“What the Heck’s the Number?”

There’s a XAPP Ad for That

Coleman Insights Media ResearchRecent studies on consumer trends highlight the need for a shift in radio tactics. I was interested to see the recent Coleman Insights consumer study on NextRadio as reported in RAIN News. The survey focused on revealing consumer insights into how radio and other sources of music are consumed. It showed that the bulk of the consumer market isn’t even aware of the many options available to them for audio consumption on mobile devices.

Don’t Know Much about Radio

The results correlate well with other market trends that relate to music consumption patterns. Consumers listen to Internet radio on their mobile devices, but don’t typically think about terrestrial radio as an option outside of the car. In fact, many people didn’t even know you could access radio stations on smartphones. While the study was focused on NextRadio, which is available through Sprint mobile devices, several consumers didn’t know that many terrestrial radio stations also have streaming apps that can be accessed through any mobile device.

Reducing Friction

One woman talked about how great it would be to call into radio stations directly from the phone. Typically when listening to radio she doesn’t have immediate access to dial the phone number whether it is for contests or brand promotions. She said “…a lot of them have the ads and they’re like, call now. And I’m always like, what the heck’s the number?!

Digital media has made it easier to connect consumers with offers. When reading something on your phone or laptop, you can typically click on a link and you’ll be connected. Radio has a unique challenge in making this ad conversion. Terrestrial radio has no synchronous backchannel. As a result, they repeat numbers several times to get people to stop what they are doing and dial.What's the number again? Even when streamed on mobile devices where a digital backchannel is available, another issue arises – clicking on the link. Since most people are listening to audio content on mobile without looking at the screen, there is no easy way to click a link.

Broadcast radio ads are very effective, but involve a lot of waste. The ads are delivered to everyone simultaneously. Anyone who is likely to be a future customer of the advertiser (that happen to be listening when the ad plays) and those that are not in the target consumer profile receive the same ad. But even likely customers have to deal with a lot of conversion friction. They must stop what they are doing or wait until later, remember the number or website address, and then remember to make the call. With all of these steps, only the most motivated consumers convert. The merely interested don’t complete the connection because of the friction.

CALL NOW: from push to pull

Up until this year, “call now” has been a phrase used to push consumers into taking action. It is more a psychological trick to create a sense of urgency than an opportunity to build a relationship with the consumer. With XAPP Ads, “Call Now” becomes a pull by consumers. They make the choice based on the offer and say, “Call Now” and the phone automatically dials the number. This involves lower friction in the conversion process and creates a superior consumer experience. The reduced friction and immediacy increases the number of interested consumers that engage with the advertised offer.

It is hard to gain the attention of consumers. Depending on which source you cite, consumers are exposed to either several hundred or several thousand ads per day. When your add does break through the clutter, it should facilitate a fast and simple way for consumers to engage. XAPP Ads were designed to reduce friction and make it easier for radio listeners to connect with brand offers. Consumers no longer need to think, “I want that. What the heck’s the number?” They can simply say, “Call Now,” and be connected automatically. That kind of conversion is simple, spontaneous and convenient.

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