Watch What You’re Listening

Even though the show gives only cursory coverage to audio, the good people who write the promo copy for the Advertising Week 2015 conference surely must have come from the radio business.

As we logged on to the Advertising Week website to plan our annual September nosedive into everything content-driven, data-driven, programmatic, problematic and engaging, we were greeted by a house popup ad with the cute phrase, “Listening May Improve Vision.”

The text was probably intended to carry the message that by listening closely to the abundance of educational sessions during the event’s four-day Times Square takeover, attendees would be able to enhance the overall vision for their marketing strategies.

But, guessing these wordsmiths undoubtedly had radio in their DNA, we know they were actually pointing at two other truths:

   1.        Radio is one of the hotbeds for TV show marketing.

   2.        Radio campaigns that run concurrent with TV are more cost-                      effective and better performing than TV campaigns alone.

Nielsen explains that TV networks often count on radio to drive tune-in, especially when plugging a new season, show, or primetime event.  Heavy radio listeners, Nielsen notes, are not heavy TV users and therefore provide an extended audience to which the networks can promote. That’s to say nothing of the astronomically large weekly radio listening audience among the U.S. population ages 12 and up, audience overlaps aside.

The data confirms that radio listeners can have a huge impact on viewership, in the case of both scripted TV shows and sporting events.

Listening may improve vision.

A recent study found that when 15 percent of a TV-only campaign is reallocated to radio, the campaign’s reach and receptivity increase significantly.

Radio and TV usage patterns provide the perfect complement, with radio delivering high daytime ratings and TV delivering at night. Adding radio to TV, according to Nielsen, delivers near-primetime levels throughout the day.

Cross-platform marketing, as we’re sure you’ll learn if you attend Advertising Week, is nothing new but very effective.  What you may or may not learn, judging by the scarcity of sessions on the subject, is that the audio footprint is transforming radically—AM/FM, streaming, podcasts, pure play, and more—and providing more opportunities than ever to reach target audiences at their desired point of engagement. If you don’t learn exactly how to engage them with audio at Advertising Week, you can learn it from us. So go ahead and watch what you’re listening. And whatever you learn or don’t learn, don’t, under any circumstances, blame the copywriters.


Jim Alkon
Marketing Director