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.

Mon, 27 Sep 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, OFM

Movie buffs are sure to remember “If you build it, they will come” from Kevin Costner’s 1989 Field of Dreams, or the later reference in the iconic 1993 Wayne’s World 2, “If you book them, they will come”.

However, many would agree that these so-called “spray-and-pray” tactics are best left confined to the world of fantasy.

“Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice” is a common phrase used by the medical fraternity, but it has also, over the years, come to apply to business and marketing. If the fundamentals of marketing have not changed – find out what people want, give it to them, and tell them you’ve given it to them – then how come there is still so much ‘clutter’ when it comes to generating content and marketing it?

Media and marketing constantly deliver new buzzwords. For instance, one thinks of terms such as ‘big data’, ‘sentiment analysis’, ‘SEO’, and then words like ‘conversions’, ‘engagement’, ‘organic’ and even ‘content’ that have taken on new meanings in an ever-evolving media marketing landscape.

What exactly is content? From the late 2000s, the word seems to have taken on a slightly new meaning with the concept mostly used in the context of media and by the late 2010s, having something to do with influencers on social media.

A quick search pulls up the Wikipedia definition, referenced as used in “publishing, art, and communication” where “content is the information and experiences that are directed toward an end-user or audience; something expressed through some medium”.

Content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute, could therefore be understood as a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”. So, instead of pitching products or services, advertisers provide relevant and useful content to prospects and customers to help them solve problems or enrich their lives.

Radio is a brilliant marketing choice as it not only provides broadcast advertising and all its benefits but also digital advertising with its targeting abilities, experiential marketing, influence or endorsement capabilities, and it can through the use of technology harness valuable real-time consumer insights.

An hour on radio, especially in a commercial music-driven format, still affords audiences an unrivalled entertainment experience – music curated to their taste, relevant lifestyle information bursts (yes, not just any news, traffic, weather updates are flighted, it has to be of value to the core audience or target market), and engaging features, which often include chances to win or to reach out and connect with other listeners and followers.

This highly engaged audience is primed to receive brand messages to remain top of mind and to respond to call-to-action advertising.

Promotions have worked so well on OFM that advertisers have had to pull campaigns because they ran out of stock much earlier than anticipated.

However, in a highly competitive market your message may get lost among the other 30-second spots. Moving beyond ad breaks can give a brand more ‘direct’ access to potential customers. And, radio has, in fact, been providing content marketing for decades.

For instance, a law firm can bolster their reputation by providing useful advice on legal matters consumers are unsure of, like what their rights are when it comes to child support or how to go about purchasing a property as a group of owners.

Niche products or services or even products with broad appeal but that need to better reach a certain market segment can also benefit through content marketing. For example, a fast food brand targeting younger consumers could sponsor a trendy celebrity music segment in a programme.

Your marketing (product, promotion, price, place, people, process and physical evidence) and promotion (advertising, publicity, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling) mix still applies along with these considerations:

  • Message – what are you saying to whom (does the message ‘fit the market’?)
  • Medium – on which platform are you ‘speaking’ (live broadcast, television programme,
    blog posts, social media)?
  • Method – how is this message being delivered (text, video, audio)?

Furthermore, in order to reach your desired audience with the desired effect, you need to look at how the information you want to convey will be curated, filtering only that which is important to them, and translated into a ‘language’ that they understand, all in order to create meaning that has value for them, as well as the advertiser.

This is what is meant when stated that the primary focus of content marketing is “to nourish the lead” as part of a “long-term process” with the end result being “sales and conversions,” as explained by Semrush. A single piece of content, interview or article does not constitute a campaign and the sales funnel approach still applies. For each part, top, middle, bottom, it is recommended that certain types of content marketing be applied to the awareness, evaluation, and purchase stage.

But be warned, one size does not fit all. Only campaigns that relay universal truths with simple executions can succeed as ‘blanket’ or national campaigns. Trust the various radio brands to know their audiences well enough to understand how messages and executions should be tweaked to leverage them to provide sufficient response to your investment in larger reach.

