Bernariusz says that the two media complement each other's strengths since radio is a lean-back, or passively consumed, medium and digital is a lean-forward, or interactive, medium. In other words, a radio station can be playing in the background as the user looks for information or carries out a transaction on an Internet-connected PC at work.
Today's consumer uses a range of different media in day to day life, says Bernariusz, flitting between different channels throughout the day and sometimes even consuming content from multiple channels at the same time.
Consider, for example, someone checking Twitter from a smartphone while waiting for a meeting, just after he or she had spent an hour in the traffic listening to music and the news on the radio. There are strong opportunities for marketers to use these channels to reinforce each other and drive better customer engagements, says Bernariusz.
What this means is that marketers should be looking at ways to make their campaigns across these media work well together so that they can get more value for their advertising rand, he adds. Radio gives you reach, while digital gives you engagement and brand emersion.
Radio ads and sponsorships normally give advertisers only a few seconds to get a point across with a quick message and call to action. But when they are paired with online ads, they can provide further information and engagement that help to drive a customer to conversion, says Bernariusz.
Radio adverts are the perfect way to activate online campaigns by, for example, steering customers to a Web site or social media presence, where they can access more information and act on an offer, he adds.
With mobile channels such as apps, mobi sites and SMS, customers don't even need to wait to get back to their PCs to take action. Digital activity can also offer great insight into how well a radio ad is working - for example, a spike in online searches following a campaign could show that a radio ad is driving interest in a product or service.
Radio web sites extend the broadcast experience, adding new elements to the mix, Bernariusz notes. They can drive interactivity competitions and user participation through comments and polls. As such, it makes sense for advertisers to carry radio campaigns through to a broadcaster's online properties.
Bernariusz says that South African radio stations tend to undervalue their digital properties, treating online advertising as a value-add rather than as a product in its own right. This is a trend that we are attempting to change, as marketers begin to understand that digital and broadcast should be sold as a package where both components have a great deal of value to offer. "Giving away digital ads on the radio station's Web site simply devalues online advertising," Bernariusz adds. "We need to be fostering a stronger understanding in the market of how the two support each other, as well as of the value that digital offers in its own right."
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