Radio Advertising in Boston (a re-post of a friends blog

Despite the commonly held idea that radio is dead, radio advertising continues to be one of the best ways to engage and reach potential clients. A recent study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) found that brick-and-mortar companies saw an average return of $6 per listener for each dollar spent on radio advertising within a 28-day period. With that potential ROI, it’s no wonder so many businesses in Boston continue to rely on the airwaves for their marketing campaigns.

As a small business owner, your Boston radio campaign should be strategized and thought through in order to truly engage listeners and bring in sales. By following these three steps, your business will be well on its way to developing a radio advertising strategy that works.


Every successful advertising campaign must first develop a clear set of goals and measurable outcomes. Before investing in radio advertising, define your objective. Is it to develop brand recognition, promote a product or service, or perhaps to drive foot traffic? If you are unsure of the outcome, listeners—that is, potential customers—most likely will be unsure, too. Because you have limited time to get out your radio message, a clearly defined objective will help you establish consistent branding, set your tone or theme, and put the right information in the spotlight.


Just as knowing your objective is important, so too is knowing your audience. By understanding your target consumer, you can strategize just where your advertisers should go. For example, If your brand appeals more to younger males, a rock radio station would be a better advertising fit than a pop station. If you serve older customers, a classic rock or a talk station may be a better fit for your brand. Luckily, radio stations’ advertising departments are all eager to work with you in deciding where your advertisement fits and will help you determine which approach works best for you. Use their research and resources to ensure that your advertisement will reach the targeted audience.


Once you’ve identified your objective and target demographics, it’s time to target an appropriate time to hit the widest range of listeners possible. In radio advertising, times of day are split into chunks through a process called “dayparting.” These chunks can vary greatly in price; what works for you will be dependent on your objectives and your budget.

The early morning (6am-10am) and afternoon drive (3pm-7pm) times are the most popular and, thus, the most pricy on average. However, these times might not necessarily fit your demographic. For example, if you are trying to target stay-at-home mothers or retired individuals, midday and evening slots may work just as well for you. Likewise, later evening and overnight dayparting slots are usually the least effective for engagement, but they also often offer low costs and may be worth considering, depending on your aims. It’s also important to keep in mind that each station differs, so be sure to get the appropriate information for each one you consider.


For businesses that are new to radio advertising, there is a tendency to want to pack as much information into an ad as possible to ensure every possible outcome is covered. However, this rarely leads to the desired result. Instead, focus on being creative and making your message as streamlined as possible. Remember, you want your listeners to be able to recall your message later. Because there is nothing tangible for listeners to see, radio advertising relies on a less-is-more call to action to stick in consumers’ heads.

Before you put out any radio advertisement, ensure that your targeted audience will want to hear it (or will pay attention when it comes on). Your message should be strong, clear, and united with your objective. An effective radio ad will always end with a call to action that prompts customers to stop in a store, go online, participate in a competition, or visit a social media page.


Because you have only a minute or so to make your mark on radio listeners, it is imperative that you understand the basics of radio advertising in Boston. An effective and thoroughly researched marketing strategy will ensure that your airtime will get your audience’s attention, establish your brand, and put your business in the spotlight. Written by Mark Keaney

Author: alisonsawhill

Marketing and Advertising Manager, 20+ years of success, working with clients on a local, regional and national level. Experienced in strategy, development and execution of clients marketing plans using all media tools, including Radio, Internet, Social Media, Events and Promotions.

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