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BLOG: Small business advertising on music platforms

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By Jennifer Karpus, Tire Business

AKRON — The April 13 Tire Business print issue has a focus on the business side of a tire dealership, touching on various technologies that have changed the tire distribution and service industry.

One of the stories featured in the issue is about Jason Dorsey, a Millennial speaker and researcher, who speaks about how tire dealerships that aren’t catering to their Millennial customers could be missing a lot of potential loyal customers.

It is definitely a story worth checking out, but for this blog, I am going to focus on one tidbit of information. If a Millennial refuses to adapt to workplace rules or is not working to the standard they need to be, an employer has the right to let them go. However, as a tire dealer or anyone in the service industry, if you don’t adapt to them, you are missing the chance at loyal customers.

If you are not selling to Millennials — in the way they want to be sold to — then you miss out. They have no reason to adapt to your needs in the marketplace.

Speaking of which, part of this is targeting them in the ways they access information. I have been doing research on how local businesses can advertise and use music platforms, such as Pandora or Spotify, because I think it’s a market tire dealers can benefit from. In case you are unfamiliar with them, these sites allow patrons to stream music online without paying for it. While you can pay a fee to use the services without hearing the ads, I don’t know anyone who does this.

I started thinking about it as I was listening and, every few songs, I would hear a short advertisement. Do you want to take a guess at what kept getting stuck in my head? It was not the songs I was listening to, but it was the commercial. Why? It was something different than the music. It was words and often, it was playing more than once so it was a repeated message.

I became inspired with trying to help out tire dealers utilize this type of advertising, so I reached out to Pandora and conducted an email interview with Andy Lipset, vice president, local and national broadcast at Pandora Media Inc. He was such a great resource of information about how and why tire dealers could — and should — think about this type of advertising.

Andy Lipset
Andy Lipset, VP, Local and National Broadcast at Pandora

Check out the interview:

JK: In the world of online and social media advertising, what are some of the advantages to using Pandora advertising for a small business?

AL: For any business, regardless of size, a primary focus today has to be about grabbing the attention of a potential customer in a world where we are all exposed to thousands of messages every day. Technology advancements have made this more challenging for marketers and research shows that you have essentially 8 seconds to grab the attention of a consumer — or you’ve lost them. Pandora’s entire advertising platform has been built upon engagement — earning the attention of our listeners, not only through an incredible personalized music experience, but also in an advertising environment that is uncluttered, clean, and where our client’s messaging is brought to the forefront when our listeners are at full attention.

JK: One question I know I get from readers is how these big national sites can cater to a specific geographic location to really benefit local businesses. How does Pandora go about doing this?

AL: In order to geographically target in a meaningful way, you need to first have national scale. With 80+ million active listeners every month, we have that scale. But when you break down that national listenership into markets, you find that we have the audience size of top rated radio stations in the top 100 markets. We target listenership in MSAs or DMAs by using our first-party registration data that we ask every Pandora listener to give us when they first sign-up. In addition to age and gender, we also ask for the listener’s zip code, allowing us to precisely target this large national audience into much more granular chunks when we want to target locally.

JK: What are the demographics for Pandora? In the event that a business is looking to reach a targeted audience, how would they go about doing that?

AL: We reach specific demographics the same way we reach listeners in geographic areas, and that is by our registration data. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of what is inherent in buying media on traditional radio or television. Since we ask for the listener’s age and gender when they first register with Pandora, an advertiser no longer has to make an assumption or a best guess that a customer who is listening to a radio station or watching a show on television is of a certain age. Additionally, we have more than 250 targeting segments that we work on with third-party data partners and we’ve built approximately 15 proprietary segments for targeting. You hear a lot about data and how important it is in the media mix. Pandora is sitting on a ton of it, and our advertisers are benefiting greatly from it, because it allows us to narrowly focus and target better for our clients.

JK: Anything else to add?

AL: We are working with many tire retailers in local markets across the country — from retailers that have one location to others that have well over 400 stores, but still want their media delivered in individual markets.

These tire retailers are finding that not only does our data allow them to narrowly focus and bring them the right consumer within their target, but with the huge amount of Pandora listeners on mobile, it also allows us to help the retailers reach listeners when they are on the go, wherever they are. Pandora listeners are actually going into these retailers’ locations saying that, “I heard (or saw) your ad on Pandora” — and it not only validates engagement, but also ROI for advertising with us.

The tire category is one that we are seeing a large amount of growth in — both from new advertisers who are trying us for the first time — and from current clients who are renewing with us at larger levels year-over-year because our product works for them.

JK: If a company wanted to reach out to do this, is there someone there that can be contacted?

AL: Absolutely!  They can go to and click on “Advertise with Us.”


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