LeadsRx and Westwood One are proud to announce the release of the second annual “Direct-to-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness Report,” comparing digital, radio, and TV advertising through 2019.

Online eCommerce D2C businesses continue to be a force to recon with, and the stats prove it. According to U.S. government figures, eCommerce represented nearly 12% of total U.S. retail sales in the first quarter of 2020, more than 40% higher than the first quarter of 2015.

With a strong desire to reach broad markets, D2C businesses often employ virtually every marketing tactic from TV and radio advertising to Google, Facebook, podcasts, direct mail, and more. Making sense of these different mediums is the challenge, and that’s where impartial multi-touch attribution comes to the rescue.

Finding Where and How Customers are Shopping

The data and insights from attribution are an impartial way of looking at where and how customers shopped and made purchases. LeadsRx partnered with Westwood One (America’s largest radio network) and MARU Matchbox (a market research and global insight technology firm) to conduct the second annual Direct-to-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness Report, pulling together data from more than 200 online businesses.

In this study, technology like the Universal Conversion Tracking Pixel™ from LeadsRx was instrumental in collecting visitor traffic to websites as well as information about orders placed. Then, broadcast spots from radio and TV ads were overlaid to measure the effectiveness of these mediums. LeadsRx focuses on attribution across all marketing channels through our impartial multi-touch solution, and as a result, we know the impact radio and television advertising has driving sales results for D2C brands.

The D2C media attribution study proves it, showing radio and TV delivered 7 times the lift of Google and Facebook during the study time period. For complete facts and figures from the study, view the full report.

It’s always great to compare statistics from one year to the next, so it was nice to see considerable jumps in broadcast media effectiveness in driving D2C site traffic from the benchmark year of 2018 to the second year, 2019.

Direct-to-Consumer Attribution Report Highlights

A few highlights from the study:

  • While digital advertising continues to get a strong investment from some D2C vendors, Facebook and Google dropped year over year in performance.
  • TV and AM/FM radio require almost the same investment to generate similar search and site traffic lift. Takeaway: Radio strongly competes with TV, despite not having the visual component.
  • Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 37% more likely to buy online than heavy TV viewers.
  • Reach and messaging drive success. From a content perspective, brand building is important. Targeting audiences with broader strokes of the marketing campaign brush, using emotional messaging, and consistently running ads in all days and dayparts proves to be most effective.

Westwood One is so confident in the effectiveness of their advertising, they offer an ROI Guarantee – a first in the audio industry.

Multi-Touch Attribution

LeadsRx is always excited to be a part of these studies, not only because the numbers are insightful to review, but because it proves that customers typically make several stops on their buying journey before converting. And that’s what multi-touch attribution is all about – tracking those customer journeys across the various touch points that drive them to convert.

What is important to note is how all marketing channels work together. Radio and TV provide a better lift than Google or Facebook, but there’s a good chance that a consumer heard a radio ad, then typed the business name into a Google search and either found the company’s website directly or clicked on a paid search ad that took them to the offer mentioned in the advertisement.

Multi-touch attribution accounts for this by capturing 100% of the marketing channels and attributing conversions proportionately to the channels which drove them. With this level of insight, marketers can truly optimize their ad campaigns to maximize return on ad spend (ROAS). The D2C report highlights just how effective audio advertising can be in driving engagement throughout the rest of the marketing landscape.

D2C Brands Leveraging Radio and Attribution Seize the Day

Regardless of the channels being used, direct-to-consumer companies who were already eCommerce-ready or brands that pivoted quickly to meet customers where they were forced to shop – online – turned the gloom-and-doom sales outlook created by the global pandemic into opportunity.

Lindt Canada, which turned 175 years old this year, saw its typically robust in-store Easter-time sales getting rocked by COVID-19, so it went all in on eCommerce, and fast – launching an online store in just 5 days.

Some brands we admire for pioneering direct-to-consumer success include Warby Parker, Casper, Purple, Carvana, and Airbnb. They truly disrupted their industries, eliminating the barrier between themselves and the consumers, giving them control over their brand, reputation, marketing, and sales tactics. Here’s a LeadsRx blog from May talking about these and other disruptors in the D2C space.

As the economy rebounds, D2C companies will likely continue their upward trajectory, while some brick-and-mortar operations will undoubtedly rebound. No matter how brands are reaching consumers, it’s important they know which channels are working, or not, and how they are working together to optimize ROAS.


Read the press release from Westwood One and LeadsRx.

Read last year’s 2019 Direct-to-Consumer Awareness Report.

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