I popped on my conference boots last month and attended the Campaign Radio & Audio Conference in London. The event was an opportunity to hear from leading players in the industry about the current state of the audio market and where it’s going (we’re going to be hearing a lot of actionable ads soon!)
It prompted me to reflect on AVC Immedia’s role in the audio business and how we stand out in our market.
Delegates at the conference spoke with some amusement that, with the rise of the internet and social media, there had been huge concern that radio and audio would become less relevant.
Not a bit of it. RAJAR research shows that 89% of the UK population listens to radio, at an average of over 20 hours per week! Audio, whether music or speech (including podcasts), consumed through radio or streaming services, is part of our everyday life through smart phones, smart speakers and in car listening. Audio has never been more popular and relevant.
Why is that? Music is a huge part of the audio experience. As a music lover and musician, I’ve often experienced the emotional power of music, and I’m sure that’s part of the enduring appeal of audio services. But I think there’s something else – the power of the human voice.
I read once that the human fascination with giants comes from our infant subconscious memories of gazing up at huge beings – our parents. I wonder if it’s similar with radio, as the one-to-one connection with a voice resonates with our earliest experience of the human voice (our mother) and perhaps also with the experience of being read to as a child at bedtime. I don’t know, but I do know (and this was a theme of the Campaign conference) that radio delivers emotion and that, done properly, there is nothing like the human voice to convey trust, authenticity, and warmth.
That’s why we develop relationships with radio presenters; the best of them – Terry Wogan, Sara Cox, Gerry Anderson, Vick Hope, Ken Bruce, Jane Garvey and many more know how to talk to us as a trusted friend.
Radio Centre (the trade organisation representing the commercial radio industry) recently published a report called Generation Audio https://www.radiocentre.org/research/generation-audio . Whilst its focus is on opportunities for commercial radio advertising there is a fascinating section on why people listen to radio.
Radio Centre research shows that people listen to radio for the following reasons (different reasons may apply to an individual depending on time of day and context):
- Help me escape
- Lift my mood
- Keep me company
- Amplify the moment
- Provide social currency
- Broaden my horizons
- Keep me in the loop
Do these apply in AVC Immedia’s in store radio market? I think so.
But there are important differences. One is that when we tune to a radio station we are making a choice; with instore radio that’s not the case, we are exposed whether we like it or not. That means that any instore radio offering had better be warm, welcoming and immediately engaging.
Another is that there are two audiences – customers and staff, exposed to the service all day every day. We had better deliver a service that staff can come to love! At AVC Immedia we have many years’ experience in delivering exactly that. We have the knowledge to position radio to:
- Humanise a brand
- Become the voice of a brand
- Convey brand messages in a warm, conversational way with no hard sell
- Enhance the employee experience by delivering a service that becomes their service, a friendly touch point every day with regular interaction with presenters (everyone loves to hear their name on the radio!)
When this is done well (for example with our service Nationwide Live which is delivered daily into every Nationwide branch in the UK) radio becomes a key part of the brand personality, one that resonates with customers and staff alike. We take huge pride and pleasure in creating these connections between a brand and its audience.
It’s all about a brand taking control of its brand presence across senses other than just vision. Think on how much effort retailers make on how their stores look; what if they took as much care over how they sound?
That’s where AVC Immedia comes in. Click below to get in touch to find out more from our expert audio team, or to see some of our success stories, click here.
Written by Ross Penney – CEO at AVC Immedia.