Get The Urge to Converge Your Media

The most desirable, affluent consumers, senior business executives, are out of the reach of traditional media advertising during their long work-day. But radio in combination with the Internet might be just the ticket for marketers.

Senior level executives (unless they are in the TV industry, where, you are a nobody if your wall isn’t lined with plasma screens) don’t watch TV during the workday. Nor see many billboards, read a lot of direct mail, or refer back to newspapers because they leave them at home, under their train seats or at the coffee shop.

The Online Publisher’s Association confirms that the Internet is, in fact, the number one consumed medium among millions at work. Recent reports by eMarketer and the WSJ say that out of a total US workforce of 135.1 million, 37% or 50.1 million regularly go online at work.

According to a survey of 11,000 executives and senior managers, done in association with GartnerG2 and, the average workday for high-level executives begins with e-mail, as 82 percent reported checking their in-boxes before getting down to work. More than half (54 percent) used the Web for research.

Want to know the number two medium consumed at work? Radio.

Not only that, they are often consumed in tandem. “Listening to radio/music” is consistently citied as the primary media activity accompanying on-line usage. The Internet and radio are effectively the only two media that consumers, especially desk bound, professionals are exposed to during the workday. (Although a fare number take Business Week or Forbes to the bathroom.)

One wakes up in the morning (usually to radio) and then may turn on the TV or check weather on the Internet. Commuting to work by car, as most Americans do, radio is the clear winner. AT work, most people take advantage of their high-speed Internet connections to connect online to radio to provide a little background music. So, as they check their online portfolios, read their online trade pubs, check the latest breaking news (the OPA says that Internet content sites draw 3.8 million users per minute during the daytime) and download those 200 emails, they are listening to Bach or the Beach Boys. Walk the halls of any office. It is like hitting the search button on your radio.

These are unfiltered media. Executive assistants purge the boss’s inbox of B2B direct mail and put his/her paper trades and biz magazines aside to take home. If he commutes by car, the radio is back on, since reading while driving is almost as moronic as talking on the cell phone. Telemarketers rarely get through (unless, like me, you are in too early and stay too late). That leaves the Internet and radio as the two more efficient ways to reach big wigs at work.

Between working hours and drive time, radio and the Internet can reach business executives about 12 hours. Driving commuters often stop on the way home for toiletries, wines, alcohol, dinners, gas and other discretionary items of the day. What a great time to remind them of your brand.

It is clearly time for radio to integrate the Internet into their offering to marketers. It would not only be good business for us in the Internet industry, it would just be plain smart of the broadcast world.

Adam Guild is President of Interep Interactive

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