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Why advertisers are switching audio channels to push beyond reach and frequency

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Deeper Engagement:


Latest research from OMD suggests advertisers could be missing a trick when it comes to audio advertising across radio, streaming and podcasts. The opportunity to engage audience attention across all age groups goes much deeper than reach and frequency.

While podcasts and streaming are booming, those audiences are additional to broadcast. “There's no cannibalisation,” according to OMD business director, Thad King.

“They all have their own strengths – and our research found that cross-channel audio campaigns, when we had all channels in the mix, saw much better results.”

However, the research also showed broadcast had the strongest impact on purchase decisions. King puts that down to trust, “especially within broadcast”. But OMD found variances across age groups.

“For the younger demographics, we saw that broadcast radio was more effective from the top end of the funnel in raising awareness, whereas some of the other channels, podcasts and streaming were more effective at lowering the funnel. But the older the demo, the more effective broadcast radio becomes.”

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Rules of engagement


OMD worked with Nine’s Powered division to dive deeper into the research, specifically around the differences between talk radio and music in driving results.

Nine director of effectiveness, Jonathan Fox, said the exercise unearthed key findings around audience engagement.

“Firstly, with the exception of podcasts, talk radio registered the highest level of engagement, with 41 per cent of respondents highly engaged,” said Fox.

While radio must rely on “claimed engagement”, because it can’t use tools like eye tracking, as other media are attempting to do, engagement is an increasingly important metric for ad buyers. It’s becoming a “huge factor” in planning and strategy, according to OMD’s King.

The second key finding is that listeners tune in to talk radio for different reasons versus other platforms.

“They want something to talk about, to learn something new and to be informed on the latest news,” said Fox. “So it's fuelling discussion, exercising the brain and keeping people informed.”

Crucially for advertisers, talk audiences are more likely to talk with others about the shows they listen to, according to the research. “So if advertising is relevant to the content,” said Fox, “it could well be included in the conversation that people are having.”

Right time, right channel, better results


Key to ad relevancy is embedding messages at the right time of day across different audio channels.

“One of the key take-outs from the research was that different demos behave differently for each of the different audio channels, and they perform differently throughout the day,” said OMD’s Thad King.

“For us, it's making sure that we've got the right approach to how we're using those channels, making sure that we're flighting them correctly, and importantly that we've got the right creative, so it can be effective,” he added.

“We want to make sure that we're delivering a message in the most contextually relevant way, to deliver great outcomes for our businesses. And this research has allowed us to get a better understanding in terms of all those different areas.”

Stories beat frequency challenge


Managing ad frequency is a key challenge for all media, but especially talk radio, where time spent listening often dwarfs other channels. Nine’s Jonathan Fox said some brands, such as CommBank, are cracking that conundrum and driving strong results by telling progressive stories, instead of repeating the same messages.

Brands can unlock more powerful results from taking a similarly creative approach.

“Radio is viewed as a short-term awareness driver, particularly of retail promotions. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're able to evolve the creative over time to tell a story, we have the potential to use something like talk radio for longer term emotional brand building as well,” said Fox.

“Radio is more multidimensional than perhaps most people realise.”

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