Next in our series on the best advertising channels to reach your target audience, TACK10 will look at the benefits and drawbacks of radio advertising for small and medium businesses. A more traditional medium that has seen stagnant sales over the past five years, will radio advertising drive measurable return on investment and increase sales of your product or service? Read on for our assessment.


  • Radio remains a strong advertising channel for local businesses with limited geographic distribution due to the desire people have to keep up with local news and events.
  • Special interest channels can help small businesses target audiences that have aligned interests.
  • Radio advertisements can be produced and deployed very quickly, which means that businesses can take advantage of trends and news in a way that print and television advertising doesn’t allow for.


  • Level of attention or lack thereof. People often listen to the radio when they are getting ready for work, commuting or as background noise while doing different tasks. As a result, the messages they hear aren’t internalized.
  • Lack of immediate action. Because people often listen to radio while completing a variety of other priority tasks, there isn’t the ability to take immediate action when an brand message piques their interest. This is a barrier to the action ever taking place, despite the best of intentions.

Who can benefit from Radio Advertising?

Radio advertising could be a top option for:

  • Businesses advertising in smaller markets where there is a local radio station

Radio Advertising Hack

Figure out the best station to reach your target audience and reach out to them about doing a regular branded content. By attaching a personality to your brand, you can build a relationship with the audience and much higher engagement than traditional 30 and 60 second commercials. Tom’s Place’s Tom Mihalik has a regular spot on Newstalk 1010 where he talks, yes, about upcoming promotions at his Toronto menswear store but also engages in dialogue related to current news and events. He has a strong personality and love him or hate him we would put money that if you commute into Toronto in the mornings and listen to Newstalk 1010 your brand awareness of Tom’s Place is far higher than it would be otherwise for this two location brand.

TACK10 thoughts on Radio as an advertising channel

Like other interruptive advertising mediums, radio is less relevant than it once was. More and more, people are migrating to satellite radio and streaming services. This means the audience size is on the decline. The only brands we would recommend leverage radio advertising are those that have a regional focus and businesses that have a strong existing personality or are looking to build a personality attached to their brands.