Businesses missing out by not using radio advertising during the recession.


By Chris Furness

Feb 20, 2012


Businesses missing out by not using radio advertising during the recession.

Radio: recession-proof advertising

Radio: Recession-proof advertising

Businesses concerned about the downturn are missing a trick by failing to utilise the increasing power of radio, which continues to buck the trend in the offline media world.

Radio advertising, often maligned in the past as scattergun and unquantifiable in terms of response, invariably suffers from the same peaks and troughs as most other media channels during recession.  But the consistent rise in listening numbers across most commercial stations in the UK means there’s a growing pool of potential customers offering rich pickings for those bold enough to advertise the right offer at the right time with the right creative message.


Far from being overshadowed by the internet like some other media, radio has positively embraced the web, with digital stations popping up and multiplying over the last 10 years.

There are a host of positive reasons for using radio advertising during a downturn, one of them being the ability to get your message to potential customers even when they’re not looking for your business.  Directories, classified press ads and, most notably, the internet rely on people proactively searching for products or services.  This ‘search’ activity naturally reduces during a recession.  With radio however, it’s different.  People don’t stop listening because times are hard or money’s tight, in fact they’re likely have more time to listen.

Rather like TV advertising, people react to radio commercials but they don’t ‘search’ for them.  Unlike TV though, listeners don’t have the option to fast forward or skip through commercial breaks, making radio a ‘low-ad-avoidance’ medium.  Listeners are also far less likely to change stations, tending to be much more loyal to just one or two channels.


Radio advertising is unashamedly subliminal and relies on the listeners’ awareness and consciousness, but whilst some think this is a drawback when it comes to recognition of advertising, it’s actually an advantage.  Radio advertising is one of the few media that can reach your audience when they’re doing something else, such as driving, working or gardening; times when most other media can’t reach them.

It’s also the medium that ‘pushes’ breaking news to the masses quickest and often gives the most in depth coverage and gets people responding with phone-ins, texts and social media.  The way radio interacts with these other media is the secret to its success.

Golden rules

Making radio advertising work is an art as well as a science, but one that has a few golden rules that, when followed, make success highly likely.  You can find out what those rules are by clicking here to download our free pdf; 21 ways to make radio really work for your business.

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