Radio station operators and networks are scrambling to adjust to the new media environment. Traditional radio advertisers like auto dealers and local banks know that consumers are spending more time online and they’re shifting their ad funds in that direction. Radio industry professionals are developing online initiatives to ensure future revenue streams, but some operators are looking at new types of clients to broadcast their marketing messages over the airwaves.
A trend discussed by Randall Stross in a New York Times article is the use of radio advertising by hi-tech companies. Here’s an industry that seems hand-picked for online advertising because the target audience spends most of the day connected to one computer device or another. And yet, some savvy marketers have determined that promoting hi-tech products and services on the radio in both large and small markets makes sense for a number of reasons.
For one thing, hi-tech marketers say that radio is surprisingly affordable. Stross notes that the increased competition for fewer marketers who allocate funds for radio advertising has caused stations to lower rates.
Hi-tech marketers often sell their products and services to other businesses. As such, B2B marketing typically involves white papers, trade shows, and online webinars. But one marketer, Barracuda, which is using radio to pitch its products, hopes the ads “ignite a conversation with as many influencers in a single organization as possible.”
Barracuda’s marketing chief Marc Wolfe says it’s important to get all of the attention of a prospect ‘in a quiet place’. And radio can do that whether a prospect lives in a Tier 3 city or is driving a rental car to a business conference in a Tier 1 city. It seems Barracuda isn’t the only hi-tech marketer to realize that radio has been an underutilized advertising tool. Citrix, the provider of GoToMeeting, also markets its service to business customers via radio.
As hi-tech companies seek to differentiate themselves, more may turn to radio advertising.