Combining radio with digital is proving to be a sure-fire way to increase ROI. We live in a fast-paced world, focused on recovering from a devastating pandemic. Brands have to fight for our attention and reaching a specific target audience is becoming a greater challenge. In this environment, radio and digital is proving to be a two-punch strategy that can save the day, and advertisers who combine these two channels are seeing incredible results.

Disruption

The very disruption in the radio industry that led many to declare the imminent demise of the medium, has actually strengthened it and led to an astonishing resurgence. Today, radio is driving the development of multiple new opportunities such as streaming, online radio, podcasting and new audio content sharing platforms that are fast changing the advertising landscape. All the while, traditional radio is alive and well, and still a super effective way to reach a target audience.

Digital advertising has proven itself to be relevant and ubiquitous, allowing for genuine B2C and B2B connections. Using social media to get found and to become liked is incredibly valuable and just like radio, without a digital strategy, brands will struggle to succeed.

Combining two powerful channels

When you decide to combine radio with digital, you get the power of radio’s ability to engage and drive search, along with the powerful increase in presence provided by your digital strategy. The result is a much improved two-way communication with your target market, to drive a much higher ROI. Combining radio and digital allows for your message to be reinforced across multiple platforms, strengthening both the message and creating a more cohesive strategy. When a potential client knows your name, can sing your jingle and sees you near the top of the search results, that is extremely powerful.

Most stations already have a highly developed digital ecosystem and will develop a supporting digital strategy around most traditional radio campaigns. This will include carefully placing visual ads in places where the advertisers’ target audience will visit. Thanks to the nature of radio, radio station websites and social media enjoy high traffic. This is the way listeners enter contests and engage with the radio station and their favourite personalities, so it is the ideal place to execute digital strategy and improve the target market’s connection with a brand.

Beyond the enormous reach of station websites, radio stations are also equipped to place all forms of relevant digital advertising, outside of their owned properties. These digital elements should mirror on-air radio advertising to create consistency and maximize potential ROI.

With the many challenges of getting the economy and business back on a growth path, it only makes sense that we take advantage of every avenue that we have. Getting discovered can be tough, and standing out and being remembered can be even harder. Radio and digital are the vibrant double act that takes care of those universal marketing pains.

Written by Rivak Bunce, Managing Director of United Stations.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

The current media/advertising/marketing world is one of increasing uncertainty, making it more difficult for decision makers to confidently make decisions that, in a more stable environment, were really easy to make.

The CMO’s, brand managers, media strategists, planners and buyers responsible for buying media are struggling to make sense of their environment and they need something more from media owners, something more than another media rep asking them about their problems… again!

When it’s all about – ‘Why us?’

Too many media sellers differentiate in the exact same way as their competitors differentiate, something they prove by opening meetings with a lecture on how great their company is, followed by how fabulous their medium is, rankings, audience numbers, special discount packages and incentives and how this will solve all the client’s problems.

This legacy approach to sales is far too transactional to create the value a decision-maker needs while assessing their options. Being an expert on your medium and your solution doesn’t enable anyone to make the best decision for an advertiser.

There are decisions before the decision of what to buy and who from. Media selection today, is fraught with the potential of negative consequences. The complex cast of characters that are typically charged with making these decisions, have an obligation to make the best possible decision for their brand and the better future results they need. This is the opportunity for the media seller to prove that they do belong in the room. Throughout history, decisionmakers have relied on advisors who could provide a perspective that would inform their decisions and increase their ability to better understand the decision and the potential outcomes.

Why me’ is better than ‘why us’.

Modern media sellers understand that they are the value proposition.

They truly believe that the best outcome for a client struggling to make a decision is to have the help of someone with the experience to provide perspective, advice and recommendations about how to make the decision. Even though the decision maker will ultimately make the decision, there is no reason they should be uninformed when there are people that can help them.

To prove that they deserve to be in the room next to the decision maker who is considering their options and deciding what to do, they show that they can be consultative and strategic, earning the position of a trusted advisor.

Modern media sellers are adept at starting conversations that are focused on strategic outcomes. They can improve the exchange by addressing what is relevant and meaningful to the advertiser. In this way much of the problems of selling and buying can be improved.

