Sponsorship Blog

Immeasurable Returns (The Invisible ROI, #1)

The Invisible ROI

Everyone wants to see a measurable return on their investment, whether investing time, energy or capital. But, let’s be frank: some things are immeasurable. You would never consider, for example, applying ROI to your relationship with your spouse, children or closest friends, would you?

It’s also more difficult than you might think to determine the returns on your marketing investments.  Many platforms would have you believe that the higher number of impressions, views or clicks equal a more effective marketing campaign.

This is not necessarily so.

Andy Frawley, CEO of Epsilon, came up with a formula that is a better fit for measuring marketing effectiveness than ROI: ROE2 = return on experience x engagement.  Frawley contends that ROI overlooks some important elements in marketing campaigns, primarily emotion.

How consumers feel about a brand greatly impacts how well a marketing campaign works, and also controls brand loyalty.

As noted by Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media, “This goes to the heart of why consumers often favor brands even where price points are less competitive, and barriers are higher. But the payback is the brand experience. We pay more and even stand in longer lines at Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Apple Stores. We tend to forgive them when they stub their toe by coming out with a product that is perhaps not up to their standards.  The benefit is in knowing these brands know you.”

Apple fans will stand up for the brand in online forums, will stand in line for the latest product, will stand through failures and mistakes – Apple fans have, essentially, become a branding tool for Apple.

How do you get that same loyalty? You build relationships.

That’s what we’ll be talking about in the Invisible ROI series – stay tuned!

Click on “The Invisible ROI” under categories to see other articles on this topic.

Be Seen! Make michiganradio.org Part of Your Plan

Michigan Radio’s digital assets are becoming increasingly more important to our sponsors’ marketing strategies.

If you aren’t already utilizing Michigan Radio Digital Sponsorship to gain traction with our audience, take a look at the unique benefits this investment offers:

  • Measurable – Your webtile on michiganradio.org is trackable!  You can measure engagement though your website’s analytics by designating a specific landing page or by tracking traffic from michiganradio.org.

  • Visual – Your digital sponsorship allows you to connect a graphic representation of your organization to your radio message. In addition to telling our audience what you’re about, you’ll also be able to show them your brand.

  • Unobtrusive – As with everything we do, our promotional messages are unobtrusive and have the feel our audience has come to love and appreciate. Our simple web tiles signal to our online audience that you support a service they trust and depend on.

  • Small Investment for a Large Audience – Our web tiles are prominently featured on michiganradio.org. With an average of more than 800,000 pageviews per month in 2016, michiganradio.org extends your radio schedule to our online audience. Our webtiles are priced by the month, versus by impression or click, allowing your rotating webtile to get as many views as possible.  Webtiles are also discounted when paired with a radio schedule.

Have you thought about including Digital Sponsorship as part of your marketing campaign with Michigan Radio? What’s holding you back? Contact us to discuss!

Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: “We are too limited in what we can say…”

As a public radio station, our mission is to educate and inform the public. We see our concise and direct sponsorship messages as an expression of this mission.

But sometimes those guidelines can feel restrictive: no calls to action, no qualitative comparisons, no subjective language – it can really seem like a lot of NO.

Full list of copy requirements

We’ll let you in on a secret – when it comes to sponsorship, less is more.

Our listeners respect the clear subtlety with which our sponsors present themselves– you can get your message across without the promotional language and repletion you hear on commercial stations. We call this value “The Halo Effect”.

The Halo Effect is is defined as “the positive sentiment that listeners have towards companies that support the community service of NPR and public radio stations”. This powerful benefit provides clear benefits to our sponsors including perceptions of increased quality, credibility and communication connection. To maintain the Halo Effect, we uphold a set of best practices that enhance consideration of public radio, many of which we previously mentioned.

On Michigan Radio, sponsorship messages stand out. Corporate sponsors support a public service and our success isn’t rooted in revenue. Our listeners see the value in that.

Industry Spotlight: Elective Healthcare

According to the National Institute of Health, middle aged women are the most likely to take advantage of alternative and complementary medicine.

Because 45% of our listener base is made up of women with a median age of 49, your message will directly reach your target audience.

Also, with our audience being 156% more likely than the average American to have an individual income of over $100,000 and 199% more likely to have earned a Master’s Degree, you will also reach an educated, affluent community to promote your business!

Contact us to find out more about how a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship can help you grow your health services business!

Branding with Michigan Radio: What IS Branding?

You’ve heard about branding and how important it is for the success of your business.  You have put time and energy toward making your logo recognizable and becoming a ‘household name’ in your industry.  You’ve had meetings, both internal and external, about the best way to differentiate your business from the steady stream of competitors out there.

