It is getting harder and harder for advertisers to create clarity and impact in the modern environment. Brand messages are being filtered, misinterpreted and – at worst – ignored. No longer is it pertinent to shout the loudest, as a few dot-com investors have recently learned.
Cost and conversion will always be important but as media owners, we are only too aware that increasingly it is ideas that drive the messages home. And the best ideas are those that deliver tangible benefits for advertisers because they are developed from a proper understanding of, and empathy with, the consumer.
Media owners must now reflect this in their thinking as the media world fragments and the mind struggles to cope with the mass of communications in society. We must become more sophisticated in our approach and that approach can only be successful if we provide a thorough understanding of the brand relationship between a radio station and its listeners. We must be able to deliver a service which goes above and beyond traditional media packs, Rajar presentations and one-off ads, which can be a huge turn-off when they are taken from one format and plonked into a totally different environment.
This means developing a better understanding of the part media plays in modern life. For the advertiser, it’s about making the business work better for you.
The chief hurdle for a radio broadcaster such as Classic FM is to dispel the myth that it is only listened to by classical music enthusiasts. Two years ago it invested in a major piece of primary research, which gave it an in-depth view of its listeners and how they live their lives.
From the data, we extrapolated that one of Classic FM’s key strengths stems from its ability to repair the emotions that modern life erodes. For many, Classic FM exists to enable its consumers to relax, escape and self indulge.
Many non-listeners assume Classic FM is there to serve a lower brow Radio 3 audience. Nothing could be further from the truth. Classic FM’s relevancy in the 21st century stems from its abilities to act as an antidote to life. To escape.
Markets continue to fragment as consumer choice explodes, but radio still forges an ever more intimate relationship with its consumers in order to maintain its share of hearts and minds. It is something which we have placed high on the agenda, with two record labels, a top selling magazine, a Listener Club and a more interactive approach on air. By taking this approach, the audience doesn’t just listen to the station, but watches, interacts and purchases the brand. We have become a lifestyle.
It is this unique brand relationship that allows the advertising message to be taken in and cogitated, not screened out and overlooked. The trick for advertisers is to harness a brand’s unique approach and audience relationship to increase clarity and impact. And it is radio’s job to encourage advertisers to become more strategic and innovative to ensure the relationship is right.
Simon Daglish is sales director of Classic FM