Radio Media Buying and Planning

Posted by Lisa Smith on Oct 14, 2015 1:54:07 PM



Advertising on radio has become one of the most effective ways to reach a broad scope of potential customers. Statistics gathered from Arbitron show that radio broadcasting reaches approximately 228 million Americans from ages 12 and older. So no matter what type of demographic you are trying to reach, you are sure to be hitting the mark with a radio.


Radio is reaching more people than ever through internet broadcasting. This increases the chance for lead generation to your website. Essentially if a customer is listening to streaming broadcasts on the internet, they are one click away from your site. Though you are reaching millions of potential clients, media planning and buying shouldn't be taken lightly. Before you take the plunge into radio advertising, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you are successfully reaching your optimum target audience with effective media planning and media planning and buying campaign. Media buying and planning is a process in which each step must be carefully executed for the best return on your investment.


Define your target audience.

Successful media planning and buying depends on identifying your prospects according to age, gender, and geographic location. After you have decided this, you can narrow the list even further to include household income or possible special interests depending on your ad focus. Once you feel you have successfully filtered your target audience, contact a representative from the radio station or stations you wish to advertise with. Research is key here; you want to choose a station that closely aligns with your company message and brand. The advertising rep will be able to answer these questions and should be able to provide you with solid quantitative and qualitative information supporting their specialized demographics for media planning and buying. This information could include customized proposals including pricing for the time of day and day of the week, program schedules, and signal coverage maps to display their broadcast reach. The representative will also be able to guide you toward the correct time segment or programming schedule which will best suit your needs for reaching your concentrated target audience. A successful ad campaign depends on thoughtful media planning and buying. 


Evaluation of frequency, reach, and cost per point.

An effective radio media planning and buying campaign relies on three things. Frequency encompasses the number of times the average listener will hear your ad campaign, not the amount of spots you purchase. Acceptable frequency is between 3 and nine times within one week. Your reach is how many potential clients in your target demographic will hear your message in a given amount of time. Cost per point is the foundation for evaluating cost effectiveness and is essential for successful media planning and buying. Cost per point will define how much you spend advertising to reach 1% of your target audience. This can vary from station to station so it is important to compare CPP across the board to find out which station will provide the best CPP and target reach combined. This evaluation process will help you stay within budget while reaching the most potential clients. Once you have established a satisfactory frequency and reach, multiply your ad campaign over a given span of time your budget will allow. 


Seek out sponsorship to broaden your prospects.

Sponsorship of certain programs is a great way to further your plugging power for your media planning and buying campaign. News, weather reports, special programs or shows, will solidify your media planning and buying campaign. These radio "billboards" can compliment your regular ad campaign. Additional mentions from radio personalities people trust helps to foster potential client familiarity and interest. Also, these special spots are usually broadcast first during a commercial cycle and listeners are more likely to pay attention to initial ads rather than those played at the end of a commercial segment. Participating in special event sponsorship can be additionally effective in media planning and buying. Many local stations participate in community events, concerts, festivals, etc. Event Sponsorship coupled with a physical presence can help your ads become more potent as potential customers can interact with your products as well as your staff. 


Entertain the masses with creative ads.

Careful radio media planning and buying can be a strategic and scientific process. Making your ad campaign effective depends on your creativity. Once the number game of an efficient buy is achieved and you have your time slots selected, it is now time to have some fun and create an engaging ad. Your local ad agency, production company, or station representative can help you shape the ad toward your intended audience and keep you on track with your goals. There are many different avenues of attack on creating lead generating ads. Humor or shock can be extremely effective, grabbing the audience's attention and holding it is the key to creating a money making radio ad.


For creative inspiration I recommend The Wizard of Ads by Roy WIlliams. When I managed media sales staffs this book was required reading and it raised the level of our creative across the board. Good luck to you.



Topics: marketing