Radio Remains at Core of Consumers' Media Habits

Arbitron and Edison Research have released their 20th joint study called The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms. The complete study is available from either company's website (,

RAB's research team dug deep into the data. Two of the most interesting findings: Those individuals who are heavy Internet users are also above-average radio users, and consumers' time with digital media is not coming totally from traditional time with media is increasing. Findings include mobile as a driving force for online radio's continued upward trajectory. Here are a few of the mobile highlights:

  • Forty-four percent of all Americans age 12 and over own a smartphone, representing half of all cell phone owners.

  • Six in ten (61 percent) own a portable digital media device such as a smartphone, portable MP3 player or tablet; 40 percent own an Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad).

  • Americans age 45 and older represent the largest percentage increase in social media usage in the past year, now up to 38 percent (from 31 percent in 2011), while the heaviest social media users are younger demographics with 12-24-year-olds over 80 percent.

  • Seventeen percent of all cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system; this is an increase of more than 50% in the past year when only 11 percent had ever done so.

  • Heavy radio and heavy Internet users are more likely to be employed than heavy TV or heavy print users.

Know that radio remains at the core of consumers' media consumption habits, and digital continues to be an expansion opportunity for radio.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB

CRM: Customer Rolodex Management

Years ago, CRM was merely the management of a Rolodex. In fact, one’s Rolodex was one’s badge of honor. Good sales people were characterized as “having a good Rolodex.” People were hired away from competitors because of their Rolodex. If you had a new boss, it was decided whether they were good or bad based on their Rolodex, and, ultimately, if you were given access. Your Rolodex became part of your bio, your CV and even your professional DNA. I once heard a colleague say that someone had a Rolodex so big it would “choke a horse”; that was a compliment.

Although technology has come a long way over the last 20-plus years, the fundamental principles are the same. Customers are the most valuable asset of any business and they need to be managed with tender, loving care. Business professionals and sales people have myriad technologies available to them to help manage customer relationships. Cloud-based CRM software, list management solutions, email marketing tools, social media resources and mobile apps are just a few. Here are a few tips on sticking to the fundamentals while still leveraging all of these resources:

Don’t spam people you speak with regularly:
I don’t necessarily mean illegal spam, but don’t email blast clients you speak with on a regular basis. It’s okay if they are on the “approved list” or the “opt in” list with your marketing team, but make sure they are only part of marketing campaigns that are relevant to them. Ensure that any email distribution sent their way is meaningful to their industry or their role in the organization. More is not necessarily better.

Don’t over-use LinkedIn:
LinkedIn, along with many of the other social networking tools, can be very useful. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Be thoughtful about your professional network. With whom do you really want to be “connected”? Also, be respectful of your client’s feelings on the use of the tool. Don’t try to “connect” with every person with whom you bumped into or met at a trade show. Choose wisely or else be “ignored.” Finally, do you really have 500+ connections? Once again, more is not necessarily better.

It’s okay to pick up the phone … really!:
Back in the old days of the Rolodex, there were really only two ways to maintain a dialogue with clients: face-to-face meetings and the phone. I often think that companies rely too much on technology and can lose the personal touch when managing customer relationships. Email, texting and instant messaging are all very useful tools. But, as we all know, things often get confused in translation. Tone, intonation, urgency and humor can be miscommunicated and misunderstood. Try picking up the phone (your desk phone), and call your customers regularly. A hurried phone call from your mobile phone on the way to the train or the gym doesn’t count. Remember to dial “9” to get an outside line! The technology will continue to evolve and change but the end goal remains the same. The only thing more important than your customers is the relationship you have with them.

Chick-fil-A To Launch First Ever Food Truck!

In April, a franchisee will launch Chick-fil-A’s first food truck that will serve customers in the Washington, D.C., area.  Currently, there is only one traditional Chick-fil-A restaurant in the nation’s capital.  Applebee’s, Jack in the Box, Qdoba and Taco Bell have explored mobile food. Only 6% of quick-service restaurants and 4% of fast-casual restaurants operate food trucks, according to a recent National Restaurant Association survey. Instead, these restaurants often consider food trucks to be competition.

