Home > IMS Ghaziabad > Is Radio Back as Medium for Brand Promotion?

Is Radio Back as Medium for Brand Promotion?

Vijendra-DhyaniRadio, the old, useful, convenient and effective mode of communication has been there in Indian Market for more than 50 years. In this long era of ups and down, it has seen so many changes. It started as a revolution in the country with the biggest ease and convenience of uninterrupted broadcast even in case of no electricity. It has seen so many ups and downs in terms of market share, the changing preference of listeners and even the change in target listeners group. There was a time when the target listeners were the families who used to listen to the radio as a resource to update them of what is happening in country but the biggest use was the ever pleasant pleasure of relaxing and enjoying life with songs. But with the introduction of FM in India, Radio has reached its pinnacle. Practically, it is FM that has brought audience back to their radio sets. The growth in this industry is definitely the result of amalgamation of Advancement in Technology (including advancements in telecom sector), increased urbanization and higher standard of living. India has seen the signs of an increasing number of people getting back to their favourite radio shows once again.

Brands today realize the need for a 360-degree presence across mediums so that they can be where their consumers are and directly interact and engage with them. Marketers, since beginning, have seen radio as a good source for the promotion of their brands. This medium has always been a cost effective source for the promotion. One of the biggest advantages that radio has is while television gives great reach for the marketers for the promotion, awareness and visibility of the brand; it is only radio that provides the opportunity to interact with listeners. So, as a result, Marketers have quickly spotted the opportunity of value-for-money brand promotion on radio, they have identified this evergreen medium to reach their biggest and largest customer base i.e. the youngsters. Telecom revolution has actually helped this industry to reach the zenith. The youngsters have started seeing FM radio as one of the primary features in their mobile handset has alerted Marketers not to ignore this medium.

Radio has given so many advantages to marketers to advertise their brands. The Radio is cost effective, Interactive, 24X7 access; it has evolved substantially both in terms of engagement as well as reach to more and more cities. It also works as a support medium to television and print for advertisers. Since its prime time differs from the prime time of TV, Marketers have found new time slots to attract the consumers. Marketers are further more interested in this medium as radio allows advertisers to reach out to a specific target group without having to purchase media space on a national scale. They can buy the frequency and selectivity – in terms of audience, day-part, place of listening, and the station itself – and that too at a cost no other medium can match. Another great advantage of radio is that the marketers can create customized messages for brand building at the local level. In a country as diverse as India, this is the blessing for any marketer.  India’s FM radio broadcasting band lies between 88 and 108 MHz. International practice designates this radio spectrum as suitable for FM broadcasting. Out of this, 100 to 108 MHz is informally reserved for All India Radio and 88 to 90 MHz for community radio. The only part of the band available to private operators is 91 to 99 MHz. That explains the small number of frequencies being offered in each town and indicates assured appreciation in value. Couple this with the flexibility of capital and operating expenses involved, Marketers can develop a business plan to suit their business and strategic needs. India’s private FM Radio segment is expected to generate revenue of around INR 14 billion in 2012–13, with 245 private FM stations operating in 86 cities, and has been growing at a CAGR of 14% annually. For instance the FM channels in Delhi are AIR FM Rainbow / FM-1 (107.1 MHz), AIR FM Gold /FM-2 (Early Morning till Midnight) (106.4 MHz), AIR Rajdhani/Gyanvani Channel (Non-Regular broadcast) (105.6 MHz), Oye FM (104.8 MHz), Fever 104 (104 MHz), Radio Mirchi FM (98.3 MHz), Hit FM (95 MHz), Radio One FM (94.3 MHz), Red FM (93.5 MHz), Big FM (92.7 MHz), Radio City (91.1 MHz), Furthermore, the sector is expected to grow to INR 23 billion, at a CAGR of 18%, within three years of Phase III being rolled out, according to “Poised for Growth: FM radio in India” latest study by CII and Ernst & Young. The sector accounts for around 4% of the country’s total Ad industry. Globally, radio’s average share of the total Ad industry is between 5% – 10%.  (Source: Economic Times: December 20, 2012).

Since most of the radio advertisements are short and the number of advertisements aired between programs is less, there is less differentiation between the FM channels; the listeners do not usually switch to another channel only for advertisements. Marketers feel happy to convey the message in this favourable condition. As per the new regulations, a single player can operate in a city with multiple channels in the same city. There might be different channels dedicated to certain genre of programs which will attract a particular group of listeners. This will help the companies to plan their brand promotion campaigns in a much better manner with messages targeting this particular type of audience. For instance, Radio City Connect executed a promotion plan campaign in 12 cities for Renault Pulse and a 72-location activation plan that involved RWA, corporate park and mall activation. This campaign had generated more than 6,000 leads for the brand but more importantly; nearly 1,000 people went for a test drive of the vehicle. This clearly shows that now Radio has become an imperative source for the advertising. It helps in ATL and BTL activities of the company. You will find almost every brand from all industries (FMCG, Telecom, BFSI, Cement, Automobiles, Retail, and many more) have been part of brand activations. According to industry estimates, advertising on radio contributes nearly 15 per cent of the total sales and experts are estimating this figure to go by 20 % in future. In a nutshell, Radio has proved that if companies are looking for the 360 degree promotion of their brand, it can really be one of the better medium to use.

Prof. Vijendra Dhyani

Associate Professor – Marketing

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  1. Manish Tripathi
    May 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Thnx sir, for sharing such a valuable info.

  2. Gargi garg
    May 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Nice informative article Sir. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Vijay Laxmi Saxena
    May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    A very informative article sir. But with this medium of promotion the only problem is-Radio stations generally run their advertising in sets/clusters, scattered throughout the broadcasting hours.but i think the first or second commercial to air during a commercial break has higher recall than others and its tough to get the suitable placing of your ad during an air break time.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. May 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Sir, The article is really very useful. In my company Pfizer We are also promoting Gelusil on Radio. Our favourite Radio Jockeys are endorsing our brand Gelusil and we are running exciting contests to engage the listeners. Radio is definitely a strong medium of advertising for brand promotion.

  5. nakul jindal
    May 31, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Thnx sir, for sharing such a valuable info.
    tell me one think more that , what is the best distribution method in rural market? any idea what is latest & best?

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