Radio reaches the busy people on the move, who are generally the best prospects for everything.

Recency has become the buzz word of big agencies all over America, and it’s on the lips of marketing VIPs at mega-marketing Motors Recency such as is timing your advertising message to reach people at the moment they’re actually in the buying cycle for your product or service.

Erwin Ephron, the father of the concept of recency, says it best – “Recency is a very simple idea. It’s the thought that advertising works on influencing the brand selected by people who are ready to buy the product.” Erwin also states that in a very short time, less than three years, it’s replaced effective frequency as our model of how advertising works for products.

Erwin is a partner at Ephron, Papazian & Ephron, Inc., a Manhattan based consulting group. He is past president of both the Media Directors’ Council and the Agency Media Research Director Council.

Erwin is best known for his current work on Recency Media Planning (with Professor John Jones of Syracuse University), which looked at the timing of advertising messages as the key to their effectiveness.

Erwin feels advertisers and agencies are moving away from the old “three plus optimal frequency and moving towards the concept of recency. He believes that there’s a window of opportunity between the predisposition to purchase and the purchase itself. Advertising’s job is to influence the purchase. Media’s job is to put the message in the window, closest to the point of purchase.

The accent on Recency Planning is on reach, not frequency.
At first blush, those of us in Radio gulped when they said reach is in, frequency is out. To the contrary, recency can be an enormous boom for Radio. They pick Radio right in the middle of its strike zone. Obviously the medium closest to the point of purchase is Radio. In the reach department, Radio exceeds both TV and newspapers. Much of the research on recency came from a 1995 study for the Radio networks by Statistical Research Inc. of Westfield, New Jersey. The following is a partial recap of the study: When people are getting ready for the day, Radio is the medium of choice, over TV. When housework is being done in the home, Radio is the choice medium by a wide margin. When a computer is being used, more than a quarter of all Radio listeners turn on the Radio … as opposed to less than five percent of all TV watchers who turn on their TVs. When traveling on a shopping trip, to and from stores, Radio overwhelms TV as the media of choice.

The bottom line: Radio reaches the busy people on the move, who are generally the best prospects for everything. Radio has the unique advantage that it can sell all the way to the point of purchase. It’s incumbent on us, in Radio, to keep driving home the automobile advantage. Yes, it’s really true -“An Automobile is a Radio With Four Wheels.”