Reaching The Popular Kids

Just as in high school, some individuals exert more influence than others. Marketers know these people have a greater impact than most people on products and services that are ultimately purchased. Word-of-mouth communication is extremely powerful, and perhaps "is the best medium of all," as once claimed by advertising guru Bill Bernbach.

Many within the advertising community refer to the importance of "earned media," which is when a paid schedule leads to additional free exposure, such as coverage on television, Facebook or Twitter. Influentials are literally living and breathing earned media machines. They are able to communicate their opinions far more effectively due to their relationships and the verbal nature of their communication. The spoken word can convey far more emotion and influence than any written word.

The popular kids -- or rather, adults -- are defined by GfK MRI as Category Influentials. These consumers typically comprise 10-20% of the population and are legitimate word-of-mouth all-stars. And they also happen to listen to radio -- a lot!



The data in the chart below has been extracted from GfK MRI's MediaDay 2010 for the A25-54 demographic. The reach figures are for those consumers who are Influentials for specific product categories. They reported their use of each of the five major media the previous day.

Percent Daily Reach by Medium

Catergory influentialsTV    
Grocery shopping7972604433
Fashion (clothing)7867593834
Home electronics6470682924
TV shows7865593936

Source: Gfk MRI, MediaDay 2010 Single Year (fieldwork 09-10/Spring respondents) Weighted by Population (000)

It is undoubtedly surprising to some that in 2011, the Digital Era radio ranks either #1 or #2 in reaching these "influentials" several hours per day in each of these 12 key product categories. When price is factored in, radio becomes a far greater value compared to more expensive media. This latest data suggests that radio is ideal for marketers to get the "ear" of an influential.

It's a mad, mad, mad media world (but that's for another article). Each day, new communication tools pop up, offering advertisers additional ways to engage with consumers. But when actual consumer data is allowed to state its story absent any bias, radio more often than not is near the top of the list. Radio remains a persuasive and powerful marketing option that can generate results fast for advertisers.

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