BlogPageWelcome to my blog -- Grace's Rantings

I have made a study of human communication -- interpersonal as well as mass media.  I am intrigued by tremendous changes in human interaction in recent years.  The computer, Internet, smart phones and social media have dramatically changed the way we interact with each other.  Human discourse hasn't changed, but the mediums by which we communicate have..."and that has made all the difference".


Please share your thoughts and join in the discussion. I welcome your input and comments!


Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

There is some confusion around the terms Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing.  They may sound similar but they are very different.  Outbound Marketing is what we are all exposed to daily – TV and radio ads, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, ads on billboards, placemats, pizza boxes, etc.  Advertisers buy these ads based on the number of impressions (eyeballs) the ad is expected to deliver. This is the advertising of “the glory days” of advertising portrayed in the series, Mad Men.  

The ads are pushed out to the consumer regardless of what he is doing. They are interruptive. They interrupt the consumer while they are watching a favorite TV program, reading an article, or driving along the highway. Advertisers hope their ad is seen: That the consumer isn’t in the kitchen getting a snack during the ad; that his newspaper doesn’t get thrown into the neighbor’s bushes that day, or that he didn’t take an alternate route to work! (To compensate for these eventualities, advertisers buy lots and lots of ads hoping that some of them get seen, as anyone who watches television knows all too well!)

Inbound Marketing on the other hand is the future of marketing and advertising.  It fulfills the promise  of advertising made years ago -- Deliver the advertising message to people looking for the information and not to those who aren’t.  John Wanamaker famously said,

"Half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half."

John Wannamaker (1838-1922)

Inbound Marketing such as Google Ad Words enable an advertiser to not waste their advertising budget.  These ads deliver an advertiser’s message to consumers when they are seeking information.  These ads are seen  and are actionable because rather than interrupting he consumer, they are answering his call for help.  For example, a local appliance store can run their ad for refrigerators just to people who query Google about refrigerators (and they only pay Goggle when someone clicks on their ad and goes to the appliance store’s website.) Compare this to outbound marketing where the store runs an ad during the local news, a prime time TV show or on a favorite radio station.  Sure, some people who are exposed to the ad will be in the market for a refrigerator, but the vast majority of those who see the ad are not likely buyers.  They represent the wasted dollars.

That being said, there is still a place for outbound marketing, especially for branding an advertiser and delivering a message to many people quickly.  They key is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

AM/FM Radio, Satellite and Internet Radio

I have always been a loyal radio listener.  I have had my favorite stations through the years.  Growing up in New Jersey, it was WNEW-FM.  When I moved to New Hampshire, WBCN-FM took over as my top stations, and as formats changed (and I grew older), it became WXRV-FM, The River.  

But, I must confess, for over 10 years I have been an avid XM Satellite Radio listener.  I still listen to the same formats (Classic Vinyl, Deek Tracks and The Spectrum are my go to stations), I just do so without the chatter and commercials.  I am just amazed that everyone doesn't subscribe to Satellite Radio!  I don't find the $14.99 per month onerous.  However, it seems that  most people do.   According to Pew Research, good ol' AM/FM radio is still the standard.  

  • 91% of all people aged 12+ in the US listen to AM/FM radio. This is down just slightly from 96% in 2001.  
  • 236 million people listen to AM/FM terrestrial radio on a daily basis!  
  • By comparison, SiriusXM has 29 million listeners in the US (up only 3.8% from 2008)

And so, while it has its fans (myself included), Satellite Radio currently is not a big threat to terrestrial radio.


However, Internet Radio may very well be.  Internet radio (including on-line stations, Pandora, Spotify and even the SiriusXM has an Internet radio service) is growing rapidly.  A study by Edison Research reports that:

  • Online radio reaches 94 million listeners weekly.  
  • In 2003 only 8% of the population listened to online radio.  
  • In 2014 this jumped to 36% -- A 350% increase in listenership!

While 94 million is only 40% of AM/FM's 236 million, more revealing is the demographics on on-line radio listenership: 

  • 36% of all adults listen to online radio,but
  • 64% of those aged 12-24 listen to online radio
  • 37% of adults aged 25-54 listen to online radio
  • 13% of older adults aged 55+ listen to online radio

Obviously this will become a situation for terrestrial radio in the not so distant future.

