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Hot Topics

Is Attribution the Best Way to Judge Radio’s Success?

December 10, 2019

Can radio advertising drive web site visits and Google searches? All recent studies clearly answer that question with a resounding YES! Multiple national studies have shown that, in most cases, when an advertiser adds radio to their ad campaign, internet traffic for that advertiser grows.

A recent Westwood One study of 300+ auto dealers shows that AM/FM radio results in a 17% lift in web visits to the dealer’s web site. Clearly a success.

However, is the best way to judge the success of a radio campaign purely on how it impacted web traffic in a short period of time?

I believe not. An earlier Hot Topic from Steve Allan showed that, by this measure, radio performed best during what are typically “non-prime” radio dayparts. One could surmise that this is because these time periods are when people have easier access to the web.

During most of our lifetimes, radio has, and still is, the dominant entertainment choice in the car. Radio is also strong with at-work listening. Some cannot easily access the internet while at work, and many drivers don’t access the internet while in their car …

Therefore, judging radio’s ability to drive web visits shortly after the commercial is heard handicaps our industry. With that said, radio still performs well.

So what other metrics can be used? Various Nielsen studies have proven that, on a nationwide basis, radio provides a real ROI to advertisers by driving new consumers to the product/store, but also by getting existing buyers to spend more. Even in this day and age, which is more valuable to advertising, driving web traffic or driving sales? In my opinion, it is sales.

Simply put, this Westwood One study shows that advertising on the radio will both drive traffic to the advertiser’s web site and also to the cash register.

What else could an advertiser ask for?

If you’d like to discuss this further, post a comment below or reach out to us here.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner