It’s great that radio stations make a real effort to target specific audiences — after all, most advertisers try to do the same thing. With a little research, you can get good data, both demographic and lifestyle- or attitude-oriented, on radio audiences. And you can often find radio stations (or specific programs on those stations) that reach a well-defined audience that’s rich in those people you want to target.

Arbitron, Inc., is the leading source of audited information about audience size and composition for television and radio stations in the United States. It now also provides information and assistance for those who want to purchase radio and video ad time on webcasts. Visit Arbitron on the web at, or go to its parent’s website,, for lots of market research options.

Prefer data straight from the source? Simply call any local station and ask for its audited report on its listeners, a document the station gives a potential advertiser free of charge.

One way you can target radio advertising is by running ads over the internal broadcasting systems used in many stores. This opportunity gives you another great way to target a particular audience, like advertising your brand of tires at an automotive store.

Marketers call this kind of ad in-store audio advertising. It’s an entirely different medium from a buying perspective because the store or a specialized service provider develops and controls the programming.

As a result, most marketers don’t know how to use in-store audio programming. An ad agency may be able to help you gain access, or you can turn to a specialized media-buying firm that handles this kind of advertising.