In the world of media buying, radio tends to get a bad rap. Sure, plenty of advertisers use it, but many just can’t shake the notion that radio is the lesser medium compared to TV. If you measure your campaigns by lead generation, you understand the importance of every dollar spent and every lead received. Sometimes radio is the way to deliver that ROI you’re looking for.
Still, TV is glamorous and radio is not. This reputation leads advertisers to think TV is more efficient, when often times it is not. Even within TV, efficient direct response campaigns require overlooked dayparts like overnight, early afternoon, and weekends, when rates are much lower. Yet many times advertisers prefer highly visible areas such as prime.
Some objections to radio include its battle with satellite, downloaded music, and the fear that those listening in their cars will not be able to record or remember the phone number to call. TV is also combatting similar competition – DVR’s are notorious for commercial fast forward technology. All of the general information we know about each medium does have an effect, but some things just work, with little explanation. Direct response campaigns are less of a science and more trial and error. Unlike branding campaigns that rely heavily on ratings to dictate the buys, DR is best executed based on results.
Using personal experience as an example, I saw the success of radio first hand in several local markets in Florida. TV ratings were great! Radio stations were small and consequently inexpensive. Yet the cost per lead for radio consistently beat TV month after month. In one of the markets, a TV rep actually told me he believes radio works better in his region because of the unique population characteristics. The point is, don’t overlook radio. Test it in every market, as each one is sure to yield different results. Give it a shot, and it might just become your best tool.