In yesterday's post, we took an uncomfortable look at radio's image problems among consumers. It turns out the a Google search – when autocomplete kicks in – tends to display many not-so-nice descriptors about the state of the industry.
(As we also learned, many other media outlets don't fare very well in Google searchers either.)
But to support the notion that broadcast radio is beset with image problems, Nielsen released a new study this week among marketing executives that reinforces broadcast radio's shaky reputation as an effective advertising tool in 2018. It's a valuable read.
Conducted by a team led by Nielsen's SVP Marketing and Strategy, Eric Solomon, it's their very first study conducted among Chief Marketing Officers – or CMOs. And it's an eye-opener, especially when it comes to the trajectories of digital and traditional media, and the end-users who strategically and tactically employ them to market their products and brands.
The report focuses on a number of key factors, including CMOs projecting their ad spend on both traditional media and digital media in the next year. This chart speaks volumes about the different directions each media group is moving. Digital has the momentum arrows, while traditional's gains are offset by the stark reality that more than four in ten marketers say they'll be decreasing their ad spend on “old media.”
While digital media is often misunderstood by even sophisticated marketers, there's a growing sense it provides more effectiveness and return on ad dollar investment.
Nielsen's study of 165 CMO types, conducted earlier this year, reflects similar surveys we've conducted among advertising agencies, as well as local businesses in a variety of markets around the U.S. While many of those who make marketing decisions may not understand the intricacies of social and/or digital media, they tend to have more confidence in its efficacy. And their patience with “spray and pray” media buys that may or may not reach their target consumers is running thin.
That suggests some of the same perceptual problems exist about radio among CEOs that we discussed in yesterday's Google search blog post about listeners. When more consumers believe that radio has had better days, and marketers think it's simply not an especially effective or important tool in the traditional ad arsenal, it's a problem.
This chart from the same study suggests that even in the legacy media arena, radio is a laggard;
The full report runs 66 pages, and provides valuable insights into what marketers are thinking, and how their world is changing. You can access it here.
Attribution and ROI are key themes, too – and therein lays the opportunity. These new values go a long way toward explaining radio's challenges – and its opportunities – in this increasingly complex marketing environment.
In that context, it's somewhat surprising digital media doesn't fare any better in instilling confidence in delivering return on investment for advertisers. Traditional media, of course, is no better. But the fact ROI is up for grabs suggests there's plenty of time for radio to settle on attribution model(s) that marketers believe in.
This chart sums up the horse race between traditional and digital when it comes to return on investment:
For radio, its future as a viable marketing tool may rest with its ability to provide a higher level of attribution – and convince advertisers has always worked and still works today. Just contending that radio's reach outdoes the other players isn't a sufficient argument. And emerging new tools from third party newcomers like Analytic Owl , Connected Travel, and Veritone are already on a path toward connecting many of the dots between consumers, radio, and advertisers.
But that still doesn't change yesterday's key points from Seth Resler about radio's need to reboot its image among its two audiences: listeners and marketers.
A medium that is so technically simple and solid, established for a century, and part of millions of people's media lives deserves better than to simply be cast in in a bucket with other traditional media.
New lines are being drawn, new best practices are being written, and new models are being tested. That suggests the future is very much up for grabs for media players that can effectively make the case they produce results.
Our 4-pack of suggestions for broadcast radio in yesterday's post has value in the marketing space, too:
- Radio as an industry must speak in one voice
- Radio needs to step up and fund a national marketing campaign – targeted at both the audience and advertisers
- There's a lot to be learned from how other industries have rebooted their images – from milk to pork
- The same old radio reach narrative has fallen short – it's time for something new
And let's add attribution to the mix of solutions rapidly becoming available to radio broadcasters.
Advertisers are looking for solutions in these turbulent times.
Anybody can emerge a winner in this game: Facebook, Google, Pandora, SiriusXM…
…or even traditional broadcast radio.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,200 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.
Fred was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.