Making Waves: Up-&-comer Tom Raybould

Tom Raybould is just the right mix of creative and analytic for a career in radio. Mollie Edwards sits down with this up-and-comer for a discussion on the future of advertising and radio’s role in it. 


Working with a variety of brands at The Radio Bureau (TRB), Tom Raybould’s a master at finding creative, cost-effective ways to achieve client goals. He started his career at TRB seven years ago as a sales co-ordinator, a role that involved making sure ads got recorded and that the correct ads played on the right stations, and putting together post-campaign reports. Having graduated from this junior role to become Account Manager and Strategic Planner, he now has the freedom to be more creative and explore different ways of doing things. 

“In my new role, I have much more interface with agencies and clients while also working closely with the senior planners to build the best possible radio campaigns for our clients,” he says. “I now have less day-to-day planning responsibility, which allows me to spend more time thinking of creative ways to go about things, which
I think produces higher-quality schedules and better outcomes for clients.

“I do really enjoy the analytical planning part of it as well. I’m a bit of a numbers person, so combining the top level account- management aspect with the numbers part is something I love and something that I think also creates better outcomes.”

Raybould’s love for radio stems from the human and local-community elements of the medium. With more stations per capita than any other country in the world, New Zealand radio caters to everyone, and has brands and personalities Kiwis are able to connect with. “The industry is filled with creative, hard-working and future-facing people that keep innovating and pushing the boundaries to keep radio as popular and relevant as it
is today for the future,” says Raybould.

In terms of advertising, he says radio is diverse in the way it can be used. Clients can harness it for long-term branding, price and product for FMCG-type clients, awareness and education campaigns, event campaigns, product launches and community-driven campaigns. He says it’s a cost-efficient approach for achieving strong reach and frequency for advertisers. Recording an ad is also relatively cheap and easy, making it accessible to both large international brands and small local businesses.

“With the emergence of fake news and the politically charged climate we find ourselves in, advertisers are looking more and more at how they can market themselves in a safe environment, and radio is one of the safest environments you can find,” he says.

The human element of radio is another factor that contributes to advertisers’ success. Raybould says Kiwis are much more likely to buy something that’s been advised by someone they know or trust. “With the talented radio personalities New Zealand has, many advertisers and their campaigns are bound to do well.” 

Like other media, the radio industry will continue to evolve in the coming years, but Raybould predicts that the basic roles of those in sales will stay the same, and that having strong client relationships and a thorough knowledge of what you’re selling will be as important as ever. “Kiwi audiences are lagging behind others in terms of uptake of digital audio, especially in the UK, US and Australia, but the trend has started, and I don’t think it’ll slow down.”

One of the many projects that Raybould has enjoyed working on during his time at TRB was for a small home-air-conditioning company that gave away systems to deserving families around the country during lockdown. “The budget was pretty small, but The Hits came to the party and put together a really great campaign, and in the end we gave away three AC systems to three deserving families. Campaigns like this don’t have the same budgets as big brands have, but the community aspect of it is something I love and shows how dynamic radio can be.”

Raybould’s advice to those looking to join the sales side of the radio industry is to demonstrate what you can do by writing and recording an ad, then sending it to a station. He says it’s also important to have a good knowledge of what you’re wanting to do and how you’re going to do it, and then “apply, apply, apply”. 


This article was originally published in the March/April 2021 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

About Mollie Edwards

Mollie Edwards writes across ICG business titles, NZ Marketing, StopPress and The Register.

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