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What's Up With National Advertising?


Last week at Radio Ink's Forecast 2013 in New York City, Katz Radio Group President Mark Gray gave a 2012 national advertising recap. He said national advertising for radio has been "OK, not great." "It's stabalized a little bit. What do we need to do moving forward to improve the business? It starts with the perception. We have to do a better job telling a better story."

Gray echoed much of what we heard all day from the people in power. And, it's what we've been hearing from the people in power since the day Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman joined Clear Channel. We have the numbers. Listeners are still with us. Radio is their companion. But we need to get the word out. Gray said, if we can tell the story to the people at the top. "If we do that the right way, we start to get interest. We need advertisers to say I didn't know that. I didn't know radio was doing that. When you do that you start to get interest, you start to get access. The key is to tell the story to the right people. That's extremely difficult when you're 3,4, 5% of somebody's spend, to get in and get access to the right people. When you get to the right people you're able to tell the right story.

Gray also said radio has to do a better job with R.O.I. "We need to prove it works. We need better metrics on the back end to show advertisers radio works. Gray said there are numerous ways for radio to tell a better story than its doing today. One of the examples he gave that will help prove radio works is the use pf personal endorsemenets. And, utilizing the big social media following of those personalities.
On political, Gray said in 2012, a lot of the political spending for radio came in late. "Radio did fairly well against the benchmark of 2008. Unfortunately it didn't fall the same way that it did in 2008, there were less states involved. In terms of overall spend it is going to help national achieve a positive year."

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