Into Thin Air5 Feb, 2010 By: Doug McPherson Response
Astor says tracking has taught marketers that radio drives significant online behavior, from research to orders and revenues. “It does vary widely by campaign — as low as 30 percent and as high as 65 percent of total orders are executed via an online channel even when phone numbers are given.”
Astor has also learned that total results are better if both a phone number and Web option are offered rather than one or the other. “So establishing an appropriate Web presence and tracking capabilities is a critical piece of maximizing campaign profitability in DR radio,” he adds.
Tuning Into Internet Radio
At the same time, aforementioned Internet radio is also gaining ear-share.
“Internet radio is still trying to sprout. It’s not a profitable proposition for advertisers yet, in part because the response rates are much lower,” Astor says. “We do expect it to be viable at some point — but that point isn’t here yet.”
Regardless, Goldwerger has plunged headfirst with TargetSpot into the Internet radio advertising waters. One reason: Internet radio lets marketers reach a “highly-engaged audience” while they’re listening to their favorite radio content online. Goldwerger explains that TargetSpot targets geographically and by time of day with what he says is “a degree of precision that hasn’t been available” previously in Internet radio.
“Precise targeting and the audio ad format allow marketers to make an emotional connection with consumers, while listeners are only a click or search away from the advertiser’s Web site … [that] makes it easier for them to respond. Marketers get the impact of radio with the benefits of the Internet.”
Goldwerger says 2010 should be a “breakout” year for online radio because audience numbers are rising as more audio providers and consumers embrace streaming audio, and both traditional and digital marketers are catching on.
“In 2010, we’ll continue to see demand for measurement and accountability,” Goldwerger says. “We have already made some great steps forward in that area.”
One of those steps is TargetSpot Analytics, a proprietary response tracking and reporting system the company is using to capture listeners’ response after an advertising message is delivered, not just during.
“Internet radio advertising has extraordinary branding power, but the fact that listeners are already online and that the ads are measurable gives it an edge for direct response,” Goldwerger says. “In TargetSpot’s audio advertising network, ads are sold by cost-per-thousand, but for direct response advertisers, we do offer a simple technology that allows them to measure impact — such as Web visits — beyond the click.”
The company has run seasonal campaigns for a leading flower retailer targeting specific music formats, and it’s working with a Web-based service and travel company, each looking to reach the at-work audience. “These are just a few examples. Online audio is a natural fit for any DR advertiser that understands the value of reaching consumers online.”
But while Dardis says Internet radio has yet to show much profit (and he predicts it’ll be five years before “a lot of money” is made), he admits there is “some small profit” in the medium and that there are signs of growth. His advice to DR marketers: Start exploring Internet radio and begin setting up systems. “Make your mistakes now,” he says. “This is a new road no one has walked on before, but the technology is there and in five years we’ll know how to manipulate it all more efficiently.” n