Even worse than being an order taker is not knowing the menu – selling what doesn’t exist and then being unable to provide return on investment.

At OFM we believe foremost in not only providing, but creating value. Like a personal trainer we work with our clients to ensure the most favourable outcome. It won’t always be easy, there will be ‘robust discussions’, but we will continue to guide and encourage. We never give up. Your dream is our dream.

Why is it important? Radio stations do not operate in corporate vacuums. They are integral parts of communities. They contribute to the economy. They enable their clients to grow. By offering value we not only look after our own business, but we help others to thrive and keep jobs in the market. We care – a heck of a lot.

If it’s just about the bottom line and lining pockets, rather opt for a ‘frigid’ medium that does not provide a direct point of contact between a brand and an existing or potential customer.

Radio has heart and OFM is at the heart of Central South Africa, at the pulse of what our listeners want and what they need. We are constantly researching and changing our offerings to remain the single most important media and marketing partner in the Free State, Northern Cape, North West and southern Gauteng. We extend this heartfelt invitation to all our existing and potential clients to join us in insights-driven marketing to get the most from this burgeoning region.

Mon, 20 Sep 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, OFM

 Could there be any truth to the article published by The Economist in May 2021, titled “What history tells you about post-pandemic booms”, which states, “…people spend more, take more risks – and demand more of politicians”? 

The article speaks of a ‘boom’, which throughout history has been seen to manifest in this way following post-traumatic events. While uncertainty remains in South Africa, it is tricky preparing for a post Covid-19 future. OFM’s approach to this anticipated economic ‘boom’ of sorts is endorsed through its continued “Living the Real Good Life” brand positioning. 

Living the Real Good Life talks to escaping the pressures of everyday life by focusing on what matters most to OFM’s audience in Central South Africa… a place where the freedom to enjoy a more balanced life is not only possible, but is lived through music, engagement, lifestyle, and a strong sense of community. 

In 2021, this positioning was driven through OFM’s 35th birthday year, which the brand leveraged to generate good, wholesome radio experiences while creating steadfast product offerings that supported local business. 

Since March, the brand committed to providing positive yet disruptive on-air experiences through its birthday lead campaigns, which were created to address two objectives: 

• building brand love and audience; and 

• creating revenue. 

March’s Spot the Yellow Fleet campaign not only reinforced the new look and feel of the OFM brand but encouraged audiences to engage by taking pictures with the newly branded OFM fleet. These vehicles were placed around the region at outside broadcasts, lifestyle events, and activations to stimulate local economies and build brand love. 

80s April was a daily on-air celebration of music, which performed alongside a product offering generated from the excitement on-air. It was a theme that was heard on radio and taken to market through OFM’s Pop-Up Radio offering. 

May’s Agri Focus Week, which spoke to one in three of the 26 000 farmers living in the OFM footprint, offered a focused and dedicated platform for all who are proudly represented inside the agri value chain. 

In June, OFM’s Groot Vet Kombers Proe-jek inspired audiences across the region to raise R450 000 for Round Table Southern Africa’s Winter Knights Campaign. OFM took to the region with live broadcasts, twice a week, to challenge listeners to support a wide range of charities by purchasing a vetkoek for at least R35. The highest price paid for a vetkoek for charity was R10 000. This, and the many contributions from OFM’s audience, showcased the caring and real values contained within the Living the Real Good Life brand positioning. 

However, the moment of truth presented itself in July when OFM celebrated its official 35th birthday through a brand-building exercise called the OFM Secret Song. This was a month-long campaign that celebrated music, engaged audiences through curiosity, and uplifted a community with a grand prize of R35 000. 

These strategically placed exercises and considered touchpoints are used to build the OFM audience and provide real and engaging solutions to stakeholders; this, at a time when they need local support and investment the most. 

In this shared spirit of Central South Africa, OFM rallies its audience to lead a really good life, made up of many and often smaller moments of pure fun, real connection, contribution to others, and moments of meaning. 

