The Best Way To Bring Radio Audiences and Advertisers Together in the “New Normal”

Written by Candy Dempers, MD of MediaHeads 360

The first few days of Radio Days Africa 2020 have been illuminating to say the least. Sessions involving industry leaders discussing the “new normal” (i.e. the mid-pandemic radio landscape), a creative council with some of the best advertising brains on the continent sharing ideas and opinions, as well as a discussion around the best radio promotions around the globe from the past year, have each highlighted that audio is becoming an even more unique space for advertisers and audiences to “play” in than it has ever been.

What has also become clear is that making the most of this unique space involves bringing brands and radio stations together in a more efficient manner than in the past. There is a growing demand for specialist agencies to bridge the gap between the two, in effect assisting with steering campaigns at all phases. As the conference findings below suggest, there are multiple reasons why this is the case, and why more brands should consider working with specialist agencies to maximise their campaign results moving into the latter stages of 2020 and beyond.

Time is of the Essence

It’s no secret that time is an issue for most modern businesses, but this is especially true when it comes to brands and stations executing a complicated campaign with multiple layers. A specialist agency is able to maximise time for both key players, effectively saving them from speaking directly to each other, and acting as a “go to” middleman along all stages of the campaign. Where this becomes particularly useful is when there are campaign kinks to iron out, which brands and radio stations don’t often have the capacity, energy or resources to pay as much attention to begin with.

The Digital Landscape is Challenging

The digital landscape is a challenging one. It moves very quickly and often this makes it hard for brands to know exactly how to position themselves to reach their audience most efficiently. Some companies get stuck on talking about mobi-sites and incorporating WhatsApp voice notes when the truth of the matter is that the technology has already moved on. There are already many new ways for brands to tap into digital technology to dial up their campaigns. Specialist agencies understand the challenges involved and are well positioned to harness digital platforms to make campaigns more effective. Aside from that, they do what they can to make the entire process flow as smoothly as possible too.

Budgets are Tighter Than Ever

Budgets are tighter than ever these days, and there is less money around for brands to achieve all the things they want to with their campaigns. Specialist agencies are anything but in denial about this and the current economic climate. These agencies have strong relationships with the clients they represent, as well as the radio stations, allowing them to spend client budget in a way that makes the most sense for everyone. Specialist agency campaigns are usually tailored towards the station getting good value, as well as clients getting more traction than might have been possible had they tried to approach the execution of the campaign on their own.

Niche Market Stations are Gaining Clout

Brands don’t always have to book the radio stations with the biggest listenership for their campaigns. Niche market radio stations are becoming more powerful, and specialist agencies understand this all too well. These agencies understand what the client wants to achieve, pairing them up with stations and audiences that will help achieve these goals more easily. Specialist agencies ensure that brands are put in the right place, facing their correct audience. Niche audiences are growing all the more popular in the audio on demand (podcasting) space as well, which is also taken into account during the planning of any new campaign.

The Time of “Let’s See How It Goes” is Over

In the past, brands may have gotten away with the learning curve associated with a “let’s try this and see what happens” (learning) attitude towards their campaigns. Those days are over, and in 2020 time and money is of the essence, and the resources for this kind of thinking are simply not available anymore. Specialist agencies are able to give their clients a 90% guarantee that what the campaign is setting out to achieve will have the success they are looking for, largely in part to how thoroughly they plan, execute and report on their campaigns. With a specialist agency, brands don’t have to play the guessing game and hope for the best, which in the past may have involved a lot of stumbling around blindly in the process.

Success Lies in Valuable Relationships

If the coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that success and resilience are born from the collective power of collaboration and strong relationships. Specialist agencies have valuable, highly nurtured relationships with radio stations who have a long standing trust in them from years of working together on campaigns. The relationship is able to be leveraged to its full potential when both parties trust each other completely. A specialist agency uses its influence with its network of radio stations to increase the power that their client has with the associated audience. Instead of attempting to build relationships and make miracles happen in the short-term, the brand can focus on other areas of campaign execution that may need a little more TLC to get going.

Honest Feedback is Everything

While working with a “yes man” can provide a much-needed confidence boost, this doesn’t always guarantee honest feedback, especially when analysing results at the end of a long campaign. Specialist agencies are able to give honest feedback through important digital insights, providing verifiable results via trusted metrics and tools. The feedback is done in a succinct way to allow the actual measurement of ROI. The agency will tell you what happened honestly, as well as showing you the proof that comes along with their findings, in case there are improvements that can be implemented on the next one.

The radio landscape is still undergoing changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but more and more businesses are emerging out of lockdown with a renewed hunger to deliver appropriate campaigns relative to what will be an uncertain climate for consumers for the foreseeable future. If you’re looking to work with a specialist agency that is already taking into account the learnings presented here and is always plugged in and ready to take on the challenge of amplifying radio campaigns of all shapes and sizes, MediaHeads 360 is a good place to start.

We are proud to call ourselves a specialist agency working directly with clients and radio stations on campaigns spanning from idea generation all the way through to research and result measurement & tracking. We’re known for our excellent relationships with media owners and major players in the radio industry, with campaigns often receiving national attention for their creative and impactful approaches. We strive to give the best all-round value to all parties involved. Get in touch with us if you’re ready to take a step towards reaching your audience in the best way possible.


Contact person: Kantha Govender

Designation: MediaHeads 360 General Manager

Phone: 010 590 4553


About MediaHeads 360

MediaHeads 360 are Level 1 BEE media specialists that develop and implement integrated, strategic marketing campaigns across diverse platforms. Our services are inspired by our 360 approach and include idea generation, production, implementation, campaign tracking, syndication, research, branded content, mobile broadcast, non-traditional television and radio campaigns, social media amplification activations and influencer marketing. In addition, we leverage our excellent relationships with media owners to negotiate with platforms across the country.

We ACTIVATE by creating holistic, result-driven campaigns within the right environment. We

CAPTIVATE through well-implemented and engaging campaigns with multiple touch points. We AMPLIFY and optimise your reach and impact with 360 solutions.

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