by Joe Jones
In a recent blog post, Pierre Bouvard, of Westwood One, posed an interesting question. While reminding us that radio is the number one mass reach medium in the United States, he asks, “So What”?
On a quarterly basis, Nielsen continues to report that AM/FM radio reaches more consumers than any other platform including TV, social media, and mobile platforms. For AM/FM radio, this is exciting news. In order to make the information relevant to our clients, it’s important to explain the benefit of mass reach for retailers and advertisers. How does this help them? According to Pierre Bouvard, there are several things that reach provides for marketers.
Erwin Ephron, the father of modern media planning, said:
“Most advertising usually works by reminding people about brands they know, when they happen to need that product. Ads work best when the consumer is ready to buy. Reminding a lot of consumers is better than lecturing a few.”
Nielsen recently provided research demonstrating how this works in practice. A study of nearly 500 hundred cross-media campaigns evaluated media factors driving sales increases. Of the three media factors, reach represents 61% of sales growth. Looking at it another way, Reach is 2.5 times more powerful at driving sales increases than targeting.
Many Chief Marketing Officers have read Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow. A recent Ad Age article states that Sharp’s influential message is:
“Mass marketing is alive and well: Churn in a brand’s consumer base is inevitable. So it’s important to have broad and frequent reach. The unavoidable turnover among customers makes increasing household penetration crucial.”
Ad Age concludes, “At its heart, How Brands Grow is about recognizing that a brand’s consumers come and go, so winning…requires broad reach.”
Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at Adam & Eve DDB, and Peter Field, Marketing Consultant and one of the foremost experts of advertising effectiveness, wrote the highly respected book, The Long and the Short of It: Balancing Short and Long-Term Marketing Strategies.
Binet and Field studied hundreds of campaigns and sales results. They concluded that:
Targeting existing customers delivers smaller profits and more short-term sales response
The longer the time frame, the more important new customers are to profitability
The benefits of broad reach considerably outweigh the benefits of tight targeting
Binet and Field explain that the path to growth for a store or brand comes from three groups of consumers: long-term prospects, immediate prospects, and existing customers.
The largest and most profitable group is long-term prospects. This group knows the least about a store or brand. Convincing these prospects to purchase your products or services requires an investment of time.
Immediate prospects are a smaller group. They know more about a store or brand and can be converted into customers more quickly.
Existing customers offer the lowest source of growth as they are a smaller group and already know the store and brand well.
So how does a store or brand convert intermediate and long-term prospects into customers? Campaigns with mass reach!
Marketing courses teach the “purchase funnel,” a series of awareness and perception metrics consumers must have about a store. Delivering these messages to all of the different groups in the funnel is best achieved with a mass reach media, and radio is the biggest of them all.
So, people should keep in mind the following best practices when it comes to mass media:
“Reminding a lot is better than lecturing a few.”
Customers come and go. For a business to grow, ad campaigns must reach both current and prospective consumers.
The most profitable sources of increased sales are long-term prospects who know the least about a store or brand.
To grow sales, advertising must increase a store’s awareness, consideration, and brand images.
Des Moines business owners know that AM/FM radio campaigns generate extraordinary levels of reach. Put them to work for your business, and increase your sales.