Friday, March 27, 2020

Report: Zonecasting Could Boost Radio Ad Spend

The coronavirus pandemic clearly is a headwind, but according to BIA Advisory Services demand for zoned broadcast radio advertising, should it be offered, signals a welcome tailwind for local radio advertising growth with the majority of both Main Street and Madison Avenue advertisers expressing likelihood of greater radio spending with over-the-air geotargeting.

MAGNA Global’s EVP Local Investment, Kathy Doyle and Justin Fromm, EVP Business Intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions, joined BIA’s managing director Rick Ducey in an online discussion (on-demand here) to share research and insights on these divergent trends.

Pandemic pandemonium: MAGNA’s Kathy Doyle shared that while marketing budget certainly could be hit hard, for now, it’s more of shifting ad spending rather than canceling it outright. Across IPG, Doyle says there are multiple daily conference calls among the agencies and with clients. It’s a busy time.

What’s happened to drive time? For local radio specifically, Doyle voiced frustration that, “With all of the shelter-in-place and non-essential travel restrictions ordered by state and local governments, it’s critical to get more visibility into how in-car listening is impacted. But we can’t get a bead on this and that’s causing trepidation for radio buyers.”

Doyle noted that it’s a crazy time. Even with brands that want to advertise, losing access to premium sports inventory (March Madness, etc.) means having to shift local activations around a lot. Auto brands seem to be holding tight, pushing April campaigns into May and June rather than canceling. 

Also discussed,  Main Street and Madison Avenue Radio buyers who want geotargeting are more likely to spend more on radio. Both the BIA and Advertiser Perception surveys of “Main Street” businesses and “Madison Avenue” agencies and brands show strong awareness and use of geotargeting and interest and intent to spend more in local radio if they can offer geotargeting.

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