If I only had a nickel for every local small business owner who has told me that Pandora has been siphoning listeners away from Fort Myers radio. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Southwest Florida radio, it turns out, reaches significantly more adult consumers than any other medium. More than TV. More than newspaper. And more than Pandora and Spotify combined.
What may come as a big shock to Southwest Florida business owners is Pandora's popularity, actually, is cratering among consumers.
According to information from Edison Research, beginning in the third quarter of 2016, Pandora's share of time spent listening to audio, has fallen by 25% while radio share of listening had held constant.
What is even more surprising is that advertising on Fort Myers radio reaches significantly more millennials than streaming audio sites like Pandora or Spotify.
In a recent article for Quartz, a newsletter that advises business leaders, Amy X. Wang asks, "Why the gloom? Radio survived the tape, CD, and iPod. In the age of Spotify, radio is more alive than ever."
Patrick Denson agrees. He built Estero Bay Chevrolet from scratch in 2007. Since then, he has depended on Fort Myers radio to create customers to help build his business.
"During our first full year of sales," says Mr. Denson, "we sold 600 cars, 100 more than General Motors expected from us. This year, we are on track to sell 2000 cars. Advertising on Fort Myers radio has been part of our growth since the very beginning."
Radio Delivers Affordable Reach and Frequency
Mr. Denson became a big believer in radio during the 15 years he spent managing dealerships in Ft. Wayne, Phoenix, and Sarasota-Bradenton. "When I became an owner here in 2007, I had to make sure every dollar we spent counted, because, now, it was my money. Since we opened, advertising on Fort Myers radio has proven to deliver the value and return-on-investment we need to continue our year-over-year growth."
According to Mr. Denson, his dealership invests continually in Fort Myers radio. "Advertising on radio provides us with the biggest possible reach for a lot less money. We do some TV during our peak sales periods, but the expense doesn't make it viable for us to do consistently. And, since we've opened, we have never advertised in the newspaper."
"People ask me all the time if radio advertising would be effective for their business," says Mr. Denson. I tell them that advertising on Fort Myers radio will work if they invest in frequency and stick to it. Nobody will hear your commercial once and think you are the second coming."
"If you are doing it right," he says, "you should start seeing results in a few weeks. If you don't, then don't quit. You may need to adjust your message, advertise during a different time of day, or change the voices in your ads. With radio, you can afford to always be fine-tuning your commercials to make sure you are reaching the right people with the right message."
"You don't need to start big," Mr. Denson adds. "Sometimes, at least for us, the most expensive Fort Myers radio stations are not the right ones to advertise on. Choose the stations that best target the people who are most likely to buy from you."
"Finally," he advises other business owners, "advertising on Fort Myers radio will drive results. So make sure, before you start, you are prepared to handle all the business that will come in."
We Should Pay More Attention To Radio Advertising
In an article in Forbes, media expert Doug Schoen agreed with Mr. Dneson. "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference."
Mr. Schoen concludes, "It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”