Are you still feeling like you don’t really have your arms around this “whole branding thing”?  Great news!  Michigan Radio can help with that!

Most people think “name brands” when they think of branding: “Kleenex”, “Coca Cola”, “Microsoft”, “Ford”.

They are right.  Kind of.

So what is branding, precisely? Isn’t it the same thing as marketing?

Branding is strategically building your name, planning to make yourself recognizable and managing what your customer base thinks of when they see your logo or hear your business name.

Marketing is carrying out your branding plan: creating your logo, placing your ads, writing your copy.  Marketing is the tactical part of your branding plan.

Now that you know what branding is, learn more about managing what your customer base thinks of when they think of in the next post of the series.

See all the posts in the ‘Branding with Michigan Radio’ category here or go to the next post here.

Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: “Michigan Radio listeners aren’t really the people we want to reach…”

As a marketer, your primary goal is to reach your target audience.

Are you a Michigan Radio listener? If you aren’t, you may not have an idea of who our audience is.

The Michigan Radio audience covers the entire political spectrum:

  • 23% of listeners identify as conservative

  • 19% of listeners identify as liberal

  • 21% of listeners sit in the middle of the road politically

The Michigan Radio audience spans a great spectrum of ages:

  • 53% are 25 – 54

  • 46% are 18 – 49

Michigan Radio listeners have a wide range of interests:

  • 74% have attended a movie in the last 6 months and 35% prefer action movies

  • 58% participate in some kind of regular exercise and are twice as likely to try kayaking, sailing, and downhill skiing

  • 41% more likely than the average U.S population to have gone camping the past year

Michigan Radio listeners are engaged:

  • 68% vote regularly

  • 25% have fundraised

  • 93% particiated in public activities

Michigan Radio listeners ARE the audience you’re trying to reach!  Contact us for more details!

Mixing It Up with our West Michigan Sponsors

We had an amazing time with some of our dedicated sponsors from West Michigan on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

It was a great opportunity for them to meet our General Manager and Director of Operations, Stephen Schram and our Program Director, Tamar Charney, as well as some of our reporters and producers.

We had great conversations about the amazing work our sponsors are doing in West Michigan and the new initiatives we’re implementing at Michigan Radio.

Our sponsors listened to a presentation about Michigan Radio and our upcoming initiatives.

Our sponsors listened to a presentation about Michigan Radio and our upcoming initiatives.

If you’re interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, sign up for our e-newsletter or contact us!

Industry Spotlight: Natural & Organic

Michigan Radio’s audience is intelligent, affluent and engaged…and they are interested in what you have to offer!

By putting your message directly in front of your target audience, you will be able to showcase your product and build brand awareness with a broader scope of consumers.


Contact us to find out more about how a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship can help you grow your natural or organic business!

It’s Not Just the (Lack of) Commercials That Make Us Different

The Principles of Public MediaNot only do commercial and public radio stations sound different from each other, they are also structured in very different ways. While success is measured by ratings and revenue at commercial stations, public radio stations measure their success by community engagement, awards, and impactful programming.

Commercial radio stations are compelled to sell as many advertising spots as possible to keep their stations profitable. Radio advertisements interrupt in traditional, gimmicky and promotional bites you hear on just about every medium, ranging from skeptical weight loss supplements to negative campaign messages every election season.

Public Radio stations are held to higher standard set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The sponsorship announcements that we read on-air are required to meet certain guidelines that only identify our sponsors and give a general description of the entity – a clearer and more concise message.

Our corporate revenue model is based on our small team of fundraisers who meet with proprietors and other community entities to give them the opportunity to become a supporting member of our station, just like our 29,000 individual donating members. With their gift, we air messages that inform our listeners of events happening throughout Michigan and opportunities to support businesses that value public broadcasting.

The revenue from both our corporate sponsors and our members is reinvested into the station to ensure the quality programming you hear every day.

Sponsorship messages are read with the listener in mind. With a maximum of two and a half minutes of local underwriting messages read per hour, listeners will hear and understand each credit because of its ability to stand out.  The average commercial radio station airs 9 minutes of advertisements – and up to 26 minutes during peak listening times.

On Michigan Radio, sponsorship messages stand out, corporate sponsors support a public service, and our success is never rooted in revenue.

Our corporate sponsors are see the value in that.

Industry Spotlight: Coffee Roasters

Michigan Radio’s audience is intelligent, affluent and engaged…and they are interested in what you have to offer!
By putting your message directly in front of your target audience, you will be able to showcase your product and build brand awareness with a broader scope of consumers.

Contact us to find out more about how a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship can help your coffee and tea business grow!