Mediamark is owned by Kagiso Media, born out of the Kagiso Trust over 25 years ago. The organisation has always played an important role in empowering and uplifting communities. “We had been asking how best we could play in the community radio space, using our deep knowledge and experience and also how we could help upskill community stations commercially, when we decided to adopt this innovative model,” explains Mediamark CEO Wayne Bischoff.
The decision to open the community radio sales division follows on from an extensive consultation process with both the advertising industry and community stations themselves. “What became clear is that there were three stumbling blocks to advertisers wanting to buy airtime advertising at a community level: firstly, it was difficult from a planning perspective to approach numerous smaller stations, secondly, they weren’t sure if their spots were actually flighted, and thirdly, there was uncertainty about whether the revenue had eventually reached the community stations,” says Bischoff.
Through their unique offering, CommVibe, powered by Mediamark, aims to address all three concerns. Mervyn Naidu, head of business development at Mediamark says: “Through the offering, we are providing advertisers access to a large aggregated and predominantly untapped audience across different audience segments, using radio stations who really understand the vibration of the communities they serve. We are also offering almost real-time proof of flighting/broadcast.”
Media guru, Gordon Muller is a big proponent of community radio. He likens ‘community’ to an atom: “At the centre of the atom is the ‘nucleus’: the central energy force that holds the atom (community) together. Each community will have a different energy source.”
Naidu says because community radio stations revolve around their specific shared ‘nucleus’ they have deeply loyal listeners. He adds: “They are an invested audience with a high time spent listening. So, we’re essentially offering advertisers an opportunity to upweight their campaigns by reaching this aggregated and deeply engaged audience, and over 400,000 who aren’t listening to any commercial stations at all."
While CommVibe will initially only have a Western Cape offering, the plan is to roll out similar packages across other provinces.