Making the most out of your advertising budget: the radio way (1)

The multiplicity of media has made advertising very expensive critically difficult for advertisers to choose the right media that will give their brands value for money. In Ghana like many other developing countries, the fast pace of the media is internet driven making it difficult for the traditional media to compete effectively. Though the traditional media are applying internet driven technologies to spread up beyond their frequency modulation boundaries, yet they are confronted with a myriad of challenges limiting their performance undoubtedly.

In the face of the increasing economic challenge which is squeezing the advertising budget of organisations and also the increasing growth of media houses, I conducted a survey to help organisations narrow their choices of radio stations for advertising based on responses from the survey questionnaire.

The survey applied a quantitative method of data collection. Four close ended questions were broadcasted to population via WhatsApp. Responses were collected within twenty four (24) hours of the broadcast. The population for the study was three hundred (300) active WhatsApp users with a sample size of seventy five (75).

The respondents represented a sample size of 25%. The sample size is good if juxtaposed to the 10% base recommended by some research scholars. Though the 25% respondent rate is not bad, the percentage of non-respondents shows a higher level of non-interest in radio broadcasting. Reasons attributed to this are not immediately known to this researcher.

The four questions used in the survey are:

Question 1: What is your favourite radio station in Ghana?

Question 2: What is your favourite radio programme in Ghana?

Question 3: Who is your favourite radio presenter in Ghana?

Question 4: How many hours do you listen to radio in a day?

The four questions above will be the fulcrum of this study. I will analyse them methodically and give an interpretation to how they impact organisations advertising budget.

Table 1: Gender distribution of respondents

Gender No. of Respondents % of Respondents
Male 53 70.7
Female 22 29.3
Total 75 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

Table 1 shows the gender distribution of respondents in the survey. It is evident by the difference between male and female respondents that Ghanaian females are not too interested in listening to Ghanaian radio stations. Perceptibly what that means is that products targeted at Ghanaian women being advertised on radio will not get the maximum impact it deserves whereupon radio should not be the only advertising medium for products targeted at Ghanaian women.

The relatively high number of male respondents indicates that products advertisement on radio should be directed more to men than women. To this end I can deduce that product advertising with male focus will do considerably better.

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Conversely, it also stands to reason that because a good number of Ghanaian women are decision makers in home management, it is possible that products such as food stuffs, clothing, detergents, etc. may be patronised in high quantities by women than men. In that case, the number of women respondents in the study may have little significance in their response to radio advertisement to some products than their male respondents. Let me point out quickly that my reference to “products” is both tangible and intangible.

The author admits that a gap in the survey was the negligence in assessing the male and female ratio of the population. A future study on the subject will delve deep into this area.

Table 2: Age distribution of Respondents

Age Range No. of Respondents % of Respondents
18 – 25 yrs 5 6.7
26 – 35 yrs 15 20
36 – 44 yrs 28 37.3
45 – 54 yrs 26 34.7
Above 55 yrs 1 1.3
Total 75 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

Table 2 shows the age distribution of respondents in the survey. Age range of 18 – 25 years constituted 6.7% of respondents this can be attributed to their young age and perhaps not living on their own so the choice as to which radio station is listened to in the home are not made by them. Also because they are more likely to still be in school, listening to radio may not be a preference as oppose to reading the textbooks. It is generally agreed that the young people are more fascinated by the internet for which reason their sources of information will be those spread by their peers on social media rather tuning into radio stations for information.

Age range of 26 – 35 years constituted 20% of respondents. At this age, respondents may be working and even if schooling they need information for decision making so they turn to radio as one of their sources of information. Radio advertising products targeted at this age group is likely to make some impact if the advert is well packaged and the right radio stations are used.

The most active age range that listened to radio often is 36 – 44 years and 45 – 54 years. They constituted 37.3% and 34.7% respectively giving a total of 72% of respondents of the survey. Respondents in this group of ages have purchasing power and are at decision making positions in various organisations. They are group of people who are likely to listen to your adverts played on radio.

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Per the respondents, this is the critical age group to be considered when making decisions as to what to advertise and which radio station to consider. Respondents above 55 years constituted only 1.3% of the sample size that listened to radio.

Table 3: Educational distribution of Respondents

Educational Qualification of Respondents No. of Respondents % of Respondents
Degree 36 48
Masters 23 30.7
PhD 2 2.7
Professorial 1 1.3
Other 13 17.3
Total 75 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

Table 3 shows that respondents in the survey are all educated with the minimum qualification been a diploma. Their educational qualification points to the level of reasonableness of respondents. They are independent minded educated people who were not influenced by the response.

If their response reflects the general view of educated people in Ghana, then this author is inclined to say that a larger sample size of same category of educated respondents will not significantly change the outcome of this survey no matter how many times it is repeated.

Table 4: Employment distribution of Respondents

Employment of Respondents No. of Respondents % of Respondents
Administration 14 18.7
Clergy 2 2.7
Insurance 1 1.3
Banking & Finance 7 9.3
Legal 5 6.7
Insurance 1 1.3
IT 2 2.7
Teaching / Lecturing 13 17.3
Business 10 13.3
Diplomatic Corps 1 1.3
Media 4 5.3
Others 15 20
Total 75 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

Table 4 shows the employment distribution of respondents. Majority of respondents are categorised as ‘others’ this is a combination of different employment categories and university students. Their spread though small in various sections cuts across a wide spectrum and weighs influence on consumer decision.

A critical look at the employment categories of respondents shows that they cover the critical sections of the Ghanaian public and corporate life. Their views are a reflection of their massive adherents. If you take the 17.3% of teachers / lecturers and the fact that they have lots of students under their watch and tutelage, it tells you much influence they have and how that can impact consumer decisions.

Though we have 2.7% of the clergy that responded its multiplier effect can be enormous. They have huge congregations and following. The Ghanaian religiosity should not be taken for granted.

Making the most out of your radio advertising budget requires critical analysis, some of which this author has discussed. The dynamics in radio broadcasting has changed and what may seem to be the choicest radio stations for some social commentators and other radio users may not reflect the outcome of this survey.

Organisations are encouraged to make use research findings for their radio spending other than rhetorical gimmicks of advertising sales persons. Let the evidence speak for itself.

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