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Friday, February 24, 2012
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The Future of Traditional Advertising

I just had one of those eye-opening moments. In this case it happened while going through headlines, searching for news about mobile. What I found proved more than a major story; the company concerned, the presentation of this news, and its details indicate the future. Radio industry personnel need to open their eyes to it, too. This sure beats selling spots and banner ads on a station's web site.

The quick rundown: JC Penny is introducing... whatever, it doesn't matter because this introduction is being done through a combined audio and full-page ad campaign on Pandora.

" was about Pandora being the center-point for an 'audio and full-page ad' campaign which could have been pulled off using traditional media - had its executives started thinking in these new marketing ways." By now you should be wondering, "A traditional major retailer is using new media - specifically, mobile, and Pandora - to introduce [insert product/service here]...?"

Once that's fully digested, let's start chewing over additional pieces of meat in this story.
1) Tapping on the mobile ad gives consumers access
to buy a variety of merchandise.
2) A JC Penny app - to shop via phone - is
presented for download.
3) JC Penny will start using iPads to aid in-store sales.

It gets better! To demonstrate the options for advertising now being placed in front of companies wishing to reach youthful consumers, JC Penny ran a Brightkite, Foursquare or Facebook Deals/Places campaign around the holidays giving $10-off coupons to anyone using these services who visited their stores. I particularly like how JC Penny, following Thanksgiving, offered "$25 to The Salvation Army for every customer who check[ed] in to one of its locations on Black Friday."

These are accountable advertising methods using mobile that are being used by a major retailer - soon to be understood by tens of thousands of smaller local businesses.

But the brilliance that caused my eye-opening didn't come from any of them (most were just a "wow" kind of moment). Where my jaw dropped, and I realized that the radio industry needs to make substantial changes throughout its presentation now, came at the very end.

After author Rimma Kats completed writing the article, she did a 37-second video synopsis - embedding the clip for me to get an overview, and giving me contact with a person (her).

This is not journalism as any traditionalist imagines. Nor is it about topics that any traditional retailer would recognize. It is not creative in the form of anything a polished broadcaster or print pro would create.

What opened my eyes was its combination of communication, in a style that was so one-to-one and information-based, about an iconic heretofore old-style company. It forced me to ask, "How did JC Penny get so hip?" And, it was about Pandora being the center-point for an "audio and full-page ad" which should have been done by the radio industry - had its executives started thinking in these new marketing ways.

This article explains a traditional advertiser's new modus operandi for using radio, in a way that has "future" written all over it. For young marketers, it's thrilling. For traditionalists, frightening.

This is the future of traditional advertising in the radio industry, and I just thought you should know.

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