In the here and now: Why radio is key in the media mix

Radio is the true all-the-time and on-the-go medium of choice for South African consumers from all walks of life. With its ability to generate frequency of exposure for advertisers as well as deep engagement, radio remains an essential part of the marketing mix. 

Here are some reasons no brand can afford to ignore the benefits of radio advertising:


… Is here and now

There are few media that can compete with the immediacy of radio. You’re engaging with people when they’re driving to or from work – often planning to squeeze in some shopping on the way. You have the opportunity to get to them with a call to action at the moments when they’re most actively engaging in day to day life.

… Is intimate and emotional

Why do people get so passionately angry when their favourite presenter is removed from the breakfast show? It is because they form an emotional connection with the voice over the airwaves, who they turn to for company during the daily commute. Radio is a trusted medium that engages people’s emotions – making it a great place for any ad placement.

… Plays well with others

Every marketer today understands the importance of coordinating strategies and campaigns across multiple channels and media to increase reach and frequency. Radio plays well with other media in a world where consumers multi-task across different devices and channels for most of the day. For example, radio is good at compelling people to search for something online, visit a brand website to learn more or even place an order.

… Starts a conversation

Unlike most mass media, radio allows for real-time conversation and interactivity. Whether it’s phone-in competitions, talk radio, SMS opinion polls or a broadcast from a major event, radio is a live, shared experience. It creates powerful ways for brands to have authentic, real-time engagements with consumers.

… Speaks to the imagination

Your vision is Avengers: Endgame, but your budget stretches about as far as a YouTube video shot on an iPhone. No problem. On radio, you can cost-effectively conjure up a cast of thousands and CGI effects with explosions and pyrotechnics by harnessing the power of your audience’s imagination. You create the audio – and their minds create the pictures to accompany it. 

 … Is affordable

Radio advertising remains surprisingly affordable, with regional broadcasters making it possible for local small and medium businesses to speak to customers in their city or region at a reasonable cost. The affordable cost of ad placements also means brands are able to increase frequency, so they can get their message out more often and reach more people.

… Has a captivated audience

When brands advertise online, they’re competing with all the other ads that pop up, out and under the consumer’s browser. As for TV, consumers will generally start looking at their smartphones as soon as the ad break starts. But on radio, the advertiser often has the undivided attention of someone waiting for traffic report or news headlines while they’re at the wheel of their car on the way to work.

… Is prime-time, all the time

When looking at listenership patterns, ‘drive time’ is all day. Prime driving time begins as parents tune into traffic reports ahead of dropping the kids off at school, continues throughout the day as they commute to work and travel to meetings, and carries on well into the evening when they pick kids up and make their way home. Engagement is even higher than ever during office hours and lunch times than during commutes, and many people listen in their offices or homes – not just their cars.

… Reaches people from every walk of life

Radio still reaches significantly more people than the Internet. Per the Radio Audience Measurement Survey (December), 35.8 million people listen to radio regularly at least once a week; on an average weekday, more than 28 million people listen to the radio. ( People from every LSM group, every province, every race, gender and language listen to radio, making it one of the most inclusive channels available to brands.