OFM exists to connect and amplify Central South African’s desire to live their best quality of life in every moment, wherever they are. The brand is real, uplifting, proud and caring to all who listen to, and invest in, OFM. This is how OFM has built the trust to become the Sound of Central South Africa over the past 35 years. 

Tim Thabethe 

OFM Programme Manager 

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.

Tue, 10 Aug 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, OFM

Getting your brand to stand out in this day and age has become more difficult than ever. The market is
flooded with different brand messages across different platforms such as TV, print, radio and social media,
and consumers are overwhelmed with options. It does not matter what platform brands use to advertise,
what is important is the marketing strategy. This begs the question – how can brands effectively share
their marketing message to consumers among all the noise? How can you break through the clutter with
a strong message that does not land on deaf ears? This can be achieved by going back to basics and crafting
a compelling brand positioning statement.

You need to understand your brand purpose and who needs your services in the market so that you can
understand your unique selling proposition. This may sound like a lot, but it is merely putting yourself in
your target audience’s shoes and learning what motivates their buying decisions. This will help unpack
what the clients’ needs are, confirm if your product solves that problem, and explore what makes your
business unique.

The first step is to create a compelling customer problem statement. Why is this important, you may ask?
A customer problem statement will assist you in understanding what your purpose as a business is, what
your customers’ needs are, and what customer problem you need to solve. Let us add context to the above
by sharing OFM’s customer problem statement. This statement has to be written from the customers’
perspective to identify what client problem your product or service will solve. Depending on your product
or service, your business can have multiple statements. This statement should highlight what the client
wants, why they cannot get it, and how that issue makes them feel. The best marketing messages or
campaigns always evoke an emotion – this assures your target audience that you know what they want.

OFM client problem statement
I am a listener in need of companionship, good music and news about my community, but I have too many
options because of all the different media platforms, which makes me feel lost and overwhelmed.

I am a business owner/brand trying to attract customers to my business but I am unable to access these
people because I don’t have a strong advertising strategy, which frustrates me.

Now that the client problem has been identified, a marketing message must be created from this, which
shows what your brand/business can do for your targeted audience. This is how to construct a compelling
marketing message from the client problem statement.

  • OFM, your favorite radio station with the latest news, entertainment and best music in Central
    South Africa. Available in FM and on live stream for your convenience.
  • We will help you reach the desired target audience for your product/services by creating a
    customised radio adverting campaign, which will ensure you attract traffic to your business.

There is absolutely no ambiguity in these marketing messages. For a business, which needs traffic to their
business, they know that OFM is the radio station that can help tell people about their products or services.
Listeners also consider OFM their go-to station for local content and entertainment. This statement can
further be applied to advertising campaigns, messages and designs.

Breaking through the clutter is thus achieved by good brand positioning. Position your brand/business as
a solution for your customers’ needs. Tap into their emotions, know what is important to them, and
communicate how your products fit in.

For more info, please contact Lindiwe Mtwentula on 051 5050 900, 082 416 1665, or lindiwe@ofm.co.za.

Mon, 02 Aug 2021 / Published in LATEST NEWS, Podcasting, United Stations

The audio media ecosystem continues to evolve at a faster pace than anticipated.  The shift from consuming audio on traditional platforms to streaming platforms seem to be the driving force in accelerating the evolution of the audio landscape.

Some of the findings by The Infinite Dial report measuring online digital audio listening revealed that 44% of South Africansstreamed their favourite radio station.  The latest share-of-ear report from Edison Research in the US, revealed a time spent listening on a mobile device of 30% for those aged 13 years and older.

AMASA Joburg has put together a seasoned panel of experts in the field of audio media to unpack the latest trends in this industry.  

THOUGHT IGNITERS (PANNEL MEMBERS):

  • CHRIS BORIAN  (Head of Digital & GM – United Stations)
  • MUHAMMAD CAJEE (Chief Digital Officer- Primedia Broadcast)
  • JON SAVAGE (CEO – Inbroadcast)
  • MACG – SA’s Podcaster (Podcast and Chill)

REGISTER HERE: https://forms.gle/VZBRAM9PfpaDm2eZ7

Fri, 30 Jul 2021 / Published in AlgoaFM, LATEST NEWS

Algoa FM’s financial director Kevin Reed is retiring after 35 years in the media industry – and a job interview during which he was dressed “in lumo green shorts, a white T-shirt and white flip-flops”.

