Inside Radio and The Altitude Group

We are excited about our appearance yesterday in the industry newsletter “Inside Radio.”

Check it out below.

And here’s the full copy from the article:

Advertisers look to integrate their message directly into station content. To cut through a cluttered media world, advertisers increasingly expect radio to find creative ways to seamlessly weave their messages directly into content. “They’re looking for different ways to integrate their brand and not just by running commercials,” Clear Channel president of national sales, marketing & partnerships Tim Castelli says. The challenge is making brands part of the content in a contextually relevant way, CBS Radio Altitude EVP CBS Rich Lobel says. For Allstate, a Good Hands Route of the Day in CBS traffic reports suggested an alternate route to avoid a nasty traffic backup. “The more integrated into the organic content we can be, the more effective it is,” Allstate director of local advertising Amanda Polito says. Allstate has no plans to abandon traditional spots — Media Monitors says it ran 279,000 on radio in 2012. But it and other marketers expect radio to deepen their presence by directly relating to the location, format and lifestyle of the audience. The trend isn’t confined to big markets. “We’re seeing it more and more,” says Mike Wild, SVP/GM for Triad Broadcasting‘s Peoria cluster.

Radio taps wide array of assets to meet branded entertainment challenge. As advertiser demand for content integration grows, radio is rising to the challenge. Last winter in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, Allstate used DJs who are avid snowmobilers to talk about the company’s snowmobile insurance in the context of a snowmobile report. The University of Phoenix, which is upping its radio budget in 2013, partnered with CBS Radio to sponsor on-air job reports. Hosts referenced local job openings posted by the school’s corporate partners during the reports, directly connecting jobs to the university’s message. Branded entertainment isn’t confined to on-air content. An integrated program for sports clothing brand Under Armour on Greater Media sports “97.5 The Fanatic” WPEN, Philadelphia had station hosts directing listeners to the station’s website and Facebook page to view and vote on pictures of the Fanatic Fantasy Girls wearing the brand’s clothing. The trend is even affecting how some advertisers use endorsement ads: both Allstate and the Bank of America use DJs who are also their customers to talk about their products from a more personal viewpoint.

A more strategic, less transactional sales approach. Radio is becoming more strategic in how it works with clients, relying less on Gross Rating Points and other traditional metrics. The conversation sometimes doesn’t even begin with radio but rather how to improve local engagement for the client. “When we start at the broader level, it becomes a bigger discussion about marketing, ideas and solutions,” says CBS Radio Altitude EVP CBS Rich Lobel. That’s turning radio into a more consultative sales medium. “It involves teaching sellers the art of listening,” Greater Media director of interactive marketing Jennifer Williams says. The more attuned media partners are with client objectives and priorities, the better the ideas are, advertisers say. Allstate starts by sharing its priorities for the year with its local radio partners. “We tell them what we’re going to be talking about and ask them to come back with program ideas and then we work together to refine them,” Allstate director of local advertising Amanda Polito says. Lobel says one of radio’s strengths is its storytelling ability, fueled by an arsenal of writers, producers, DJs, news reporters and events. “We ask clients, ‘What kind of story can we create and how do we make that story relevant in the local market,’” he says. From there the discussion moves to activating the campaign across assets including radio, websites, streaming, mobile, events — even TV and outdoor — so that the client can “own a local landscape.”