Media Planning for Radio Advertising | | London UK

Media Planning

Media Planning for Radio Advertising: how to get the most from your radio advertising campaigns

Media Planning for Radio Advertising: How it Works

Radio advertising is a powerful and highly effective channel to communicate your brand message and connect with prospective customers. Use this page to understand a little more about radio advertising. We’ll cover the following:

  • Should you advertise on radio?
  • Should you use an expert radio advertising agency to help you?
  • What are the big Media Planning issues you need to consider for your radio advertising campaigns?
  • The Creative – things you need to know to make your ad stand out and create impact
  • Reporting & Results on Your Radio Campaign

Should your business advertise on radio?

Radio is one of the most popular media for advertising. It provides a range of benefits for many types of businesses.

There are lots of reasons why brands advertise on radio. It;s typically a great part of the marketing mix, complements other advertising and is typically very cost effective in terms of media buying and the cost of creating ads. Key benefits of radio advertising include:

  • Return on Investment – research suggests radio delivers £7.70 return on every £1 spend (Source: Re-evaluating Media/ebiquity)
  • Memorability – a great radio ad sticks in the mind of listeners, increasing your brand awareness and the listeners propensity to engage with your business
  • Personality – radio is great for communicating your brand essence and for telling mini-stories which connect with listeners
  • Scale – around 89% of the UK population listen to radio each week

Media Planning for Radio

Why use an expert agency to plan your radio advertising

When buying radio advertising, most brands will use the services of a media buying agency. is run by one of the UKs leading independent media buying agencies, Recipe Media.

An advertiser can either go directly to a radio station sales rep, but the benefits of working with a radio media buying specialist agency are fairly compelling. Here’s how we help our clients:

  • Independent advice – we look at your business objectives and may typically recommend a blend of radio stations (and maybe other media) to meet your needs. A good independent agency is not bound to use any particular stations and so will choose the right ones for you
  • Experience – a media agency’s clients benefit from our many years of creating radio ads and buying radio media
  • Save money – as we buy radio advertising regularly, we have strong relationships with all the major radio station groups, enabling us to typically secure better deals than going direct.
  • Save time – we manage all the liaison with the radio stations, handle the bookings and ensure your ad creative arrives on time, is approved by the regulators and is in the correct formats
  • Joined up – we connect all aspects of the process providing support, insight and managing the end-to-end process (ie all aspects described on this page) – all designed to give you the maximum return on your investment

What are the Media Planning issues you need to consider for your radio advertising campaigns?

There are a number of aspects to consider when planning your radio advertising campaign. We can create a plan to help your campaign deliver against your business or communication goals. Here are some of the factors to consider:

  • Geography – An important factor for many brands is location. Do you want to target a local, regional or a national audience? This will govern which stations we recommend for your campaign.
  • Audience targeting – the next consideration will be matching the statons we select to your target audience. Each radio station has an audited audience size and age and gender composition. For example, TalkSport has a largely male audience skewed to 35+ years of age.
  • Time of Day – is it important your ads run at a certain time of day? Radio ads can be purchased across different stations, day parts, and days of the week to best meet your business goals.
  • Campaign ‘weight’ and duration – how long your campaign runs for and how many times your ad runs may be governed by a range of factors. 4-weeks is a standard duration, but the following factors may impact both length of campaign and weight (ie how often your ads are played out): 
    • Your budget – the bigger the budget the heavier the weight of your campaign
    • Your pre-existing brand awareness – if you’re a regular advertiser, or are advertising heavily in other media, you may run for less time – or run for more time and intensity
    • Your objectives – for example, if are you running a promotion or sale which runs for a short period of time, you may choose a short, heavy-impact campaign
    • Brand building – if you haven’t spent much on building your brand, a longer running campaign will help establish your brand in the mind of listeners

The Creative – things you need to know to make your ad stand out and create impact

The strength and impact of your radio ad will be a key factor in the commercial success of your campaign. Most ads typically run and are booked for a 30-second ad slot. If you do not already have a radio ad, our creative team have created 100s of radio ads and are experts in creating compelling, ear-stopping audio ads. 

Learn more about making great radio ads on our Creative page

Media Planning for Radio

Reporting & Results on Your Radio Campaign

When we think about reporting and results, there are typically two ways we look at this. First is what the radio stations provide. And secondly the impact a campaign has for your business. 

Radio stations will usually provide some or all of the following data points on you radio campaign:

  1. Frequency of radio ad airing
  2. Listenership report (number of listeners reach, ratings)
  3. Geographical market performance
  4. Cost-efficiency report
  5. Brand awareness and recall report
  6. List of radio stations that broadcasted the ad
  7. Cume ratings report
  8. Unique listener reach report

To understand the real business impact for your brand we work with you to understand:

  • The impact of your sales – if that is an objective, are you selling more 
  • Brand tracking – if you run a brand tracker we can understand the impact of your campaign. For example this can measure how you are building say trust or awareness
  • Online impact – understanding the response and impact of your web traffic during the campaign

It’s important to consider how we can measure radio’s effect on your business, whether your are running a one-off test campaign or as part of a longer radio strategy. Together, we can look at specific business outcomes such as website visits, footfall in store, and/or sales. Whatever the metrics, we ideally need to look at other factors like prior year performance, prior weeks performance pre-campaign and the impact during and after the radio advertising campaign.