The most important decision we can make right now as professional media sellers, is to do the work that allows us to be the person our clients ask to join them when they need to make a change.

Written by Rivak Bunce, Managing Director at United Stations.

Wed, 11 May 2022 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

To understand any generation, you have to consider their past, present, and future.

Right now, four generations of consumers are in the marketplace at the same time. Discussions about how to engage these different groups is pervasive, but many forget to include Generation X and the talk is heavily dominated by Millennials and Gen Z.

For an increasingly youthful advertising industry, Generation X is too easy to overlook. Generally accepted to have been born in that sliver of time between 1965 and 1980. Gen X grew up during the AIDS epidemic, the Challenger disaster, military conscription, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the personal computer, the Watergate scandal, Sharpeville, the end of Apartheid and the resultant democratic transition. Their core values include diversity, self-reliance, practicality, informality, work/life balance, flexibility, and technology. Gen X are pragmatic, independent and resourceful, they don’t need hand holding.

They have enjoyed a lifelong love affair with radio and once spent long evenings and entire weekends, creating mix tapes directly from their favourite station. In fact, music bound them together and still does. Gen X music, remains gloriously unfaded. They know what they want and what they like and most importantly, who they are.

While Millennials and Gen Z grab the spotlight and the lion’s share of advertisers budgets, Gen X is running the economy, with little fanfare. Growing up before the dawn of the internet, they have easily adjusted and adapted to advances in technology. Nielsen found that Gen X is actually the most connected generation. Their experience with both worlds helps them relate simultaneously to Boomers and Millennials, in fact they serve as a bridge between the two generations. Most are looking after both their aging Boomer parents and their own children.

If money is purchasing power, then it becomes even more difficult to explain why Generation X is all but forgotten in media plans. Business Insider recently revealed that Gen X make the most money of all four target generations. The Global Leadership Forecast reported that Gen X also hold 51% of leadership roles globally. The oldest Gen X consumers will still be in the workforce for at least 10 years, and the younger members of the generation will still be working for more than 30, meaning that Gen X will be forming the backbone of the consumer market for quite some time. Those that overlook Gen X in favour of focusing only on the youngest generations will miss out on the deepest and most valuable source of buying power.

Although in their youth, Gen X were completely satisfied to play with Pet Rocks (which was literally just a rock), or the world’s first video game, Pong (literally a dot on the screen, moving between two cursors), today they are defined by an entrepreneurial mindset and work hard, play hard thinking.

There is no group of people better equipped to deal with the challenges facing our economy today. When executives at Nike studied Gen X it found the generation’s hallmarks are “flexibility,” “innovation,” and “adaptability.” “They have developed strong survival skills and the ability to handle anything that comes their way,” the study said.

Frankly, in a recovering economy businesses can’t afford to ignore any part of their market. It’s time to take another look at Generation X, they are in their prime earning years and we ignore them at our own peril.

Written by Rivak Bunce, Managing Director at United Stations.

Tue, 26 Apr 2022 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

Smile 90.4FM announced an exclusive partnership with United Stations today (26 April 2022). This partnership aims at helping agencies and advertisers engage with Smile’s audience throughout its multi-dimensional ecosystem, to maximize the value of their media buying investments.

“The expanding influence of Smile 90.4FM is testament to the power of what they are doing.  We are excited and very proud, to share that we are now working with this super talented team to create even more value for advertisers” says Rivak Bunce, MD at United Stations.

“This alignment is all about maintaining positive momentum. We now have a strong ally in United Stations, who bring an equal amount of commitment to excellence, in-depth market understanding, and a vision for creating meaningful value for advertisers around our valuable audience,” says Lois O’Brien, Managing Director of Smile 90.4FM. “This partnership extends our personal engagement with advertisers and their agencies and allows us to deliver relevant, creative and effective solutions for any challenge they might be facing.”

For further information, or to advertise, please contact Jenny Ghoos: Sales Director at United Stations, jenny@unitedstations.co.za or on 083- 3039591.

Fri, 01 Apr 2022 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

South Africans are campaigning against racism everywhere, but it is still only a minority of advertisers that are putting their money where their mouths are by investing their ad spend to target the reality of the marketplace . Many advertisers are basically stuck, doing what they have always done. 