There is an explanation – having started a financial consulting business in 2000, he thought he had been invited for a studio interview.

Fortunately for all, Algoa FM is the place where “fun is a serious business” and following the February 2000 interview he was hired as the financial manager. Within three years he had been appointed financial director and deputy managing director.

It sometimes comes as a surprise to people who know the outgoing and extroverted side of Reed to find out that, once behind his computer, he has a totally different approach to life.

“Accounting is the most exact science. Debits always equal credits and don’t try to reinvent the abacus.

“The accounting team must never lose sight of the fact that accurate, timeous and meaningful financial and analytical information empowers management, the board and the group, to make informed strategic decisions that benefit all stakeholders,” he says.

Reed’s introduction to the media was with the then EP Newspapers, as financial accountant between 1985 and late 1998.

After joining Algoa FM, he gained an in-depth knowledge of radio by attending international conventions such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Dallas, Texas, and spending time at various radio stations in London, including the iconic Capital Radio and Virgin.

He has also worked with NRSmedia in Sydney, Australia, to develop new advertising packages and approaches for Algoa FM’s clients.

Radio is now firmly in his blood, and Reed believes that it is now the most powerful communication medium for companies wanting to connect with their customers in a defined broadcast area.

“In an evolving media landscape Algoa FM is best positioned to partner with clients to help them promote their brand from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast and through the Karoo,” he says.

Looking back, the professional achievements of which he is most proud are 21 years of clean audits at Algoa FM and building a strong team, which will now be headed by Desiré Killian.

“The small finance team is well equipped to take care of the financial and statutory obligations. I have to thank them for their commitment and professionalism, which allows me to retire knowing that the finances of Algoa FM are in very competent hands,” he says.

Then there is the fun aspect – through Algoa FM, Reed has met “in person” a number of superstars, including Shaggy, Belinda Carlisle, James Blunt, Will Young, Josh Groban, Celine Dion and Sting (with his family).

“In the media, we often take for granted how fortunate we are to share our working environment with champions who have diverse talents, creativity and passion. Media houses are a hotbed of human capital and intellectual property”.

The outgoing financial director is the epitome of the lifestyle of the typical Algoa FM listener – “my passions are food, travel and aircraft. Food and travel I believe are the greatest ways to appreciate and try new things and experience cultural diversity,” he says.

Thanks to Covid, travel plans are on the back-burner.

“I will be letting the corporate spring unwind and spend time with the way too many people I need to catch up with. I have worked for almost 50 years, starting as a packer at the first Pick n Pay at Lynwood in Pretoria, so it is now time to chill.

“I look forward to making awesome meals and travelling with my hubby. If that’s not physically possible, I can be found checking out planes at the airport or using an app to follow flights around the world”.

His advice to a younger Kevin: “Do not take time for granted. It goes by in the blink of an eye, especially when you are working hard and having fun at the same time.

“Start saving as soon as you can, but ensure you balance your life’s journey with treats and spoils.

“Surround yourself with the best people, for the right reason. But, mostly, ensure that your life is made up of a sequence of entertaining and engaging stories”.

Thu, 29 Jul 2021 / Published in AlgoaFM, LATEST NEWS

“Leadership is all about the people. It’s not about organisations. Its not about plans. Its not about strategies. Its all about people – motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centred” – Colin Powell.

Mental health management has become a very important factor in all our lives. And for those in leadership roles, you not only have to be on top of your mental health, but that of your team members as well.

If we are to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has brought, our focus should be on our most valued asset, what we at Algoa FM call our “champions” – our people.

Coping with mental health challenges (our own and those of our staff) has always been part of our lives, but it has been kept a well-hidden secret, like something that we are embarrassed to share.

