Co-Authors: Jeff Warshaw, Founder and CEO, Connoisseur Media; Gerry Tabio, President and Founder of Creative Resources

Of all the media available to a marketer, none can surpass the intimacy that is achieved every day between a radio announcer and his/her listeners. A recent study underscores the trusted relationship that radio personalities enjoy with their listeners. Not only was it shown that radio is the most trusted medium, but it was also found that 80% of listeners feel that radio personalities care about “the things that matter to me.” This stands in stark contrast to other competing media, including jukebox-type audio services that have zero local content. Radio creates a real connection between individuals. That is why it continues to be such a vital force in every community in America. Radio reaches more people than any other medium in this country, yet it remains overwhelmingly a local medium.

So, how do we put this deep connection between radio stations and their listeners to work for our local clients?

We begin by asking ourselves, “What business do our local clients need us to be in?” In a world where customers have all the information they need about a product long before they decide where to purchase it, local businesses need us to come up with ideas that will persuade customers to choose them over what appears to be an infinite number of options.

We need to continue to challenge ourselves to understand our clients’ businesses as clearly as if we worked there. We need to train ourselves to visualize their target consumers as real people with whom we can have conversations rather than demographic groups. We need to understand what puts those consumers in the market for our client’s products and the information they seek as they go through the process of choosing one vendor over another. It is our job to discover – and, in some cases, help our clients discover – the thing that makes their businesses unique. Only then can we help those companies communicate their valuable points of difference to our listeners with the same intimacy and authenticity with which we build our own brands.

Over the last few years, the radio industry has done an impressive job of expanding the menu of tools it can make available to its clients and advertising agencies. Today, we have the ability to create and deploy truly integrated campaigns on behalf of our clients. Those investments will help the radio business take advantage of its greatest opportunity, which is to build partnerships with local businesses and advertising agencies and use the strengths of our relationships, our deep marketing savvy and the full panoply of resources at our command to meet and even exceed our clients’ expectations.