To change this means facing up to some cold hard truths. One of these is the fact that black consumers now dominate almost every advertising category across the board. When an advertiser takes this into consideration when apportioning their ad spend, they not only increase media and advertising effectiveness, they directly invest in their primary consumers, ultimately driving the market growth that they are seeking.

It is very hard to understand why this is happening at such a slow pace. 

At a time when every supermarket chain and car brand is a champion of social justice, it can be encouraging, even sincere, to see marketers accept one of the industry’s inconvenient truths: they have underinvested in their main growth market. As South Africans start to question the authenticity of so-called woke advertising from marketers, a genuine attempt at inclusive media buying can be a sincere counterpoint.  

Recently our team at United Stations, have taken on the exciting job of marketing South Africa’s most successful podcaster, Mac G. Mac G is a phenomenon and he holds unparalleled  insight into which topics will resonate, where to find the audience and how to show up authentically with brand messaging. His audience engagement and reach across one single episode, outperforms the weekly cumulative audience of many commercial radio stations in South Africa. We have been surprised at how difficult it has been to get support for what is one of the most valuable advertising opportunities available today. 

In an attempt to understand where the friction lies, we have addressed issues around value, we’ve helped our advertisers understand the sheer power of engagement that Mac G delivers and we’ve offered meaningful targeted information around the opportunity. Our prospects objections, basically boil down to being afraid of fuelling a conversation and views that are different from their own. Mac G’s unprecedented success is at the same time his downfall. He is too popular with the main market and South African advertisers are not yet ready for that.

Mac G is a microcosm for how advertisers see inclusive media buying. They talk about doing it in broad brush strokes but there are always serious implications to consider when ad spend is actually moved from a legacy media owner to a new black targeted one. There is a reluctance to drop “what we know”, for a new opportunity, and facts don’t seem to be enough to change that.

Being able to make those calls, is part of the reason why FNB, Shoprite, Bliss Chemicals and Tiger Brands have invested in the likes of Jozi FM, Vuma and Rise FM, at the same time enjoying superior return on investment. While it hasn’t led to massive radio spend being moved from the legacy stations, it has steadily increased the amount that makes its way to black targeted media. 

As marketers, we really need to take confident steps towards eliminating these inconsistencies in our media plans. Brands will reap the benefits of investing in the media that dedicate their time and their livelihoods to informing, entertaining and connecting with black audiences. This is not just a case of jumping on the latest industry trend; it’s a smart and strategic business decision.

Written by Rivak Bunce, MD of United Stations.

Radio advertising revenue has made an astonishing recovery from the blow it took during the first year of the pandemic. Since the incremental reopening of business activity began, advertiser investment has grown swiftly . Why is radio doing so well?

The booming fortunes of radio suggest that there are multiple factors conspiring in its favour. One of these is that radio has been bolstered rather than challenged by new technology. Technology has enabled radio to become a multi-platform medium, accessed through analogue and digital broadcast receivers and increasingly streamed to mobiles, smart speakers, PCs, and tablets (according to The Infinite Dial report 2022, 64% of South Africans listen to radio on a mobile, TV or computer). All of this technology has contributed to raising the profile of audio entertainment, especially radio.

The rise in listening to radio and other audio content via connected devices, is also creating new commercial opportunities in the form of digital audio advertising placed into streamed or downloaded audio content including radio, on-demand music services, and podcasts (already 48% of South Africans are familiar with podcasting – The Infinite Dial report 2022). United Stations has placed itself at the forefront of this opportunity, by providing advertisers with targeted audio ads in prestigious environments. This has been accelerated by its partnerships with Wondery (the world’s largest independent podcast network), close collaboration with its portfolio of radio stations, class leading business content created by Moneyweb and exclusive representation of podcasters and audio publishers such as South Africa’s most successful podcaster, MacG

This enormous ecosystem of curated content, started life as predominantly live, presenter-led music and speech based audio entertainment, that is now part of a much wider opportunity for advertisers.

It’s more and more obvious that the way in which media content is consumed has changed significantly. With the rise of new audio formats such as podcasts and targeted streaming radio options, coupled with their convergence with video and the internet, listeners and advertisers have more options than ever before. The ubiquity of smart phones (according to The Infinite Dial report 2022, 90% of South Africans over 15 years of age own a cell phone) and the fact that audio content is “device neutral”, means that people can listen to almost anything, anywhere, and at any time.

