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the media radio annual digital

Radio Annual 5 www.themediaonline.co.za business, and not a headline and body-copy business. Stations need to acknowledge that their audiences are finite. Building a sustainable business around your audience is what’s going to matter in the future.” Radio has survived many attacks and has proven its resilience. The key reason for radio’s continued survival is that it maintains context for the listener, keeping the listener plugged in to what is going on. Reach and rate inflation “In South Africa, radio is the medium with the broadest reach across the population,” says Natano Brache, Head of Programming and Innovation at SABC Radio. “Radio remains more relevant than ever, particularly our African Language Services (ALS) stations that have a mass reach, especially in the rural areas.” In today’s radio environment, stations are increasingly emphasising that it’s less important to count the people you reach than it is to reach people who count. It’s about having a clear focus on the listeners and offering content that delights and engages an audience. In a recent presentation to the media industry, Given Mkhari, MSG Group Chairman pointed out that his platforms, POWER 98.7 and Capricorn FM are focusing on consolidating their listenership through quality content, which results in delivering better-defined quality prospects to marketers. “It’s most certainly not a chase for mere numbers, it’s about building a quality audience of potential prospects for an advertiser’s products and services.” One of the more serious threats to radio advertising is rate inflation. The growing perception is that radio is increasingly expensive and that rate inflation increases the viability of substitute media options, with digital achieving substantial growth. “The challenge for radio advertising sales is that increasing budgetary constraints, and increasing radio rates are driving advertisers to look for cheaper platforms on which to spend their budgets,” says Brache. “We have to adapt our offerings to clients and be more solution-focused if we’re to retain clients. Advertisers no longer look at RAMS, which they simply don’t trust anymore. This makes reach a less important factor in the planning and executing of a radio advertising campaign and drives advertisers to focus more on “bang for buck” with a solid emphasis on ROI,” he adds. Brache explains that sales and programming departments need to break down their silo working methodologies and jointly create more sellable content for their clients. The challenge is to ensure the content remains relevant and compelling for the audience. Grubb maintains that reach is still extremely important. “At the recent Radiodays Europe conference it was clear that radio is still favoured for its reach. Radio’s reach is still growing and extending to younger demographics – a vital sign for the sustainability of the industry.” Measurability and radio campaigns Grubb believes that the 30-second spot will never die. “Many campaigns still combine great creative with a solid brand proposition, and engage consumers via the right reach and frequency on the right stations. Increasingly, the 30-second spot operates in tandem with activation, digital and promotional opportunities. Stations need to offer and create holistic campaigns that deliver specific results. One caveat here is that campaigns need to be carefully crafted to ensure that there’s no compromise of editorial integrity.” The challenge to advertisers is to keep the media schedule well-focused and the creative execution relevant and compelling. Measurability of radio campaigns is an emerging trend, driven by the slow-growth economy and by increasingly-strenuous corporate governance requirements. Marketers are being forced to very carefully evaluate spend with increasing In today’s radio environment, stations are increasingly emphasising that it’s less important to count the people you reach than it is to reach people who count. pressure to measure and prove the effectiveness of all activity. ROI is being carefully measured and marketers are turning to technology to measure (and ensure) efficacy of advertising spend. This is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it is an imperative. Independently-provided compliance certification is increasingly being used to ensure that advertisers pay for what they get and get what they booked. Auditors are no longer merely accepting station invoices and logs as proof of delivery. An important trend in Australia and USA and one that’s gaining stature in South Africa, is that of stations contracting with external verification services to monitor (and prove) performance. Through this, stations reduce queries about invoices, which, in turn, improves cash flows. Afstereo, a company with exclusive rights to the AirCheck™ technology from the USA, has been monitoring broadcast output across many radio (and television) stations with an excess of 99,2% accuracy. “We’ve been monitoring advertising and music activity across several stations for about 9 years,” says Tamar Jacobsen from Afstereo South Africa. “Aside from having a comprehensive database of advertising and music activity, we’ve embedded intelligence on spend across market sectors, campaign strategies and can see which stations (and even time channels) are heavily


the media radio annual digital
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