Contributor: Mallory Bouslog, Senior Account Executive, Marketron
The refrain in many circles is that nobody listens to radio anymore. With so many channels providing audio content, broadcast radio is no longer the only option. However, it still dominates ad-supported listening time, holding 75% of audiences, while Pandora’s and Spotify’s ad-supported options receive 10%, according to the Edison Research “Share of Ear” Q2 2022.
That’s a great data point for radio ad sellers but not the only one that can attract local advertisers. Research also suggests that radio listeners have higher purchase intent. It’s a point to make when re-engaging customers or talking to new ones who need more understanding of the power of radio.
What Is Purchase Intent?
First, you’ll want to define purchase intent. It describes the likelihood that a customer will buy a product or service. Data is key to evaluating this. Many larger companies have lots of internal information about customers and can assess this on their own. Your local advertisers may not have this data internally. The way they can understand intent is with the direct-from-consumer research you provide about what buyers’ preferences are and plans for purchase — and, more importantly, what channels they pay attention to in buying decisions.
As a broadcast seller, you want to impart that your audience does turn to radio as a trusted channel. If you can present these statistics to your advertisers, they’ll be all ears.
The Data Story of Radio Listeners and Purchase Intent
Lucky for us, the radio industry has a lot of data about who listens and how it impacts their purchasing. Here are the key findings that will make the case for radio advertising.
Radio Ads Drive Traffic
Radio ads boost brand traffic and deliver new customers. RAB research indicates that these spots drove 22% more incremental store traffic for automotive, jewelry, physician and life insurance agent segments.
AM/FM Radio Streamers Are Ready to Buy
AM/FM radio streamers have high purchase intent for multiple categories. According to data on this group of listeners, purchase intent was high for starting or buying a business and making purchases of fitness equipment, large household items, life insurance, meal kits, real estate, cars and investments.
These categories cover a large number of local businesses, so the opportunities to leverage this data are broad.
Some advertisers may ask, “Why does this group have such high purchase intent?”
Why Are Radio Listeners Eager Purchasers?
There’s no way to peer into the minds of every consumer and determine the reasons. However, there are some clues and cues. First, radio has a “trust halo” with consumers. They feel connected to personalities and stations, finding them honest and authentic. That trust expands to the advertisers on their stations. When there’s a greater emotional connection, it improves retention of the ad content.
This relationship doesn’t make them more likely to purchase, but if they are in the market and hear ads, it could be the nudge they need to visit that store or website.
Radio Reaches Ready-to-Purchase Consumers
These insights provide you with concrete evidence demonstrating the appeal of radio advertising. As the number one reach medium radio will effectively grow awareness of an advertiser’s brand as it successfully reaches more engaged and prime potential customers than other media.