There’s a wealth of free research data out there we can use to help us make educated media choices.  It’s time we stopped taking it for granted.

Last week, on Wednesday 17th November, Trisonic’s Howard Bareham attended Radiocentre’s annual industry event ‘Tuning In’. Amongst the sessions, the new Radiocentre Chief Executive Ian Moss gave us his view on the radio industry, and told us how Radiocentre is lobbying the Government to make sure that radio is still free to air across all digital platforms; From Bauer, how Kiss are ensuring they still connect with younger audiences through their content; From Global on how they are leveraging their total audio portfolio, mixing radio and podcast activity for the benefit of advertisers.

We also heard from Tara Wilkinson, Head of Insight at the Radiocentre, who gave an update on the latest research project ‘The Big Audio Data Mine’, which has been compiled from Radiogauge data.


For those that don’t know, Radiogauge is one of the radio industry’s longest-running research initiatives. Launched in 2008 and funded by the commercial radio industry, it is a radio campaign effectiveness measurement tool designed to help advertisers understand the effect of their radio campaigns.  Metrics include: Ad Awareness, Brand Relevance and Purchase consideration. The study has a wealth of data, and since launch 1002 campaigns have been analysed from 463 individual brands.

Howard said “It was this session that highlighted what a wealth of ‘free’ data and resources we have at our fingertips. Not just across the radio and audio sector, but all media sectors, and I am wondering whether Agencies and Advertisers truly appreciate it all.  Having been in the media industry for a while, I know that this wasn’t always the case”.

Mine of Information

Commercial Radio was the first to lead the way with the formation of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in 1992.  The RAB was the forerunner of Radiocentre and this model has replicated by other media sectors such as Thinkbox for TV, Newsworks for Press, and the IAB for Digital.

You’ll find that these bodies provide a mine of information which is getting ever more sophisticated, offering valuable data for agencies and advertisers. They run training courses, put on events, and give awards which encourage and celebrate best media practice.

Added to this is the general approach to each sector’s marketing efforts. Of course, we all know what the relationship is, and they are funded by the commercial sectors they represent, with the obvious motivation to grow each sector. However, if Howard’s considerable experience of the RAB/Radiocentre is anything to go by, he believes each body has always had an open and honest approach to promoting the industry and putting each medium in context. For example, they draw on some top independent companies to help deliver research projects. “Ultimately, of course”, Howard said “it’s up to each agency or advertiser to make their own judgment on their media selection, but the data each of these bodies (alongside other sources) provides us with allows us to make educated choices”.

In today’s media landscape, this level of data and resources is expected and has become the norm. At times, this can lead us into taking them and the teams that work at them for granted.

These trade bodies are now part of the established media eco system.  So let us appreciate what they offer, use their services, and support their events.

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