Why Radio is still Important in Today’s Marketing Practices

Although today’s digital landscape has evolved into a multitude of channels revolving around IOT (Internet of Things), radio is still playing a prominent role in marketing strategies. Within the UAE, radio continues to thrive in the car and is perhaps the single most important listening environment for listeners to consume content that is relevant in their daily lives. Compared to 5 years ago, the total listening hours per week has remained stable which gives some insight that radio isn’t disappearing anytime soon. What is occurring is an evolution in the sector, with consumers being able to save and share content through podcasts and streamable content. The original power of the radio has far extended beyond expectations.

Radio is no longer a regional content distributor. For example, BBC radio has seen a transformation over the past few years from a local UK radio station to a truely global brand. In 2005, BBC experienced 42 downloads, but now acquires over 200,000 per week! Their content channels have expanded to the likes of Youtube, Soundcloud, and other streaming services to achieve their goal of global brand awareness.

Today, 92% of consumer ages 12 and older listen to radio each week. This shift is due to a thriving media space driven by a blend of traditional and digital mediums. According to Arbitron and Edison Research, the following points outline estimates of emerging digital platforms and their impact on the media landscape:

  • "Online Radio continues its growth trajectory reaching new highs for weekly usage."
  • "During the same span of time, AM/FM Radio has grown to 243 million weekly listeners."
  • "AM/FM Radio rules the road with far more frequent users than all other in-car audio options."

So what does radio offer to the advertiser?

A front row seat of dedicated attention. Where online platforms only allow users to experience a couple seconds of ads, radio secures a 30 second window of a consumer’s time. With the right targeting and messaging tactics, a more complex sales strategy can be leveraged. The ability to have a consistent message through creative and catchy jingles or humorous undertones establishes lasting memories, which seeds an audience with deep unconscious cognitive recalls that flow hand in hand with your digital marketing practices.

At Media Solutions, we’ve become professionals in both the digital and radio ad space, and a prime case study of ours consists of our high profile client Ebdaah - Ebdaah is a multidisciplinary consultancy group that focuses on transforming the lives of people with disabilities in the Middle East. In preparation for an upcoming conference focusing on Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing, Media Solutions extended our digital marketing practices to traditional radio space with the addition of a 1 hour special on popular radio show The Couch – Dubai Eye 103.8 FM with Suzanne Radford. Suzanne interviewed Ebdaah’s conference lecturers Dr. Thoraiya Kanafani and Dr. Jim Boylan on the subject of Teen Mental Health within the UAE. During the show, several teenagers called in to express their concerns with depression, anxiety, and overall 3rd country culture. Our success in combining marketing practices led to a successful conference with many industry professionals in the medical and educational sector participating.