And as leaders, we were thrown in the deep end when Covid placed a spotlight on mental health and forced us to deal with the elephant in the room.

While mental illness has always been with us, international research collated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has found that the prevalence of anxiety and depression has doubled in many countries around the world.

One of the first misconceptions that we need to overcome is that mental illness is a sign of some sort of weakness. It is an illness, much like any other, and we need to educate ourselves about it and understand it.

Here are some of my thoughts

  •  Educate yourself about mental health through reading articles and attending webinars Share your insights with your team – knowledge is power.
  • Have an open-door policy and listen when staff come to you with challenges
  • When team members reach out, it is important to listen and then act
  •  Be aware that team members will almost certainly have a member of their immediate family or social circle suffering from mental challenges – this will have a knock-on effect

Many will try to keep their challenges to themselves. Here are some signs too look out for:

  • Fatigue, changes in behaviour, being more aggressive in responses, poor work performance or throwing oneself completely into workday beyond 8-5, changes in appearances, changes in mood.
  • Warning bells should ring if you cannot get hold of staff working remotely. Many times, if you are not in a good space answering a phone or responding to a message or an email can be too much.
  • Reach out to staff. Have open, non-threatening conversations with your staff and allow them to express themselves
  • Reach out to your HR Department for guidance and assistance.

I find that sharing my personal experience with mental health and the challenges I am facing through this pandemic helps.

And I always find that it helps when people understand that they are not alone, and that others are also facing similar challenges. You may be surprised how much support and hope an open conversation can give your staff members.

One must never forget that leaders are under at least as much strain as their team members – and often more. We need to care for our own mental health.

Looking after yourself mentally is as important as the skills and knowledge that have seen you move into a leadership role.

Leaders set the example, and your team will cope better with the mental challenges of a Covid world if you show the way.

Few of us can do it alone – as part of the leadership team, we need to be there for each other.

Know that there will be times when you feel despondent and feel like you can’t cope any more.

During these times we need to be able to support and lean on each other.

Be patient and understanding, when someone in a meeting has a reaction that was maybe out of the norm, step back… don’t take it personally and hear the person out.

Tomorrow, it could be you who is struggling to control stress.

These are challenging times for all of us.

 About the author: Celeste Thomas – Algoa FM Human Resources Manager 

Celeste joined Algoa FM in 2013. Under her guidance the Human Resources department has established itself as a strategic arm of the business, which is integrated into all the media house’s operations. 

She also sits on the Board of Propella, a Gqebera-based business incubator geared to advance IT and manufacturing businesses.

“The world we live in is ever changing and as such I am always learning new things. My knowledge of the media industry has grown so much, and I am loving every minute of it. If you are innovative, creative, forward thinking and have the ability to adapt to different situations and still have a lot of fun while doing it…… then media is the industry for you,” says Celeste.

Thu, 29 Jul 2021 / Published in AlgoaFM, LATEST NEWS

Algoa FM’s Great Deal Promotion package for advertisers was ranked the best commercial promotion stunt/event in the country at the 2021 South African Radio Awards, which were presented on Friday, June 30.

In addition, Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame for his contribution to the industry during his career of more than 30 years.

“The Great Deal Promotion was a game changer for our commercial efforts in 2020,” says Jay.

“The innovative programme proved to be a great success, not only for our clients but also for ourselves in what truly was a very difficult year,” he adds.

Algoa FM was nominated as a finalist in three categories – Wayne Hart for best breakfast show presenter, the Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer in the community project category, and the Algoa FM Great Deal Promotion in the promotions stunt/event category.

This bring to four, the number of times that Algoa FM has won the prestigious award for the best promotions stunt or event, having previously walked off with the spoils for its Heritage Day/Virtual Flag campaign, the launch campaign of the Algoa FM App and the annual Big Walk for Cancer.

“I am so very proud of my team for consistently innovating campaigns which deliver return on investment for our clients and stakeholders. This form of recognition says a lot about Algoa FM’s ability to impress on a national level,” says Jay.