Attention, the future of audio, and a legendary music artist

Attention, the future of audio, and a legendary music artist

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Radiocentre’s Lucy Barrett reveals what can be expected at the Tuning In, from Mel C and sneak previews of research to attention in radio and innovative campaigns.

If there is one thing most people in marketing know, it’s that radio is a really cost effective medium. If you want to hit a large audience quickly, then radio, broadcasting to millions of listeners every day for a fraction of the price of TV, is a great choice. Those that know, also appreciate what it does for brands in both brand building and short term response.

But as radio is constantly evolving, it’s never a bad thing to check in every once in a while to learn something new and see what new possibilities radio offers advertisers and what the future holds.

Radiocentre’s annual conference Tuning In (which is free to sign up to) will give brands and agencies the opportunity to hear about some very specific themes. Over the last few years we have seen an audio revolution, or ‘Sonic Boom’ as we are calling it for the purpose of Tuning In 2022.

The morning event at Kings Place will cover many different topics including the pertinent debate around attention, why radio is a force for good in society and its effectiveness in creating and converting demand for brands.

What can you expect at Tuning In?

Firstly, it will be a chance for our members and advertisers to hear from Radiocentre’s new chief executive Matt Payton. No stranger to radio or Radiocentre, Matt will set up the morning with his vision for the industry body under his tenure.

Radio is generally a feel-good medium. It’s also highly trusted which means it’s not only a great place for listeners to hear news, but also for advertisers to get their cause related strategies to a wide audience.

You will hear from HSBC’s head of brand marketing, Sarah Mayall, and creative director of Wunderman Thompson, Mike Watson, on how the bank used radio to raise awareness of its pledge to help the homeless get out of the vicious circle that comes with having no fixed address or bank account.

We know radio accompanies many different tasks throughout the day requiring the listener to do nothing more than listen, but does that mean ads don’t get heard? Of course not. But it will be interesting to hear James Parnum from Mediacom’s view and get insight from Global’s legendary creative director, Jo McCrostie, and group strategy director, Ailsa MacKenzie, on the topic of attention and how radio fits in the debate.

Magic is one of the biggest radio brands in the UK and the audience will hear from the breakfast show’s new sponsor On The Beach. Marketing director Steve Seddon will be joined by the stars of the show Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott alongside Bauer’s chief content officer, Lucie Cave, where the four will look at the impact of communicating beyond the spot.

As I have already said, radio never stops moving forward and evolving, so with that in mind we will hear from Laurence Harrison, Radioplayer’s director of automotive partnerships.

We sat down with him a few weeks ago and from what he shared with us, we were left in no doubt the audience will want to hear what Radioplayer is working on to ensure radio keeps its rightful place on the dashboards of cars.

We have also got a new fast paced session, The Future Four, focussing on what you need to be thinking about next year and beyond in the world of audio. I won’t give too much away but the speakers will leave you feeling invigorated about the future possibilities of audio.

Radiocentre’s much admired and awarded planning director, Mark Barber, is going to give the audience some early findings from our next piece of research. Generation Audio will be an in-depth follow up of Audio Now, which looked at the need states delivered by different types of audio and lessons for advertisers.

It’s been eight years since that research came out and a lot has changed in the audio sector since, so this session will explore how radio fits with the wider commercial audio landscape. He will be on the stage to give you a sneak preview before the full launch later this year.

And finally, one must never forget just how much radio accounts for new music discovery. It is by far the biggest way to hear news songs, discover new artists and hear a song you haven’t heard in a while.

Remember the Spice Girls? Who could forget them. Melanie C will be here to talk to Scala Radio’s Angellica Bell about her career, how radio launched the iconic group with massive success (surely everyone remembers where they were when they first heard “Wannabe”) and what she thinks of the role of radio a quarter of a century later.

If this has made you as excited as I am, then sign up here.

Lucy Barrett is client director at industry body Radiocentre and the first president of the World Radio Alliance.

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