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AG News: Saturday - 10/10/2009

Radio Industry Future is Selling Online

"Local online advertising is growing at a 12% clip..." say words announcing the latest Borrell Associates report, "Local Internet Advertising."

This sets up a question: Is the radio industry selling against the internet, or is radio selling itself with the internet?

What is being offered to advertisers, besides impressions, during radio's online revolution?

When it comes to how radio is progressing, apps, placement on cell phones, and royalty fees are what's pumped in radio industry trades. "Apps" is the buzzword du jour. Radio's placement on various cellphones isn't going to happen because carriers have more to gain by preventing it. Royalty fees - a tax, if you wish - are coming to a tower near you.

Not much time is spent discussing the importance of radio offering "services" to area businesses - services that help business owners understand the internet and digest all the new numbers it provides.

The numbers tell if an ad campaign works. They make local online advertising appealing. With simple math, an advertiser knows if an ad budget's dollars bring profit, making it vitally important for the radio industry to feed clients the numbers that fit into their math.

Go to any online ad buying network; notice each sells content-based impressions at incredibly low CPM. Radio web sites sell content-based impressions, too. There's not much money in selling online ads this way. It's supply and demand.

When local business owners explore cost and efficiency, online advertising appears the more economical and efficient the more they look at it.

One more time - "Local online advertising is growing at a 12% clip...." What portion of that will be attributed to radio industry controlled internet avails?

If your radio station is going down the du jour road for apps, or selling the excitement of PPM, back yourself up by using the internet in radio advertising campaigns. Testing ads, offering to calculate a client's ROI, or managing a client's local keyword ad buy can help.

Radio must create new revenue streams (away from impressions) in analytics, testing, and keyword ad buying. If not, we get back to THE question: Is this industry really going through an online revolution, or is it just going through the motions?

Money's tight. A medium must show it can prove accountability, with the ability to improve response for a client. Those that can't are destined to receive a lower percentage of ad money spent over the next three years.

From: Ric Haley
Ric Haley Advertising

Radios future lies where it always did in making it work for the client. In this day and age utilizing web, mobile, etc is a must. Learn it and use it wisely with every advertiser you can but make sure to position radio first. Otherwise the perception of value will be for the web, mobile, etc. Or you might wake up one morning in the web or mobile business. MAKE IT WORK and always showcase radio first or it may end up last by default.

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