And while most radio listening occurs in the car -- 42%, this is not necessarily going to help AM/FM radio stations.

Cars are beginning to come equiped with Internet connectivity.  Yet, even without Internet ready cars, on-line listenership in cars via cell phones is also on the rise.  

  • In 2010 only 6% of online listeners in cars did so via cell phones
  • In 2014 this jumped to 26%


  • 43% of persons aged 12-24 listen to online radio in the car through their cell phone
  • 27% of adults 25-54 do so, and only
  • 10% of older adults 55+ listen to online radio in their car via their cell phone

Radio listenership is changing rapidly and this is not a positive trend for good ol' AM/FM radio.

While video didn't kill radio, online services may very well do it.




For additional reading:

Radio Should Get 20% of Budgets, ROI Analysis Shows

The following is a guest post from Richard Brody, a colleague and a thirty-plus year veteran of richard brodythe industry including radio, event marketing, in-store audio, airport audio, magazine, and digital.  Past winner of the Rad Report for Boston Media Sales, as well as a past winner of the NEBA Award for Boston Media Sales.




Radio Should Get 20% of Budgets, ROI Analysis Shows

Despite noteworthy differences, such as the dominance of public broadcaster BBC, there are plenty of commonalities between U.S. and U.K. radio.  In both countries radio is used by roughly 90% of the population each week with FM/AM the dominant audio medium in terms of time spent listening.  So when a U.K. study shows strong correlation between radio ads and shopper behavior, it’s reason for American broadcasters to take notice.

Using IPA Databank figures, the analysis by the U.K.’s Radio Advertising Bureau points to an eight-to-one return on investment for marketers who use radio.  That’s in line with a study done by the trade group a year ago suggesting a 7.7 return and just above the six-to-one ROI measure for radio pegged by Nielsen earlier this year in the U.S.   “The data here indicates that including radio in the mix significantly increases the effect on the client’s profits and margins,” concludes Les Binet, head of effectiveness at ad agency Adam & Eve DDB, in the study.

But an even bigger conclusion addresses radio’s place in the overall media landscape.  When all the numbers are crunched, the report says rather than its current single-digit share of revenue, radio should get 20% of advertising budgets if marketers truly want to boost their campaign’s ROI.  “Audio can play an important role not just in ‘activation’ campaigns but also in longer-term brand-building activity, making it a highly valuable medium and something which advertisers should not undervalue,” Binet says.

The study also suggests more radio commercials include musical elements, estimating they can increase intent to purchase and boost actual sales effects by 10% to 30%.    “Music increases attention to advertising and makes people more likely to recall the ad, the brand and the message,” it says.

Read the full report HERE

New Website

If you have visited my blog and/or website in the past you will see that I have had it updated.  Please let me know what you think.

In addition to some new information and new photos it is now mobile friendly too -- a must for today's world. 

Mobile has become a force to be recconed with as smart phone use has skyrocketed and continues to grow.  In 2010 there were 62.6 million smartphone users in the US; in 2013 144.5 million, and Statista projects that by 2018, smart phone usage will hit 220 million.

More people are now using mobile apps to surf the internet than are using their PCs.  I guess it is true that we cannot be away from our phones!  I know I am constantly checking my phone, for e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, the weather, the time, and yes, for Words with  Friends! And I am not alone...

I came across this information on the top Smartphone apps from a May 2014 report from comScore.  It shows that Facebook reaches 76.4% of all smartphone users, Pandora 47.6% etc.

Top 15 Smartphone Apps, May 2014
Total U.S. Smartphone Mobile Media Users, Age 18+ (iOS and Android Platforms)
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix
  Top 15 Apps % Reach
      Smartphone App Audience 100.0%
1     Facebook (Mobile App) 76.4%
2     Google Play (Mobile App) 51.8%
3     YouTube (Mobile App) 51.7%
4     Google Search (Mobile App) 49.2%
5     Pandora Radio (Mobile App) 47.6%
6     Google Maps (Mobile App) 44.3%
7     Gmail (Mobile App) 42.2%
8     Instagram (Mobile App) 32.0%
9     Yahoo Stocks (Mobile App) 28.9%
10     Facebook Messenger (Mobile App) 27.5%
11     Yahoo Weather Widget (Mobile App) 26.0%
12     Apple Maps (Mobile App) 25.3%
13     Twitter (Mobile App) 23.0%
14     Google+ (Mobile App) 22.5%
15     iTunes Radio/iCloud (Mobile App) 21.6%


 How about you, what are your favorite apps? 

