Most media coverage of advertising today focuses on digital. Whether it is the rise of social media, or the use of mobile in everyday life, the discussion is usually about online opportunities. However, 92% of Americans listen to traditional radio every week. And it still works! If you think radio advertising may be of value to marketing your business, follow the recipe below to develop a successful plan.


Who is the core audience of the product or service you are going to advertise? You should be able to quantify your audience based on age and gender. Do you want to reach younger women, between 18 and 34? More middle-aged adults between 25 and 54? Your demo should encompass the core of your desired target.


What kind of entertainment does your target audience like? Many advertisers like “foreground” formats, which include News, Talk and Sports radio among others. The belief is that these formats require more of the listeners attention, therefore advertising is better received. However, if you want a young active customer this may not be the correct format to reach them.

Commercial Length

How long does your commercial need to be in order to convey your message? Radio commercials can be as long as :60 seconds and as short as :02 second. The very shortest messaging is only to get out your brand name. Longer commercials allow for some story-telling, informing the prospective customer why they want your product or service. Your spot should be long enough to convey your message without being rushed.

Media Kit

Reach out to the stations that are of interest to you and request a media kit. You should also request rankers, ratings information and rates. Review the media kit, particularly the coverage map, to ensure the station covers the geography that is important to you. A ranker shows which stations perform best in your target demo. Ratings show how many listeners a station has in each daypart. And rates are the cost for a commercial in each daypart. You are looking to find stations that reach the most target listeners for the least money.

Age cells

A good radio schedule should have more than one station. This is important when buying larger demos such as Adult 25-54. Some stations may appeal to younger listeners, from the ages of 25-34. Other stations may do well with older listeners, 45-54. Having multiple stations allows you to balance stations that skew younger with those that skew older so the entire target demographic is covered.

It is very easy to be attracted to all of the new and exciting developments in media. Some online offerings are different, and promise to convey advertising in a manner never done before. At the same time, don’t forget about “tried and true” media that have been around for decades. Radio has survived for a reason. It offers very good value. Radio has a large faithful audience reaching listeners across all age ranges, gender and ethnicities. And that audience reacts to its messaging. Is Radio right for your business?