Targeting Millennials: Radio Advertising Spotlight

Category: Radio Advertising

Estimated time: 50 minutes


They are the first group to be raised during the dawn of the “digital era”, meaning they receive and process information in different ways than generations before them. Still, as you’ll read in this module, some things still remain the same.

About 67 million 18-34 year-olds listen to the radio every week – and they listen for more than 11 hours during that seven-day span! Don’t believe for a second that radio isn’t as popular with young professionals as it used to be. This module will help you put radio advertising into context for a target audience that consists primarily of Millenials.


It’s clear that Millennials use radio to stay connected to the outside world and remain up-to-date on all things new. They listen to it in their cars and at home, and they take it with them wherever they go. Think about that as you advertise your product or service going forward. From podcasts to digital streaming, radio is very much alive and well – and preferred by millenials. This module is aimed to help you:

  • Understand the 3 best ways to market to millennials
  • Analyze the importance of using radio for marketing to target millenials
  • Formulate strategies to reach out to a millennial audience using radio ads


  • Millennial Psychology
  • Overview of different advertising channels
  • Cost Considerations and Feasibility of Different Advertising Channels


Understand the 3 best ways to market to millennials


Millennials are a generation of digital and even real life explorers. In order to catch and keep their attention you would have to market to them with focussed marketing strategies. Here are our top tips for roping in a millennial audience, both with radio advertising and otherwise.

Greater Focus on Personalization and Engagement

We are in the midst of a device war. Marketers are trying to determine the platforms to dominate consumer attention and lifestyle over the next 5-10 years. Importantly, Mobile will continue to dominate their attention, so remember that Millennials will swipe left on you faster than an “Oh Hell Naw!” if you don’t make their lives easier – and more entertaining. Innovation of the digital experience is required.

Reimagining the Brand Experience

Millenials are savvy consumers of content. They have to be! There is so much advertising noise in the digital sphere that unless you create an authentic, informative, useful or entertaining brand experience, it can be difficult to catch and hold their attention. Ad a brand, you want to take your millennial audience on a visual journey to experience your products, processes, internal and external communications, sometimes even provide training or consumer education. Basically, you want to  give them memorable experiences online and in real life!

Creating and Nurturing Like-Minded Communities

Interactive experiences such as radio conversations or even meetups provide a real-life connection that no online community ever can, providing a physical interaction over a digital one. In an increasingly digital world, it seems community has a deep appeal for millennials.


Analyze the importance of using radio for marketing to target millenials


While radio is still a popular medium, advertisers also need to realize that the current generation does not just stay on one station all the time. Many of them change their likes on a consistent basis – it may be based on time of day, their mood, tastes etc. This means advertisers should consider putting their radio spots on multiple channels in order to cast the widest net possible. Casting a wide net is not enough though, marketers need to start general and then hone in on specifics. After picking a few appropriate stations, the smart marketing strategy would be to then cater or customize the commercial to that particular radio station. This will build loyalty among the station’s listeners.

Since millennials may not sit through the entire radio spot your goal is to get your advertisement in first during the radio spot line up. You can also try to make the lead-in line super-compelling to try to keep the millennial from changing stations or going out of earshot. You want to entertain and inform – quickly! Since loyalty may be a hit and miss with millennials, you would need to find a way to keep them interested on a consistent basis. These are just a few of the special considerations that you as a business owner need to keep in mind when trying to advertise to this fickle age group.

Millennials prefer to be engaged. Many claim that they do not like to sit idly by and not do anything. Gone are the days of talking “at” people to entertain them. These days people are talking about immersive experiences and CTAs. To make your ads more interactive, you can set up remote radio broadcasts with the local radio station and invite people over. A recent Neilsen study talked about how over 30% of millennials say that they get excited with remote broadcasts and may go to a website or even physical location (say, restaurants) based on such ads. This is a wonderful way to get people to your location.


List five ideas for radio advertising content that would help an online retail clothing store target millenials.


Formulate strategies to reach out to a millennial audience using radio ads.


Each week, 93% of Millennials (or more than 62 million of them) spend over 2.5 hours per day listening to radio. That’s more than even a year ago. Or any time in history!

Here’s how to put this phenomenal medium to work for you to reach Millennials.

Think connections

Use radio stations to take your message straight to the listeners. Stations have huge fan clubs, opt-in databases, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers—and an unbelievable number of listeners who will show up to have fun.

Use the friend factor

Most listeners—especially Millennials—feel as if radio personalities are friends. They friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and, most of all, they listen to them consistently every week, sometimes every day. Listeners trust these people. They know them.

Take it off the air

Create your own event or happening that profiles your product/service, and promote it with and via radio stations. The CW (which knows how to use radio to move its core audience of Millennials)

Create in-programming placement opportunities

Think outside the spots. For example, a jewelry store might team with a radio station for a Valentine’s Day promotion asking people to submit a song suggestion for their valentine via text, Facebook, Twitter, or the station’s website. Listeners can see the list and vote, and encourage their friends to also vote for their songs. The station then plays the top 10 selections on Valentine’s Day to accompany dinner. All of it brought to listeners by the jewelry store.

Do great spots that have a great tagline

There are apps for everything, and several let listeners vote on the commercials that are running on-air and then discuss them on the station’s website, Facebook fan page, and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to encourage the stations’ listeners to give you direct feedback on your commercials.


Imagine you are the head marketer for an online health food store looking to advertise on radio with a millennial target audience. Come up with a strong call to action for your audience and medium.


Look at the Health Food Store Activity. You already have the CTA. Now, create an entire marketing plan for your radio campaign, including budget, goal and audience research. Bonus points if you can speak to an actual media channel partner (or Gainbuzz!) to get a real costing plan for your budget section.



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