Unsurprisingly, more services and greater availability is leading to an increase in overall audio listening and research confirms that around 96% of  adults spend around 18% of all their media time, listening to some form of audio entertainment. This opens a world of possibilities for advertisers as according to The Radiocentre’s Hear and Now study, listeners choose audio to satisfy six very specific needs:

  • “Help me escape”
  • “Lift my mood”
  • “Amplify a moment”
  • “Provide social currency”
  • “Broaden my horizons”
  • “Keep me in the loop”.

The different features of broadcast radio and on-demand audio mean that they are suited to different need-states and play complementary roles in the listener’s life. Live radio offers human voice and human choice and retains the ability to surprise, while keeping us connected to the outside world. What makes on-demand audio services different, is the potential to listen to anything of specific interest. On-demand offers control and instant gratification and the ability for a more immersive experience. While radio helps people feel connected to the wider world, on-demand helps to connect them to their world.

We now know that millions of listeners have formed new habits for accessing their favourite stations and this will have a lasting effect, resulting in radio remaining a vibrant and exciting sector with many interesting new developments in the pipeline. Among these exciting advances are voice control moving into other locations (in-car and wearables); the rise of dynamic creative within digital audio ads to stream the most pertinent version of an ad to each individual listener and increasing use of 3D sound to deliver a more immersive audio advertising experience.

For a long time, United Stations has viewed radio as a platform…over-the-air, streaming, podcasting, live events, digital, etc. We package these multiple opportunities together so that advertisers can reach our listeners no matter which element of our platform they are using.

Right now we feel that we are only at the beginning of what is possible.

Written by Rivak Bunce, Managing Director of United Stations.

Mac G, who recently bagged Podcaster of the Year at the VN Global Media and Entertainment Awards, is the voice behind Podcast and Chill with Mac G. He has over the course of more than 200 podcasts, interviewed some of the most influential guests in SA and his star power is attracting more than one million downloads to his individual podcasts. 

With over 300,000 subscribers, Mac G is firmly established as SA’s No 1 podcaster and the partnership with United Stations is designed to accelerate his expansion and leverage the power of his growing audience base.


Mac G said: “We are thrilled to partner with United Stations, their team brings tremendous knowledge of the marketplace and they have a stellar track record in delivering creative solutions for marketers and brands to connect with audiences”.

Head of Digital for United Stations, Chris Borain said: “We are equally delighted, honoured and inspired by the opportunity to represent such an iconic creative powerhouse as Mac G. His ability to captivate audiences, tap into current events and entertainment news and bring the journeys of Blue Chip Brands and Business Personalities to life, is gold for advertisers. South Africans have an insatiable appetite for great storytelling and are becoming more and more obsessed with podcasts. The opportunity to work with Mac G in creating powerful value for brands across the country is a dream come true.”

For further information or to advertise, contact Chris Borain on 078 165 5855 or chris@unitedstations.co.za.

Mon, 25 Oct 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, MIXFM, United Stations

Are you interested in finding an inexpensive yet powerful way to boost your campaigns in Gauteng?

Mix 93.8 FM punches way above its weight when it comes to return on investment for marketing campaigns. Let’s focus on just a few reasons why Mix 93.8 FM is such a powerful marketing tool in Gauteng.

Meet the consumer that is driving economic growth

The core Mix 93.8 FM target audience is 35 to 55 years old (*97% of the audience is 30+ years of age), are confident, yet grounded and are enjoying their lives. They are entrepreneurial (*64% are employed full time and *23% are self-employed), open to new experiences, energetic, outgoing, enjoy music and have money to spend (*84% SEM 8-10).

With the myriad of media options available, they only choose what they enjoy, so everything Mix 93.8 FM does, is focused on winning their love and attention.

Mix 93.8 FM is strongly tied to its community and their love for the station is sincere and profound

Mix 93.8 FM is authentic, colourful and confident, just like its audience. The music (basically the “sing out loud” songs of your life), the presenter delivery, the topics that the presenters pick, the way guests are interviewed, is focused on making the station feel like a very optimistic, warm and welcoming place.

