Newspaper Advertising vs. Radio Advertising

Newspaper Advertising vs. Radio Advertising


Advertising salespeople at your paper hear a number of different objections everyday. One of the most difficult to overcome comes from the customer who has spent his budgeted advertising with another media. This customer is being aggressive, trying to bring consumers to his front door. He is just spending his money in the wrong place. How do you convince him to spend it with you?


In todayís economy, advertisers are looking for results. They are willing to spend money on advertising but they are going to scrutinize the decision closer than they would when they economy is experiencing rapid growth. They are going to be more careful where they spend their money. The advertiser is more likely to spend his advertising budget in a tried and true media (like print) rather than a media he is unsure of the results.


Letís Compare Radio Advertising with Newspaper Advertising


One of the most competitive media in your local market is radio. Salespeople for radio stations are generally creative and do an excellent job of building enthusiasm for radio advertising. They usually have a spec ad on tape along with listener demographics and maps that show how far their signal reaches. These tools are convincing. They raise the advertiserís expectations and often help close the sale.


Breakdown the Numbers


How many radio stations are in your market?

While sitting in your car (while parked, not driving) hit the scan button on your car radio to count the number of radio stations in your area. How many FM stations have a strong signal that catches the scan? How many AM stations? Write down the frequencies and total the number of stations. Do this again in a parking lot on the other side of town. You will probably find a couple more stations that have a strong signal you didnít find at your first scan. To get a more true reading use the tune button. Scanning will skip some stations that have a presence in your market but for some reason didnít catch while scanning. Even in small markets, you will find 20 or more radio stations that have a listening audience in your area. This splits the market share down to small numbers for market penetration by even the strongest radio station.


Why is the radio on?


Many consumers admit they have the radio on simply for background noise. They are not really listening; they just want some background noise to break the silence of the work environment or the drive time. Ask someone in an office what song played last. Better yet, ask them to recap the commercial that played last on the radio station they are listening to. Most people won't be able to tell you the song and very few will be able to tell you the commercial that played last.


Newspaper advertising is the meat and potatoes of any advertising budget. In a soft economy, advertisers want the results that you can provide. Even with a large advertising budget, radio advertising simply can't reach the number of consumers your paper can provide every week.


How many people are listening?

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, 75% of all people listen to the radio daily. This does not mean they listen all day, every day. It simply means that 75% of the people have the radio on at some point during the day. They may listen for 5 minutes or 5 hours, but certainly they are not all listening all the time all day long. If you are feeling generous, you can reasonably assume that 40% of the households in your market have the radio on at the peak time of the day.

If your market has 100,000 households, you can assume that 40,000 households have the radio on during peak listening time. Letís use that number and divide it into the number of radio stations within your market. If you have 20 stations in your market, the average radio station has 2,000 households listening at any given time. Some stations will have more, and some will have fewer listeners. The top station in town may have as many as 5,000 households listening during peak time. This would be a huge share of the market and it is likely they have fewer. Other stations may have as few as 500 listeners in a market of 100,000 households.

Radio stations may talk about 75% of the households listening during the day, but they seldom talk about the share of market they have or that the 75% represents an entire day while the advertiser may have his ad on the air for just 30 seconds. They also may leave out the thought that the audience is any member of the household above age 12. How many teenagers are listening? How important of an audience are teenagers to the advertiser.

Ask the customer where his primary trading zone is. How many households are in that zone? The top radio station likely is reaching 5% of those households. How many households does your paper reach within that trading zone? Compare the reach of the households with the advertiser. Your market penetration will look awesome compared with even the best radio station.


The Audience


Who listens to the commercials?


Why do people listen to the radio station? Certainly, they don't listen for the advertising. They listen for the music, the news or the talk shows. A commercial is an interruption to their listening. It is an aggravation. This is often the time they hit seek or scan on their radio to find more music instead of listening to (4) 30 second spots at a commercial break. This is the time when the button pushers come out. That explains the popularity of the seek and scan buttons on car radios and home stereos with remote control devices.

Newspaper readers are reading your paper to find out what is going on around town. They expect to find not only the news reports of what has happened recently but also what is going to happen. They look for this information in both the news articles and the advertising. The advertising is not an interruption in the paper, but an important part of the everyday, or every week, readership.


Here is a quote to remember:

ďIt's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.Ē

Jerry Seinfeld


Dave Baragrey is a business consultant and sales trainer for Publishers-Edge, a Special Section syndicate for print and on-line special sections, and Consulting business specifically designed to help newspapers and shopping guides.

Website Ė, www.Coupon-America.NET and


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