Millennials and Television

Television is still king among Millennials...but perhaps not for long...


I read an interesting report from Adroit Digital on Millennials and brand loyalty. (You can download it here). Millennials are indeed brand loyal and a vital demographic for marketers as they are the largest demographic in US History numbering 80 million.

What I found interesting is that:

70% of Millennials say that television is the medium with the most influence on how they perceive a brand.  Pretty good for television, right?

But 60% of Millennials (and 66% of Millennial Women) said that social media was the most influential medium for them.  It won't be long before social media overtakes television as the most influential medium.

As for other mediums,

Online Display Advertising was the most influential for 42% of Millennials (but 66% for the younger 18-25 year olds!),

Online video was most influential for 39%, and

Mobile for 33% of Millennials

What about other traditional media?  Magazines came in at 31%, Radio 21% and Billboards 21%.  Print wasn't even included in the survey!!  Now that is saying something.

E-Reader vs. Book?

I saw this cartoon on Facebook and thought it was very funny.  Old school triumphing over new school!   But I must admit that I am one of those people who love reading on my kindle.  I wouldn't part with it.  I am also one of those people who try to convince everyone of the convenience and ease of reading on a kindle. 


However, I wasn't always a e-book reader.  As a matter of fact, I started out as one of those people who kept saying, "I love books; I love touching them, smelling them.  I love seeing the book spines lined on on the book shelf."

But after moving boxes and boxes of these lovely books around with me over the years, and ending up with much less space to display them, I am down to a small bookcase of only the books I truly love (mostly fantasy series), and a box of children's books in my basement that I couldn't part with.  However I now have many, many books stored on my kindle.  And with the kindle app on my phone, I always have access to my books.  When I find myself with some time to spare, I don't have to say, "Oh I wish I had my book".  It is always handy!

What is your preference e-reader or paper book?  And if you say book, have you ever tried reading on a kindle (or Nook or I-pad, etc?)

Radio is Everywhere

If you know me, or have been following this blog, you know I am a proponent of radio.  I've written on the reported demise of radio and the strength of radio.

I recently came upon some statistics from Nielsen's Audio today report from February 2014.  It seems that:

  • Over 92% of all persons age 12+ in the US, listen to radio each week -- over 242 million people.
  • Radio listeners, listen for more than 2 1/2 hours every day.
  • The majority of radio listeners (over 67%) are employed full time, and the majority of listening is away from home.
  • 65.2 million Millenials (90%) listen to radio each week.

What are your thoughts and experiences with radio?  When do you listen?  What do you listen to?

Media Habits of Millennials

Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are those young adults born sometime between the early 1980’s and the early 1990’s.  These 23-33 year olds are becoming more and more influential; they are starting their careers and families, and they will soon be the driving force in the population.

The media habits of Millennials are drastically different from young adults a generation ago.  According to a report in a recent edition of Inside Radio, 30% of Millennials daily media time is primarily spent with user-generated content (UGC).  UGC wasn’t even invented a generation ago!  According to Wikipedia, UGC is defined as including (but not limited to) digital videobloggingpodcastingforums, review-sites, social networkingsocial mediamobile phone photography and wikis.

Traditional media like television and radio only consume 10% and 7% of Millennials' media time respectively:

Medium % of Daily Media Time
User Generated Copy (UGC) 30%
Surfing the Internet 20%
Watching TV 10%
Playing Computer or Video Games 10%
Radio 7%

Not surprisingly, 71% of Millennials use social media on a daily basis, compared to 60% who report watching live TV and 53% who listen to radio daily; (this radio figure includes both broadcast and streaming).  And while 37% visit a news site online, only 18% read a print publication.

Millennials also report finding user generated copy 35% more memorable than other media sources, and 40% more trustworthy.

As we move forward, it is clear that traditional media’s audience and influence will continue to slip in favor of digital video, blogs, review sites, social media, photo sharing sites and whatever newer platforms arise.  Oh yeah, the times they are a changin’

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