A new study conducted by Arbitron Inc. examines how the radio marketing landscape has changed since the September 11 attacks and offers recommendations on how radio can respond most effectively as the nation moves forward. The study, Radio's Role During a National Crisis, was based on interviews conducted with 1,500 Arbitron diarykeepers age 12+.
Highlights from the Study
Listeners Praise Radio's Crisis Coverage
Over a third of all Americans report that they are listening to radio now more than they did before the attacks, and almost half of black and Hispanic listeners say that they have increased their listening since September 11. Interestingly, however, the attacks have not changed listener preferences, and the vast majority of listeners are still tuning in to their favorite station.
Radio Listeners Ready to Spend
Despite the ongoing crisis, 80% of radio-listening consumers expect to spend the same amount or more as last year during this holiday season. In addition, very few people report postponing a purchase of any kind since September 11.
Changing Times Call for New Marketing Messages
One area that has changed dramatically is the way listeners feel about messages in advertising and programming. Forty percent of listeners say that they are more likely to patronize companies whose advertising mentions their contributions to a relief fund for victims. Somewhat surprising is the fact that relief fund donation messages motivate younger listeners most strongly.
New Outlook on What's Funny
Not surprisingly, one out of four Americans report that their perception of "funny" has changed somewhat. With humor playing such a large role in advertising and programming copy, this is a very crucial issue for radio to consider as we move through these more uncertain times.
"Overall, the report provides some welcome news for radio, " said John Snyder, Arbitron manager, National Radio Sales. "Listeners have always had a close relationship with their favorite radio station. In stressful times like today, radio provides an important escape from the problems of the world. With proper care, that relationship can become even closer as people look to radio for both stress relief and timely information," continued Snyder.
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