Source: CNBC

Top Digital Trends for 2012

A recent report from eMarketer lists trends and projections for digital usage and marketing for the rest of the year. Many of the trends have significant impact on radio and other media, with the top trends revolving around mobile and online video.

The top tends for 2012 compared to the year before in the U.S.:
  • Smartphone users will increase from 90 million to 107 million. Market penetration will reach 44% of mobile phone users.
  • Adult ereader users will increase from 33 to 46 million. 24% of Internet users will use an ereader.
  • Tablet users will grow from 34 to 55 million. Nearly one-out-of-four Internet users will use a tablet.
  • Online video viewers will grow from 158 to 169 million with 71% of Internet users viewing online video
  • Mobile video viewers will rise from 45 to 55 million. One-out-of-three online video viewers will watch on a mobile device.
  • Online video ad spending will reach $3.1 billion, up from $2.2 billion.
According to eMarketer, video is the fastest-growing segment of online advertising, and for good reason. The amount of online and mobile video content is exploding, and most of this content is supported by some type of video spot -- typically an in-stream ad or overlay.

Further, non-video content is often supported by in-page video ads that expand when the user clicks on them. Video ads are considered more engaging and effective than static banners.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB

To Interest Moms, Try Pinterest

TechCrunch recently crowned Pinterest 2011’s “Best New Start Up,” and in February alone, Pinterest saw 16.23 million unique users. TechCrunch also reported that 80% of Pinterest’s user base is female. With that as background, we decided to go a step further and see exactly how interest in Pinterest played out specifically among moms. Feedback from 250 moms across the country not only showed that many moms were using the program, but how and why. Key findings:

96.7% of moms surveyed (all active bloggers) said they were using Pinterest.

Top 5 reasons why:

  1.  It’s just fun (90%)
  2. I like organizing my interests (67.8%)
  3. I like looking at beautiful things (67%)
  4. Makes my blog, Website, Facebook or Twitter stream more interesting (55.7%)
  5. It helps me drive traffic to my blog or Web site (53.5%)

 About the same number (68.0% vs. 65.3%) said they used Pinterest on their blog and on Facebook, respectively.

The number of Pinterest boards each mom had ran from a low of 1 to a high of 83, averaging out at 18.

“Food/recipes” was by far (91.4%) the category/subject moms pinned the most. Others in the top 5 were “Crafts” (74.5%), “Home D├ęcor" (55.5%) “How-To” (52.7%), and “Fashion” (39.5%).

Fewer than half of moms (42.3%) used Pinterest to plan events, with 78.7% of that number planning a child’s birthday party.

Interestingly, of the moms surveyed, only 4.1% just pinned original graphics, 5.5% only re-pinned others’ graphics, and the vast majority (94.5%) did a combination of both, with a quarter (25.1%) also creating original graphics specifically for pinning.

About two-thirds of moms (66.5%) both pinned when they came across something of interest and pro-actively searched for items to pin.

Moms’ top sources for re-pins:

  1.  Blogs of friends (65.5%)
  2. Craft sites (49%)
  3. Foodies (45%)
  4. Their own blog (40%)
For marketers, Pinterest presents an opportunity to connect with moms by offering tantalizing visuals for them to pin and re-pin and bycreating Pinterest-based contests and other interactive activities to further engage this audience. This approach not only develops an additional social media connection but, because pins link back to their source, also drives incoming links to the brand’s online presence, impacting SEO. Asked who was doing the best job among companies currently engaged on Pinterest, moms mentioned Lands’ End, Kraft Foods, Real Simple, Totsy, Home Depot and Disney Family Fun, among others. Kudos were given to those who pinned a variety of topics both from their own sources and others, who offered helpful recipes and who added great photos.

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