Recent Studies Confirm That Radio Advertising Delivers Strong ROI

Posted by Matt Mills on May 5, 2014 at 9:19 AM

radioAs you work hard on developing the most effective integrated marketing plan, you should take some time to read two recently published articles by Nielsen that highlight the value of radio advertising in DC.

For those not familiar with Nielsen, they are a global information and measurement company that specializes in marketing, consumer information, television and other media measurement.  Whenever you hear about the TV ratings of your favorite program, Nielsen is the company which has provided that research.

The first article highlights the massive amount of Americans that tune into radio each week.  Nielsen reports that 244.4 million Americans are listening to the radio each week, a record high number  The previous high was 243.7 million in March of 2013.  These statistics are only counting Americans who are 12 years or older.

Let’s put those numbers in perspective.  According to the latest Census data, there are 313.9 million Americans, about 20% of which are under the age of 14.  If you remove those under the age of 14, you are left with about 250 million Americans.   When you consider that the Nielsen study was 12+ and the Census data provides 14+, it is safe to say that between 92% and 95% of all Americans listen to the radio each week! 

What makes that growth rate even more impressive, is the variety of media choices available today…even compared to just last year when the previous record high listening level was hit.  As Nielsen points out, consumers today have countless alternatives to traditional radio in the form of smartphones, tablets, computers and digital dashboards.  Radio has the ability to be hyper local…and most radio stations uniquely serve their markets, which provides value to their listeners.

However, the amount of people listening is only a “feature” that radio can boast.  Benefits are what’s important.  All good marketing professionals care about developing the most effective marketing plans…and to be effective, your advertising must deliver ROI.  That is all that matters.

The second article Nielsen published outlined radio’s effectiveness.  In their study, they found a direct link between radio advertising and retail sales, providing further evidence that advertising spent on radio is money well spent.  More specifically, the research found that each dollar spent on radio advertising, returned $6 from the listeners in the 28 days after they heard the commercials.

Even more important than the research provided by Nielson, are the results of research done by the actual advertisers themselves.  At a recent ARF/Nielsen event, American Express VP MaryEllen Jelenek shared AMEX’s internal research.

AMEX found a 23% lift in online registrations from the radio commercials.  Additionally, there was a 38% jump in web searches.  And in markets where AMEX did heavy advertising, sales of its prepaid cards climbed 20%.  Jelenek credited radio’s “strong call to action” properties, especially reaching shoppers before they neared the checkout aisle.

The AMEX data about radio increasing web search is interesting to us here at DC Marketing Pro since we have recently seen similar information.  Silverback Strategies, a Washington DC based search engine marketing firm, reported a noticeable increase in web searches and traffic to advertisers web sites during the period in which those companies were also advertising on the radio.  "Several of our clients see a significant lift in conversions for branded search terms during months in which they combine radio advertising and search marketing together.  One client in particular saw a 151% increase in branded online conversions during a recent WTOP radio advertising campaign," reports Silverback's President Neil Welsh.

If you are considering including radio in your DC marketing mix, we have written numerous articles on the subject including one about writing effective radio and TV commercials.  Click here to read that article, or contact us here to learn more about how we could help you develop an effective DC marketing mix.  

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  Washington DC Advertising Guide

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Tags: ROI, Radio, Advertising



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