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Unique Advantages of Radio Advertising

by Brian Colling - October 10, 2018

Advantages of Radio Advertising

The demise of radio as a legitimate advertising channel has been exaggerated for decades. Radio remains a vital marketing tool for all advertisers who use it. The strengths of radio advertising remain the same as when the medium arrived in the 1920s. If radio did not deliver results, companies like Geico, McDonald’s, Home Depot, JC Penney, and Macy’s would no longer use it. Here are the unique advantages of radio advertising:

5 Advantages of Radio Advertising

  1. Reach
  2. Affordability
  3. Contextual Targeting
  4. Geographic Targeting
  5. Demographic Targeting


Radio advertising is here stay because radio is the leading reach platform: 93% of us listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves. Advertisers are once again dedicating increasing budgets to marketing over the radio airwaves. Even in the digital age, radio advertising is still a highly effective and viable marketing medium. Why? Because it works.


Radio delivers messages to a targeted and captive audience at a much lower cost than most advertising mediums. For many small businesses, the prices of producing and airing a 30-second commercial during prime-time television programming can be prohibitive. Still, the costs to reach the same audience on the radio are significantly more affordable.

Contextual Targeting

Radio is one of the few advertising mediums that include a built-in loyal audience. Most radio listeners have one or two favorite radio stations they tune in to regularly. Heavy radio users work listening into their daily habits and have specific times they tune in. Radio advertisements are tailored to particular times of day to ensure you’re hitting your desired audience at the exact right time. Dayparting messages give advertisers a unique co-branding opportunity. Radio listeners also report a greater willingness to listen to advertisements.  Many listeners show excellent response rates to radio spots. If you’re looking for a built-in audience for your brand, radio provides a perfect medium.

Geographic Targeting

Another significant advantage of radio advertising is the ability to market to both local and national audiences. Radio is one of the few forms of advertising allowing brand control over who experiences ads. Spots can be run on local stations and programming only or distributed to a larger national audience. Radio advertisers can target by city, state, region, or cover the whole U.S.

Demographic Targeting

Radio formats allow advertisers to dial in their specific demographics like women 18-34, men 25-54, or Hispanics 18+.

According to Marketing Charts, 9.6% of U.S. radio listeners in metered markets ages six and older tune to a News/Talk station, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR), at 8.1% share, followed by Adult Contemporary (7.5%), Country (7.4%) and Hot Adult Contemporary (6.4%). 

For the 18-34 and 25-54 age groups, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio and Country were the top-2 formats for each bracket. News/Talk 10th is strong among 18-34-year-olds and 5th among 25-54-year-olds. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio proved especially popular with 18-34-year-olds with a 12.2% share.

18-34-year-olds display a greater preference for Urban Contemporary (their #4 format), Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio (#6), Mexican Regional, and Alternative (tied at #7).

The 25-54-year-olds tuned in more to Classic Rock and All Sports formats.

Getting Started with Radio Advertising

Some companies will tell you that anyone can develop and execute a radio advertising campaign. However, it takes a professional who understands the ins and outs of radio advertising to manage a successful radio campaign. What time of the day should I run my spots? How many advertisements should I run at once? How do I know if my advertisements are making an impact? These are all questions a professional media and advertising firm can help answer. One of the worst mistakes many first-time advertisers make is cutting corners by managing their radio advertising campaign.

Radio Advertising Conclusion

Ensure your message reaches the largest market segment and generates the best results by working with an experienced advertising and media agency. Colling Media understands how to help brands using targeted radio advertising generate high-quality leads and measurable results. Our media buying experience allows us to ensure our clients receive the best value with their radio advertising campaign. We provide our clients’ advertisements reach the maximum number of prospective customers.

Interested in learning more about what radio advertising can do for your business? We’re happy to discuss how your organization can benefit from professionally managed targeted radio advertising.


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