Brand awareness in retail is more often than not solely reliant on visuals. Yet within our changing media landscape, those without an audio brand are missing out on one of the most effective ways to connect with their customers.
According to the 2018 Gfk Radio Survey, 86 percent of the New Zealand population tune into radio each week. Among that, 3.4 million New Zealanders tune into commercial radio. Brands who do not have an audio strategy are missing out on a substantial amount of possible engagement.
“It’s such a personal medium that you can really get close to the listener and impact and change their behaviour,” says Ralph van Dijk, audio advertising expert. “The potential to engage the listener is huge, so when it’s done well, I don’t think there is a better medium.”
The average listener tunes in for 17 hours and 41 minutes of commercial radio per week, spread evenly across weekdays and weekends. Retail advertising on social media can become saturated, and with new algorithms and shorter attention spans, brands can struggle to reach their intended audience.
“Audio is linear, you can’t ‘skip listen’ or close your ears but with decent creative, I think the listener is actually more engaged than they would be if they’re looking at something,” says van Dijk.
The growing choices that people have to tune in and listen to audio with the rise of podcasts and the introduction of smart speakers, are making brands more aware of their lack of audio assets. And van Dijk says there is a great deal of potential that is unrealised at the moment.
“It’s a massive opportunity for every retail brand to have their logo created in sound,” he says. “We are going to be always on. Our ears are always going to be connected.”
Creating your audio brand can be as simple as recognisable sounds, distinctive messages or relevant cleverness. Without an expected visual, creativity is easy to implement in a radio setting. With a noted increased listenership year over year, radio is fast becoming the go-to for efficient customer targeting. Peter Richardson, general manager of The Radio Bureau says its cross-platform abilities make it perfect for that customer engagement.
“There is a high engagement that comes from multi-platform sharing. With social media and onsite promotions, listeners are able to become involved with [retail brands]. And by using different platforms, touchpoints and stations targeted to your demographic, there is a lot more in the way of making sure [your demographic] is reached.”
Richardson says a benefit of radio advertising for retailers is the possibility of your ads reaching further than the intended audience.
“If you have a product and you want to reach a particular demographic you might know where to find it down to a couple of stations,” he says. “It’s good in terms of finding that niche, but you won’t just get them, you’ll get a wider audience as well.”
Retail audio brands are important to reaching audiences who are also involved in podcasts, streaming services, or smart speakers. But large platforms aren’t exclusive to large budgets. TRB provides campaign flexibility between small and big budgets, as well as long-term audio brand building or one-off sales.
“Radio has a really fast turnaround,” says Richardson. “Which means brands can react to things very quickly and very effectively. If a brand came to us and said I have this, I need it to get live tomorrow, we’d be able to do it as well as help execute it.”
Between advertising on the top 10 commercial radio stations, broadcasting times and intended audience, there can be many factors to employ for retailers to reach a new wider audience. Professionals like those at The Radio Bureau can help you navigate your new audio brand using a media platform with a large audience reach.
Peter Richardson & Ralph Van Dijk