative for marketers to find where the two mediums intersect and cause customers and prospects to buy much like myself.

The social media industry in particular has been selling a semi-defective bill of goods to this point by giving the impression that social media is the best (and sometimes the only) way to reach people and bring them to the purchase point. In some instances that may well be true but that is the exception not the rule, at least for now. Social and online in general is one of many channels for communication. It’s the place where these channels feed each other that marketers want to find themselves on a regular. Giving too much attention to one at the expense of the other is a flat out mistake.

One of the nice features of radio, particularly forms of talk radio, is that there can be a much deeper relationship formed between broadcaster and listener. Sure it’s limited (as is social media) but there is something about hearing the human voice that draws out more emotion thus more attachment to hosts and ultimately sponsors. Radio does that better than most mediums and it is highly effective at driving social traffic to further that relationship.

So do you find yourself dismissing some potential areas of marketing that could ultimately serve to spice up your online efforts? Do you search for the places where online and offline serve to complement and supplement each other rather than replace each other? If you don’t you may want to consider it the next time you are listening to your radio in the car :-).

Your thoughts?