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Wayne Ens

Radio Inspires, Internet Informs


Your clients and prospects arent hearing much about radio these days. The trade publications they read and the industry association conferences they attend are all featuring shiny new-media "gurus," leaving the impression that traditional media are dead.

And frankly, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) social and mobile media worlds are changing so rapidly, its impossible for anyone to really claim to be a "guru" and local advertisers are confused by all of the jargon.
These gurus would have you believe were experiencing a media revolution when, in reality, were experiencing a media evolution, where the Internet is simply electronic print, replacing everything from phone books to brochures, and from printed coupons to newspapers.

Radio account executives who understand that the marketing communications game has not changed, only the names of some of the players, are successfully converting previous print budgets into a broadcast and digital mix.
One of the tools our station clients are using to capture more 52-week radio campaigns is the ENS Media Marketing Funnel. Learning to articulate and present our Marketing Funnel helps advertisers to sort through the new media hype and to develop a strategy where radio fuels their digital marketing efforts to the exclusion of print.
The marketing funnel explains the process of how consumers move from unawareness at the top of the funnel, to awareness, and from recognizing a need to establishing a brand preference, and from purchase intent to purchase at the bottom of the funnel.

To understand the marketing communications funnel, we must first understand two underlying marketing communications principles:
          1.) The roles of emotion and logic in consumer behavior.
          2.) The unique compatible roles of intrusive media and passive media.

Emotions First
Consumers seldom understand their purchase behavior. They believe their purchases are logical, rational, and well thought out, but seldom is this the case.

In reality, consumers buy emotionally, from the heart, first and only justify their purchase decisions rationally and logically. In our Winning the New Media Economy advertiser seminars I explain it this way:

I want a classic 1967 Mustang convertible for nostalgic or heartfelt reasons.thats the car the rich kids were driving around the high school, tunes turned up loud, spinning the tires and turning young girls heads, when I had to drive our rusted-out farm truck to school.

"Of course, when I find my Mustang, Im not going to tell my wife I want to spin the tires and turn young girls heads. Im going to rationalize my decision, search the Web, and declare the ragtop is an investment.' Its a classic that can go nowhere but up in value!

Ill buy the Mustang from my heart, but justify it with my head.        

Intrusive Media First
Passive media are those that require you to consciously stop what you are doing and actively seek out before they can influence you. Passive media are primarily print, brochures, websites, and yellow pages. You must already have an awareness of, or have identified a need for, a product or service before you will take time to search for and absorb the passive media message. 

You wont search the Web or yellow pages for a tire store if you dont need tires, and you certainly wont take time out of your busy day to read a tire ad if you dont need tires.

Intrusive media, on the other hand, are those media which reach and influence consumers while they go about their daily activities, be it driving in their cars or watching TV. Only intrusive media, primarily radio and TV, can penetrate the consumers thoughts before they are in the market for a product and before they have entrenched opinions and brand preferences.

The passive media can only reach people who are ready to buy. In reality, however, you wont be part of the passive media search, if youre not in the funnel. Its too late to create a trust or preference after consumers are ready to buy, but you need the passive media to justify and rationalize the consumers buying decision.

The Perfect Bundle: Radio Inspires, Internet Informs
Marketing influence begins at the top of the marketing communications funnel, moving consumers from unawareness to need recognition, then down to brand preference and purchase. Businesses that dont capture consumers at the top end of the marketing funnel, cannot be one of the finalists considered at the purchase end of the funnel.

Consumers enter the top end of the funnel emotionally, and almost unknowingly, while they only search passive media when they are ready to buy; after intelligent marketers have already created an awareness and preference for their products.

Radios intrusiveness can influence consumers at both the entry of the funnel and at the purchase end of the funnel.  

In a perfect world, your advertisers do not want their prospects to search for what they sell online because that search reveals all of the competitors who sell the same thing. What they really want is for prospects to have such an awareness and preference for their business that they search for that businesses name rather than searching the category generically.

Radio account executives who become marketing communications experts can persuade their prospects about the strategic importance of radio, using this Marketing Funnel.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc,  producer of the SoundADvice radio e-marketing system and the Winning in the New Media Economy revenue development system. He can be reached at

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