Radio provides the opportunity to reach more people than any other media channel, making it a popular choice among advertisers. However, to stay as relevant as we can as a medium and connected to our audiences – especially during this pandemic, radio needs to tap into technology.
Data analysis in radio enables continuous learning from actual listeners’ behaviours.
Providing real-time audience insight across the radio properties (East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM) lies at the heart of Kagiso Media Radio’s decision to invest in an audience data management platform (DMP). We are now capable of better harnessing first-party data across the two organisations.
Having audio insertion ads for the advertiser’s benefit is wonderful for targeting, but from marketing to programming to commercial teams, radio should be using data in real time to understand what’s happening with the music, how the audience is engaging with social, what products or brands they are interested in, and what’s performing and what’s not.
Then it’s also how we look at that first-party data, how it’s shared, and how we use a DMP to maximise its potential. I am proud of how Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio are bringing all these elements together, as it’s been fragmented up to this point and we want and need cohesion.
With nearly two-million readers each month between East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM, we have rolled out the Pinpoll DMP to help collate, segment, and utilise audience engagement data in order to better understand the content interests and behaviours of each website’s readership.
The investment into a DMP was prompted by two key issues; Firstly, coming up with commercial solutions for advertisers and agencies allowing them to better target the right audience; and, secondly, to provide the programming and digital teams with clearer insights around what the readers wanted in order to optimise content.
Jacaranda FM presenter Rian van Heerden is known for his OTT topics on-air and online. One of these topics was turned into a website article and included a poll. The article was shared on the Jacaranda FM Facebook page and reached more than 200 000 people. The article itself had 33 687 pageviews, with 1 367 votes on the poll. From this, we were also able to tell which cities the voters lived in, the interests of the people reading the article, and ultimately increased time spent on the site and overall engagement.
With access to real-time analytics, we’re able to see what content is being looked at, from which device, which age group, and their interests. This gives the content producers and the on-air team ammunition to plan content based on the audience’s interests and content trends.
East Coast Radio turned 24 on Friday, 9 October. For its birthday this year, the station ran the promotion, ‘Every Caller Wins’.
It was a simple concept where listeners call the station and every caller that makes it on air wins a prize. Prize money of R150 000 was given away over 13 hours to 30 winners of R4 500 each. The remaining R15 000 was used for online giveaways (R5 000 on social media & R10 000 on the website). The website saw a massive increase in traffic.
On a typical Friday, ecr.co.za does 95 652 pageviews, but during ‘Every Caller Wins’, the site achieved 238 605 pageviews – an increase of 60%.
The site generally does 50 000 unique visits, but during ‘Every Caller Wins’, it had 94 276 – an increase of 47%. The poll was viewed 21 080 times and we had just over 8 000 votes. We were able to generate 3 217 leads by adding a form to the end of the poll. That’s 3 217 people ECR can now engage with through a newsletter, event invitation, focus group or another form of marketing.
When it comes to clients, we are helping build authentic relationships with the consumer through first party insights.
Jacaranda FM ran a finance survey as a poll within a piece of content around debt counselling, as well as a link on social pages. The incentive was a R2 000 Spar voucher. The poll was promoted within the article over a period of one week and finished off with 13 858 responses, with 816 people opting YES to receive more information from Jacaranda FM, its sponsors, and advertisers in the finance sector.
We were also able to show the interests of these respondents through the DMP. There is value in showing a client that the people who engage with your brand are also into shopping, fit a certain age group, are moms of teens, etc.
Data means nothing unless you can get true insights. We were just very siloed – we were looking at certain metrics and data points depending on the department we sat in, and we knew it was time to take an holistic view and have the right partner to make sense of it, to truly understand the audience and the customer journeys in that. The sales team is also playing an active role in building out the collateral based on the new personas on offer.
So far, the insights generated about East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM’s audience are supporting, rather than surprising, the executive team’s own gut instincts. Who we feel are our audience, what they want, and the time of day they want it, for example, has been confirmed by the data and advertisers want to see that data.
The goal right now is to feed these data insights back to the editorial department in order to shape editorial strategy and answer key questions about content development and distribution. These could include whether it’s better to serve lifestyle content or viral stories to readers on weekends and topical news during the week, or if it’s better to do news round-ups in the morning or afternoon.
The long-term goal is to deliver personalised content to every single person visiting our sites, as well as creating highly valuable audience segments for advertisers.
Of course, between East Coast Radio, Jacaranda FM, and our sales house Mediamark, we already have a wealth of data and research being utilised, from insights around the effectiveness of radio as a medium and how it works in relation to other forms of media, through to content strategy, music programming, engagement with shows, brand health, and third-party advertiser metrics.
I don’t believe there are massive revenue upsides in the short term, but in the long term, this ‘future proofs’ the business, and helps us better understand audiences with very rich data and insight. How we can then share those insights from data is incredibly important to our clients and everyone working internally.
Becoming insights driven is a fundamental operational transformation that radio must pivot to now – or risk losing out to competitors old and new.
Charis Apelgren-Coleman is the market engagement manager at Kagiso Media Radio. She has worked with small and large local organisations as well as large multinational organisations, while managing specialist content teams.
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