Chapter 20

Radio Regains Its Magic

Hugues Jean, Hearst Radio Baltimore’s general sales manager, had envisioned successes such as its text-in contest ever since he was sold on mobile and Hipcricket in 2006.

“There is something very unique about radio,” he says. “We know we are probably the only medium [reaching consumers] in drive time. What was very interesting with this advertiser was that they were reminding folks about their cars while they were sitting in the middle of traffic. They were targeting drivers in drive time, morning and afternoon drive, and you had to RSVP.

“In this area, we have one of the longest commute times, lot of traffic. We took advantage of that with radio and mobile and the concept itself. On the day of event, we used a push element—sending text messages to remind people to show up. The results were a very, very successful day for this car dealer.”

The results were arguably even more impressive than the 680,000 cars that were sold at a reduced price during the government-subsidized Cash for Clunkers program.

Key Takeaways

  • A radio promotion was the ideal vehicle for an auto dealer aiming to reach prospective buyers in drive time.
  • The dealer’s aim was to bring prospects to the car lot—300 was a large number and great return on investment (ROI) given the cost of the radio spot.
  • This program proved that mobile could provide ROI even in a recession.

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