Are Radio Advertising Dollars Going Digital?

For a while now I have been hearing from some businesses that “we are cutting back on our print and shifting those dollars to other marketing platforms” This for the most part has meant shifting to radio and digital. Thankfully being a business development manager for Metroland Media I have been able to save these dollars and shift into digital platforms such as content marketing, audience extension and geofencing. But just last week I met with 3 separate local car dealers who are cutting their radio advertising budget between 50 and 100 per cent and putting those dollars into digital platforms. The reason I was told was 50 per cent of automotive leads from these dealers are now coming from the internet. And this is while spending very little locally on digital campaigns. These car dealers aren’t stupid people so what do you think they are going to do if it sells more cars? Of course they are going to ramp up their digital campaigns. A $2000 to $5000 monthly digital budget with current available online automotive targeting goes a long way and yes car sales will go up. If you think about it it really does make sense. Think about your last car buying experience I will bet a pay check that you searched online for that vehicle. I will bet that is likely where you made the decision on your vehicle of choice. If I was in the car business I would definitely have a significant digital strategy to reach this audience.

The issue I see with the radio executives at least from what I have seen is they do not have the digital platforms to keep this revenue. They are trying but I know when I come in to a business after the radio guys have done there best digital pitch Metroland has exactly what the doctor ordered to look after their digital needs. I also do not notice the radio reps running around with their print is dying pitch anymore as I believe they are starting to notice they have their own challenges. Is this the beginning of the end for local radio media buys at least at the level we have seen in the past? Or is it just a blip and these customers will come back to radio? Or maybe the broadcast giants will invest in the proper digital platforms if it’s not already too late.

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Print Advertising is dead? I guess I missed the memo

We have been hearing for years nothing but doom and gloom for the newspaper industry. I have been meaning to write about this topic for some time now as I see this as completely false and I will explain why. First off I must clarify most of the press concerning the newspaper industry being in such rough shape is coming from the mainstream media (reference CNN and other major news affiliates).This media attention refers to daily newspapers and even more specifically  the larger National Daily’s. For whatever reason this has led to a misconception print is a dying medium and more importantly in my world a dying advertising medium. This is definitely not the case and nothing could be further from the truth.

I am going to take this opportunity to define print advertising as far as I am concerned. Print advertising is anything printed on something such as billboards, busses, flyers, magazines, posters, benches and yes even newspapers. Radio reps have become masters at spreading the word to the business community that print is not only dying but it’s completely dead. Really? When I hear this from clients all I have to say is this; Have you checked your mailbox this week? Then we have a little reflection time, the advertiser thinks about all of the annoying printed advertising material that has landed in their mailbox in the past week and boom just like that they are back on the print train. The pic I have attached to this blog is one week of advertising that recently landed in my mailbox at home. Convinced yet? Well if you aren’t talk to my customer base who advertise in FlyerMail, a regional direct mail product which I am the former founder and president that I sold to Metroland. There are many repeat customers who haven’t missed an edition in years and many who get hundreds and sometimes thousands of coupons back regularly. This doesn’t even take into account the numerous phone calls and traffic from customers who do not use coupons. This may strike a response from my friends in radio but as an advertiser you will not have this impact from a digital or radio campaign. I am not saying these aren’t effective mediums but not thousands of customers over a short period of time that much I know.

To provide an example ask a top used car dealer why they distribute flyers to promote their inventory (and yes all the big ones do) and the answer will be the same all the time. “That flyer drives our sales but please don’t tell everyone as only a few of us have figured this out” Yes they do radio and have digital campaigns but it’s the PRINTED flyer that drives the sales. This is no secret as I’ve heard this over and over  from those that invest in significant print campaigns.  Another great example on the health of print ask any major retailer such as Wal-Mart, Loblaws, Best Buy, Canadian Tire and many others what their number one advertising medium is in terms of ROI (Return on investment) and you will hear every time the weekly flyer and by a wide margin. I will also add that the flyer print/distribution alone is a multi-billion dollar industry. Sounds pretty healthy doesn’t it?

So if you are looking at spending your advertising dollars wisely with a high ROI as the holiday season approaches despite what you have heard make sure you give print a serious look. Whether your medium of choice is a community newspaper, magazine, direct mail campaign or even a billboard, print should be included as part of the media mix. I will end on this note despite what you may have heard print is alive and well.

Follow me on twitter@geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/