Judy Milne, director of The Media Connection
"The December RAMS release stated that community radio holds 7 858 000 national listeners, representing 21% of the total radio-listening population," says Judy Milne, director of The Media Connection, South Africa's community radio advertising specialist.
"If one considers that this equates to 21% of the buying population, with expendable income, and that they make daily choices with regards to various products, it's a very large target audience to miss out on," she adds.
Community radio station listeners are loyal by nature and almost create mini celebrities out of their local DJs. These are people with whom they mingle with daily and have direct access to. Community radio stations are open to anyone, with consumers and community members congregating around the stations - especially in times of trouble, disaster and even success.
"They tend to act as a hands on hub, are involved in many local community projects and community members who have specific needs can come to the station for guidance and direction," says Milne.
Community radio speaks to its community in their native language. Added to this, because each station's footprint is fairly small in comparison to national stations, they tend to speak directly to the language groups within the geographical area of the station. This cancels out a lot of 'wastage' with regards to consumers hearing the advert, which may be totally irrelevant to them, because of either language or geographical barriers.
"Community Radio is sold on the premise that we are engaging with local people, within the local area, by using their individual languages. This enables the advertiser to speak directly to the people they want to target, without having to cover additional areas. Target marketing is thus very economical and effective," says Milne.
Gauteng's basket of community radio stations alone would average the advertiser a cost per head of a mere R0.024c per listener (477 000 listeners).
What's more, community radio now offers a broader advertising platform to the marketer or advertiser. Although the main focus is the radio side, The Media Connection has found a gap within the community radio market, which it has managed to bridge with activations and digital media. It has 54 radio stations with mobi sites, to keep listeners entertained and informed.
It would be ignorant to assume that community radio listeners do not have access to cell phones or the desire to keep up with current trends with regards to internet activity on their phones. For the more rural stations, this is an excellent way to keep listeners educated and in touch. Research also proves that in even in the most rural areas in South Africa, there is cell phone and internet activity.
Community radio will now drive their listeners to their mobi sites, keeping the hit ratio fairly high and consistent. And the youth market will benefit from the variety of texting, emailing, browsing and downloading, a trend which has already permeated throughout South Africa.
Also added to the community radio mix are activations and store openings which are directly linked to the community radio stations. Then you have a powerful call-to-action that sees consumers flocking to the events because of the high level of publicity the stations and The Media Connection's Promobiles create. In very successful cases, stores are said to have sold out of stock, before the event is even complete. The Media Connection DNA
The Media Connection provides a sales and administration function for radio and TV stations that have limited experience with, and access to, the national advertising industry in South Africa. There are 113 community radio stations on air, with which The Media Connection has representation agreements, as well as 15 sub-Saharan TV and radio stations that have appointed it to procure advertising for them. The Media Connection is a one-stop shop for advertisers aiming to reach a large and fruitful market simply by making one telephone call. For more information, contact 086 137 2346.