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Radio’s Digital Attribution

August 18, 2020

The recent announcement of the partnership between LeadsRx and WideOrbit is a potential game-changer for radio.

The digital revolution in marketing has created a need for instant gratification with advertisers. Google Analytics, click-through rates, traffic sources, and other data sources have left radio advertising behind the curve.

In a supposedly precision-driven world, our dependence on Nielsen ratings has left us open to charges of being out of touch. Worse, it has made radio seem like yesterday’s news.

To be clear, we are not here to point out the flaws in Nielsen’s methodology. PPM actually works very well in identifying listening patterns (just look at the listening location trends over the past six months). Sample size could solve many problems but would not erase the challenge of immediacy. Yes, PPM data is the freshest we have ever had for radio but it is still about a month old. Most advertisers – especially at the agency level – have dashboards where they can view their campaigns in real time.

This is where the LeadsRx/WideOrbit partnership comes in.

When properly utilized, we – meaning radio – can show actual cause and effect with our on-air campaigns. We can show our clients that web traffic increases when they are on the air and decreases when they go dark.

However, we can take this a step further. A recent study published in Marketing Land purports that organic/free web traffic drives almost two-thirds of site visits.

This is a huge opportunity for radio. If a client’s site traffic is dominated by “direct” traffic AND that client has a solid on-air schedule, this can prove a logical cause and effect.

We know that almost every buying decision is based on web searches. The problem is that “web searches” get the most credit for the final decision. But, where does the journey begin? How do consumers first enter the funnel?

Do they randomly type in a client’s specific name into their browser? Or, are they prompted to do so by outside influences?

Like, for example, a radio spot.

As data geeks, The Ratings Experts from Research Director, Inc. applaud this new LeadsRx/WideOrbit partnership. We are all about exposing – and proving – the power of radio advertising.

We also believe that we – as an industry – should use this data loudly and proudly. Now is the time to start correcting the mistaken perception that radio is dead. Touting Nielsen data is a good option, but having real, digital corroboration will demonstrate that we are as viable as we really are.

Your thoughts? Please join the discussion below.

-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant