Forward Thinking: Radio RAB - Realise Radio's Mass Reaction

Article excerpt

The reach of linear broadcast media makes it the most effective platform to achieve brand success, and with high levels of engagement and emotional influence, radio can help deliver this.

Future-gazers often fall into the trap of concentrating on the exciting promise of the futuristic over the realistic.

This focus on the potential over the probable seems particularly prevalent in the world of media. A constant spew of updates about new technologies, evolving applications and ever-bigger data creates an enthralling blur of communications possibilities with infinitely precise targeting prospects, yet risks distracting the unwary advertiser from the reality of what will drive success for their brand.

Many of these stimulating communications opportunities operate principally at a short-term activation level, converting rather than creating brand value. There is also a theory that their perceived value for marketers may be exaggerated by the distorted media habits of those in advertising.

There's nothing wrong with short-term activation. In their latest analysis of the IPA Databank, 'The Long and Short of It', Les Binet and Peter Field highlight the importance of advertisers striking the right balance between long-term brand-building and short-term sales stimulation activity to deliver the highest returns, with an optimal 60:40 investment ratio favouring brand-building over activation.

Their analysis also demonstrates that reaching a mass audience is the most effective strategy for brand success. Targeting new customers generates more large business effects than attempting to build deep, loyal relationships with existing customers. Martin Weigel of Wieden & Kennedy explores this in his presentation 'How (not) to fail', and concludes that 'generating a mass reaction is more important than mass participation'. In both cases the authors agree that mass advertising reach is vital for long-term brand success.

This conclusion elevates the importance of media use in the debate - even the best creative work will fail if it has insufficient scale - but the groundswell of interest in efficiencies through the application of technology is pulling advertisers in the opposite direction.

This distraction is exacerbated by the disconnection between how the advertising community consumes media compared with the wider population IPA Touchpoints 4 data reveals that advertising professionals spend twice as much time with online media as the average UK adult, reflected in online's disproportionate share of adspend. …