Matona Sakupwanya was recently appointed general manager of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). The one time station manager of Metro FM has extensive experience in radio, having come through the ranks in sales and marketing, to eventually managing South Africa’s biggest commercial station. Most recently, Sakupwanya was general manager of media company, Mallworx. TheMediaOnline caught up with her to find out more about her plans for RAB.
Q. What are the main challenges for RAB right now?
I’m fortunate enough to have joined the RAB at a time when the South African radio landscape is immeasurably more exciting than it’s been in years. The media landscape has exploded into an ever expanding smorgasbord of choice over the last few years, leaving marketers pressed for time, and less able to give each element of their strategy in depth attention. The beauty of radio is that it still offers exceptional value from a listenership and pricing perspective.
As the RAB, we are ideally positioned to work with stations, sales houses and agencies in gauging where their challenges lie in effective radio planning and creative execution, so our focus remains on continually sharing these skills and wisdom with our target market, ensuring that radio continues to dominate the South African media landscape well into the future.
Q. Why do you love radio so much?
It’s the one medium where I feel one can be extremely creative. Radio assassins have predicted its demise time and time, yet the medium has stood the test of time and is still going strong.
I also love the fact that more and more savvy advertisers such as FNB (Steve campaign) as well as Frank.net, to name a few, are tapping into the wisdom that successful campaigns demand the time, effort and nurturing of an involved team. With breakthrough advertising like this – that’s actually incredibly successful both creatively and on ROI for client (see latest Apex winners), there’s never been a more exciting time to be on radio.
Q. What elements are you putting in place to ‘champion the medium’?
We do this via a variety of educational tools including an annual industry conference called RadioWorks, providing radio advertising effectiveness measurement, through our research measurement tool – RadioGAUGE, regular tailor-made creative workshops and presentations, a monthly online newsletter, our website www.rab.co.za, as well as through a variety of radio advertising handbooks/ guides (‘101 ways to get the best out of radio advertising and ‘Radio. The Best of 2011’)
Q. Do you have plans in place to ‘share skills and wisdom’ with your target market?
Indeed. Top of the list is the RadioWorks Conference which we’ve scheduled for August this year, as well as a variety of presentations and workshops (and all of the above-mentioned tools). Of course, our over-arching aim is to continue maintaining a robust channel of communication with our core target market (marketers, creative and media agencies), member radio stations and other key industry players alike.
Q. Where do you see the strengths in radio right now?
Its ability to embrace and complement all media types… its versatility
Q. And the weaknesses?
No weaknesses, but plenty of opportunities. The steady rise in listening alongside the expansion of the Internet effectively dispels the myth that the online age will bring about the demise of radio. Indeed, the Internet is now seen as a well suited complement to radio rather than a threat to it.
However, globally and in South Africa, companies are continuing to explore the best way to extract benefits from the new media. Regardless of novel promotions or new platforms, the overriding key to success in radio is the same as for all entertainment and media sectors – attractive content, whether it is new or repackaged. Radio may be a traditional medium, but South African broadcasters continue to innovate. As a result, radio is thriving, even as other technologies compete for audience engagement. The industry is responding with fresh content and effective communication, making radio a space to watch in the coming year.
Q What is your personal vision for RAB?
To see the organisation continue to thrive as we continue to champion radio’s cause (by educating and guiding marketers and their agencies in the effective use of the medium) and ultimately helping to grow radio’s revenue share in the SA marketplace.
Though still in its infancy, the RAB currently holds a strong and solid position within the industry, so my next step is to be actively present and engage positively with our stakeholders, so that they continue to see us/ the RAB as a resource they value.
Q. Any ideas on how the RadioWorks conference is going to pan out this year?
The wheels on RadioWorks 2012 have been set in motion. Our theme ‘AMPLIFIED’ perfectly encapsulates what the conference this year will be – bigger, louder and better! We’re zooming in on great radio case studies, radio trends, consumer insights, the cutting edge future of radio in the digital age and much more. ‘Tune into’ www.rab.co.za for more details.
Q. What stations do you listen to?
Part of my responsibility is of course to listen to as many varied stations as I can, so I listen to talk format as well as music radio stations.
Q. Who do you wake up with in the morning, radio wise!
Every day is different, depending on my mood.
Q. Where do you see the relationship between digital and radio going?
Notwithstanding the fact that internet penetration in SA is growing at an exponential rate, the reality is that the gap between rich and poor is still large, and by extension – so is the digital divide. According to (SAARF) 2012/1 RAMS figures, radio is the only medium that still reaches more than 80% of the population across all LSM groups.
That said, despite the popularity of our growing digital offerings, radio is ideally suited to integrate with digital. After all, radio is the original social medium, a place that reflects the listener’s life, interests, whilst allowing them to interact.
The reason why radio is so complementary to digital lies in the personal relationship listeners have with the medium and by extension, their favourite stations and DJs. This makes it ideally suited for brands to take advantage of the affinity the listener has with the personality and station – and integrate with the vast array of digital offerings at our disposal.
I’m excited by the fresh focus from radio stations in continually developing and focussing their digital offerings in a way that delivers what clients are looking for namely, one-on-one contact direct from client to listener.
Q. What is the overview of radio advertising right now, strengths and weaknesses, in terms of economics and recessions etc?
Just to put it into perspective, the PwC South African Entertainment and Media Outlook 2010-2014 report revealed that advertising in general was negatively impacted by the recession. In 2010, however, the economic recovery as well as spending associated with the FIFA World Cup boosted radio advertising with revenues for the six months ended 30 June 2010, achieving a level of R1.24 billion as compared to R1.05-billion in the same period in 2009.
According to the report, total advertising revenue is expected to grow by approximately 10% in 2011 and 2012, and as the economy continues to gain momentum in 2013-2014, radio advertising is expected to accelerate with an 11.1% increase in 2013 and a 12.1% advance in 2014.
In fact, for the five year period to 2014, radio advertising is anticipated to grow from R2- billion in 2009 to R3.1-billion in 2014, a 9.4% increase compounded annually.
In addition to this, SAARF Radio Audience Measurement Survey (RAMS) figures and Media Inflation Watch data, indicates that audience growth continues to outpace rate card rate increases. It’s easy to conclude that radio remains stable and can be counted on to deliver audiences time and time again.