Mix 93.8 FM is personal, local, and reliable

The lineup includes Breakfast with Blewitt, award-winning, light-hearted, fun, and hilarious, the perfect way to get you going every weekday and Just Plain Darren featuring Darren Scott’s smooth delivery and wealth of knowledge. It’s almost impossible to fault his handling of current affairs or sports topics and listeners are aware that Darren will “Just Plain Say It Like It Is.” These key shows are backed by many other fantastic entertainers. The chemistry and friendship between the team can be clearly felt, and makes you feel like you are part of the show. No nonsense, no frills, quick wit and humour, unrivalled knowledge of music, arts and culture and great chats to keep you company.

The connection with listeners is unmatched

When a presenter believes in the quality of your brand or product and promotes it, listeners take notice.   

The expanding influence of Mix 93.8 FM is testament to the power of musical nostalgia; the extraordinary emotional hold that the songs we hear when we are young have on us when we are older. Everyone loves the music they grew up with.

Even if you’ve heard a song a thousand times, there is something special about hearing it on the radio. That combination of comfort and the occasional surprise, and you just sitting back and experiencing it, that is what the Mix 93.8 FM listener is looking for.

ADVERTISERS: We want you to be a part of our success story

We RELATE to you. We UNDERSTAND you. We are LIKE YOU. 

#AddMixToYourMix

*FGI, BRC, BrandMapp

Written by Rivak Bunce, Managing Director at United Stations.

Covid-19 and South Africa’s subsequent lockdown protocol have had cumulative negative impacts on the small, medium and micro-sized enterprise (SMME) sector. Big and small business owners have had to change their business approach to survive these uncertain times.

In collaboration with Business United, Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk hosted an insightful webinar with Genera Capital investment specialist Dr Adrian Saville and senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Dialogue, Sanusha Naidu.

For insights on how businesses and investors can better equip themselves during these turbulent times, please watch the webinar recording below.

Business United delivers the most powerful business network in South Africa, with an engaged audience of unmatched quality.

The focus is on valuable business content presented by well-respected journalists.

Our network includes Moneyweb.co.za, SAFM Market Update and RSG Geldsake which is the largest business show in South Africa, hosted by multiple award-winning Ryk van Niekerk.

In addition to the national reach afforded by Moneyweb, we also offer targeted regional reach into niche business environments which include dedicated business shows on:

  • OFM: The Business Hour with Olebogeng Motse reaching central South Africa
  • RISE fm: Talking Business with Zingisa Chirwa reaching Mpumalanga
  • Vuma FM: It’s All About the Money with Nhlanhla Makhanya, reaching KZN

There are also numerous opportunities to reach business decision-makers on AlgoaFM, Jozi FM and Mix 93.8.

The real power behind the Business United network is not just the valuable audience of business decision-makers that currently stands at 900,000, it is the fact that it is supported by a high-level team that offers tailored content creation and integrated media solutions. We connect your brand to the business decision-maker, through our digital, radio, video, podcast, webinars, events and social media platforms.

For more information on Business United and its offerings, please contact Tracy Parsons.

Tue, 31 Aug 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, United Stations

The race to the bottom for quality click-through rates is accelerating, people’s attention spans have become more fragmented, ad blockers are on the increase and banner blindness is real. So, how do marketers effectively engage the right target audience?

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.” — Craig Davis

The best way to be what people are interested in is to be relevant and add value. When you walk into a room, you don’t just start talking, first, you listen, sense the mood, and then join a conversation.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne

People will part with their precious time and attention to engage with brands that tell stories and provide relevant and useful information. Content marketing allows you to join an existing conversation and weave your brand message into the fabric of the platform. It allows you to tell your brand story, position your expert’s opinions, establish credibility via information sharing and elevate your brand’s status in the mind of the reader.

“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” — Seth Godin

What Seth Godin meant by this is that content marketing allows your brand the opportunity to deliver important and useful information that the audience genuinely cares about, rather than just a re-worked advertising pitch.

If you would like to engage with our valuable audiences, speak to your AE about the full range of United Stations Content marketing opportunities across radio, digital, podcasting and video.

Written by Tracy Parsons, Moneyweb Brand Manager.