Turn it up
Astral Radio’s 15 million listeners know they are getting the best in music, news, and sports. And because of an award-wining media innovation, advertisers on Astral’s 83 radio stations nationwide also know exactly the value of their campaign.
As one of Canada’s largest and most dynamic media companies, Astral Media operates in over 100 of Canada’s best pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties. The company, celebrating its 50th year, can be defined for its flexibility and ability to respond to market changes and demands.
CBJ spoke to Mario Cecchini, Senior VicePresident, Sales and Marketing, about Astral Media’s foray into radio, and its coast-to-coast unique guarantee to advertising clients.
“Astral is an example of reinventing itself, where we make crucial decisions at key periods of time,” says Cecchini. “An example of this is when the company decided to shift focus off photography and to invest in media. In 1998, Astral was not selling one dollar of advertising. Thirteen years later we are selling more than $600 million.”
The driving principles in all Astral investments are transparency, agility, honesty and accountability, the same four pillars that are most attractive to advertisers. What draws in advertisers, and what advertisers pay for, is an audience and the potential to reach a large demographic. Astral’s cross-country reach is uncontested.
In October, Astral announced it will guarantee GRPs purchased by advertisers and agencies in PPM-surveyed markets in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This makes Astral the first and only radio broadcaster to make a guarantee on return on investment.
“Trust—of our clients and in our product—is paramount at Astral Radio,” says Cecchini. “Our objective is to deliver results; making our clients’ lives easy, providing agility and accountability. We believe we are reinforcing the fact that you can buy from east to west, British Columbia to Nova Scotia.
“Our goal is to exceed expectations and ensure that our partner agencies and advertisers always get the results they paid for with Astral Radio. The move to PPM measurement in the Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal markets makes us even more confident of our ability to guarantee radio campaigns for our clients,” said Cecchini.
In a time of economic constriction, this guarantee gives advertisers the most value out of their campaigns. “We want to be proactive and innovative and finally give the market what it deserves,” says Cecchini.
Through Astral Radio, advertisers are also able to adjust the campaign with a week’s notice, instead of two which is industry standard. “This seems like a small gesture, but it was appreciated by the community because it recognized agility in a context that is always changing,” says Cecchini. “Agencies don’t have time to sit and wait to adjust a campaign if it’s not working—it has to work now—and now they know at least they can count on us.”
Astral Radio is also launching a player application which has new marketing aspects, a return on investment initiative that will work in conjunction with agencies to define the metrics even more that we need to have in radio, web and mobility to build a good campaign.
“This is meant to go to clients to help them make quicker decisions. The vision for me was being able to introduce these new ways, new tools, and to reinvent.”
Having worked on the best way to guarantee the penetration and recall, Cecchini is “very happy” to be rolling it out. “This will enhance the transactional process,” he says. “The client doesn’t lose, which is a winning strategy for us.”