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The Impact of Radio: Messaging that works – by MMS’s Jacques Touma

by Jacques Touma, Commercial Senior Manager at MBC Media Solutions (MMS)

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In what new ways are advertisers using audio?

Radio has historically been able to connect with listeners’ emotions in a way that other platforms may not. Realising this, brands are leveraging the emotional connection radio has with listeners to build relationships that are based on emotion and mutual understanding, to ultimately achieve long-term brand loyalty and advocacy. Radio broadcasting’s mood-enhancing effects extend into the ad break, supporting positive emotional engagement with brands and advertisers. At MMS, we help brands build powerful emotional connections through various integration levels, such as content development & curation, on air digital and social integrations, on ground activations, sonic branding and much more.

How are people changing their listening habits?

In today’s day and age, listeners now have a greater amount of choice, from the type of shows they want to listen to, to the platform they choose to listen from. They are constantly looking for content that resonates with them and that they can engage with. It’s everchanging and it’s a constant evolution, and to cater to this, MBC GROUP launched its MBC Mood app to diversify its offerings to them and be present in various platforms to best suit their preferences. In addition to radio and the MBC Mood app, they can also tune into MBC GROUP content through internet-enabled car dashboards, apps, smart watches, smart TVs and smart speakers.

What role does radio have to play in a modern marketing mix?

Due to its reach, relevance and emotional capability, radio is an audio format that is not overlooked for its inexpensiveness, yet huge effectiveness. Radio has proven to still be amongst the most consumed commercial audio channels and is still growing as the years go by. Since 2021, live radio reach has increased by 4 per cent among all adults and is still the highest consumed commercial audio format by about 76 per cent (compared with podcasts at 11 per cent). Our research has shown the effectiveness of radio campaigns in increasing ad awareness (+55 per cent), trust of brand (+62 per cent), relevance (+42 per cent) and brand consideration (+31 per cent). Audio remains an integral part of the daily media consumption habits of consumers and has a distinctive advantage of being able to reach consumers in their cars and while they are engaging in daily activities.

How have you adapted your services to suit the current audio landscape, and what are you working on for
the future?

We have adapted in many ways. In addition to giving listeners the choice to tune in from multiple platforms, we’ve ensured that these platforms provide liner audio and video streams of our content and on-demand podcast content. We also give listeners the ability to interact with radio shows in real time via the app, enabling them to send text messages, photos and voice notes. It is also important to highlight that radio doesn’t just create audio content, it also creates and enables us to share engaging digital and social media content on our app and on social media platforms, where customers can interact with us and be connected even while they are not listening.

What advice would you give to clients looking to maximise their investment in audio and radio?

Radio is the oldest thriving free-to-air commercial media in history, and this is for a good reason: Radio works. It is most effective for brands when integrated across all platforms, allowing them to leverage the millions of listeners who tune into MBC Group radio channels in the most seamless way possible and, most importantly, in a brand-safe environment.

Depending on their objectives, investing in radio can help them build relevance and trust, as radio-advertised brands feel more relevant and are much more trusted by radio listeners.

It can also boost awareness and consideration as listeners are on average 55 per cent more aware of companies that advertise on radio and 18 per cent more likely to consider them when purchasing. It can also increase online response as investing in radio solutions can boost brand browsing by an average of 58 per cent. Results are immediate, with more than half of responses generated within 24 hours of hearing the ad.

We all know that Ramadan is the best time for brands to reach audiences on TV and VOD Platforms like Shahid; is it the same for radio?

The same is definitely true for radio as well. If we look at top performing shows during Ramadan 2022, like Al Hakiba on MBC FM, which received a total of 329,000 calls with 10,960 average daily calls, and Salli Siyamak on Panorama FM, which received 82,000 calls with an average of 2,730 a day, we will find that it is evident that the Holy Month is also a great time to reach audiences on radio.