Why Radio is the New TV

22 May Why Radio is the New TV

According to statistics from Neilsen, “TV audience ratings have collapsed”. Business Insider says, “TV viewership has been in steady decline since September 2011.” Yet according to stats from the CRTC, radio listenership is holding its own: the average Canadian still spends 17.5 hours a week listening to radio. And most of that listening is in the car or while surfing the net.

As an advertiser, these stats can work in your favour! First, let’s look at the fundamental differences between radio and TV, and why radio should be the medium of choice for local advertisers.

1. Radio IS always local, TV is national, or at most regional.

2. Radio has a captive audience: most people listen in their cars, where they have to listen to your commercial. With TV, your audience often misses your spot because they’ll leave the room, switch stations, or skip over them with their PVR.

3. Radio production costs less: since radio commercials involve “theatre of the mind”, so great creative ideas can be produced for much less. Shooting a TV commercial costs much more.

4. Radio airtime is great value, TV airtime is expensive – radio reaches more of your local  customers for a lot less money.

Here’s where all this gets interesting for your company. And we’re assuming here that the customer’s buying decision for your product or service is based on trust.

In the past, people did make buying decisions based solely on ads, but those days are gone. Think about it in terms of how you make a buying decision. Let’s say you need a new furnace. Would you take the word of a radio announcer or TV pitchman and buy the furnace without researching other local companies? No. You’d go online, try to learn if other people like you trust this company, then go to a few competitor’s websites and base your decision on which company garners your trust. This is key: very few buying decisions are made before shoppers visit your website.

And when it comes to broadcast, radio gets more people to your website for less money than TV. That’s because most people go to websites of companies they already have an awareness of. Radio creates that awareness much more cost-effectively than TV.

So, the “new” TV is radio driving shoppers to your website, where they will see great video about your company. The process is simple: we capture convincing customer testimonials on video and we incorporate the audio into your radio spots. This gets listeners interested in your company because your testimonial-based creative instills feelings of trust. Once online, they hear and see the same testimonials, which further enhances their feeling that your brand is a good one. It’s the visual power of television at a fraction of the cost.

Here’s a great example. Reliance Yanch Heating in Barrie: their radio commercials feature real customers saying how great they are. They’re the same testimonials that are posted on their home page.

Based on real Google metrics, their web hits the week that commercial hit the air went from under 200/week to over 1000/week).

Has this affected their sales? According to GM John Baine, the branch went from being the third lowest performing of all Reliance’s branches, to the top performing branch, in less than a year.

Radio and online video work best in combination, with consistency attained through customer testimonials. That’s why radio is the new TV!

Mike McCurlie
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