In today’s digital-crazed society, radio may appear to have been pushed to the side, but according to the senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Houston, that is far from the case.
“It’s strong and isn’t going anywhere,” Sarah Frazier said.
Data from Nielsen shows that only TV gets consumed more frequently by U.S. adults. But, how does radio shape up when it comes to advertising? Frazier says the medium has a unique advantage.
“We focus on being live and local and make sure that we custom-build every program,” Frazier said. “TV and internet are not able to add in live and local broadcasts on-location at businesses. They can’t do giveaways and promotions like we can. They have limited resources to create marketing solutions, but we have it all. We have video, we have digital and we have the best reach of any medium.”
But radio must compete with other powerful media for advertising. Frazier said it is up to industry leaders to promote the benefits of radio ads, which typically are sold face-to-face and are carefully personalized for each client. Frazier says television and digital media often sell their advertisements online or by phone, allowing for much less customization for customers.
“We go to them with nothing and find out exactly what they want and need. Then we go home and pull out all of the tools to custom-build their ad,” said Frazier, who has held her current position since 2012.
Things are changing, though, as some radio stations have started selling their advertisements online. Quality and personalization are often forfeited with that approach, Frazier said, and many kinks will have to be worked out before that practices becomes widespread.
E-Marketer reports radio sales are expected to increase by .02 percent in 2017. In the meantime, radio is diversifying its offerings to reach audiences where they are.
“Our radio brands extend into video streaming, audio streaming, podcasting, social media, e-mail, Facebook, product placement, event sponsorship … you name it, we do it,” Frazier said. “We try to surround the local consumer on-air, on-site and online with a 360-degree approach.”
Georgia Clarke is a journalism graduate student at the University of Mississippi. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2016 with a degree in journalism and public relations. She has held jobs and internships with the United States Senate, Mississippi State University’s Office of Public Affairs, the Starkville Daily News, Charleston Magazine, the Local Palate, and Pinnacle Medical Solutions, a diabetic supply company. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.