Study Finds Radio + TV Provides Seven Times the Search and Site Traffic Lift of Google and Facebook Ads

AM/FM Radio Advertising Enhances Google/Facebook Performance During the Pandemic

New York, NY – July 13, 2020 – CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One, America’s largest audio network, partnered with LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox to conduct their second annual Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness study to understand the marketing effectiveness of direct-to-consumer firms and the state of their brand equity.

Even before the coronavirus, e-commerce was surging. In the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. government indicated e-commerce represented 11.8% of total U.S. retail sales up from 6.9% in the first quarter of 2015 and 4.8% in in the first quarter of 2010. eMarketer forecasts e-commerce will represent 14.5% of full year 2020 total retail sales.

To better understand the current state of e-commerce, Westwood One, LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox conducted a study that examined direct-to-consumer brands who sell online and the marketing practices that lead to success.

“Direct-to-Consumer brands are entering their second act now, seeking to grow through market penetration and attract the masses via TV and AM/FM Radio,” said Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer, CUMULUS MEDIA and Westwood One. “This study validates the brand-building sales effect of broadcast media as TV and Radio drive seven times the search and site traffic lift of Google and Facebook.”

Another key finding from the study is that AM/FM radio is a catalyst for increased effectiveness of Google and Facebook ads during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. During the pandemic in Q2 2020 radio’s impact on Google/Facebook performance surged to 20.0%.

“Why is radio driving even more Google and Facebook impact during the pandemic? I believe it’s because radio listeners at home are responding MORE to radio ads now than they ‘normally’ did last year” observed LeadsRx co-founder and CEO AJ Brown. “Radio has this ‘halo’ effect and sub-conscious impact. Even while listening in the background while checking email or performing other work activities, it’s likely consumers recall an advertiser when getting on the internet.”

Download the full Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness Report from LeadsRx and Westwood One. The study includes the following highlights:

*Combined, Radio and TV deliver seven times the site traffic lift of Google and Facebook. The combined site traffic lift of TV and AM/FM radio grew from 40% in 2018 to 63% in 2019. The lift of Google and Facebook fell from 17% to 9% during the same period.

*AM/FM radio advertising enhances Google/Facebook performance during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. The first quarter of 2020 showed an uptick in the average lift to 16.4%, increasing to 20% when the pandemic hit in the second quarter.

*Surprisingly, AM/FM radio is just as good as TV in driving site traffic and TV. Across all the attribution studies performed, LeadsRx found a $24,300 investment in AM/FM radio generated one point of search and site traffic lift; to attain a point of lift via TV advertising, a $25,581 investment is needed.

*Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 37% more likely to shop online than heavy TV viewers. According to GfK MRI, 59% of heavy AM/FM listeners have shopped online in the last year versus only 43% for Heavy TV viewers. For every dollar a DTC brand spends on TV, only 43 cents reaches consumers that shop online.

*The profile of online shopper aligns more with AM/FM radio listeners than the TV audience. GfK MRI reveals online shoppers are nearly equally segmented into three age groups: 18-34 (32%), 35-54 (36%) and 55+ (32%). Heavy radio listeners mirror the online shopper profile: 18-34 (33%), 35-54 (36%), and 55+ (31%). The heavy TV viewer skews much older: 18-34 (14%), 35-54 (23%) and 55+ (64%).

*There is a massive disconnect between the media selection for DTC advertising and which media audiences make the most online purchase. GfK MRI reports AM/FM radio represents 60% of the consumer e-commerce spend. Yet, according to Kantar Media, only 3% of e-commerce ad dollars are spent on AM/FM radio.

*Per Nielsen’s Media Impact optimization platform, a reallocation of 20% of a DTC TV buy to radio generates stunning growth in incremental campaign reach. The challenge for DTC brands: most online shopping occurs among those under 55 while most TV tuning is generated by 55+ viewers. Per Gfk MRI, 68% of online shoppers are 18-54, however only 36% of heavy TV viewers are 18-54. Nearly two thirds of TV deliveries (64%) skew 55+ a demo that only represents 32% of online shoppers. Radio to the rescue. Adding AM/FM radio into the DTC plan generates significant incremental reach under the age of 55.

*Best practices to power DTC marketing effectiveness: Allocate 74% of marketing budgets to brand building, target broadly with emotional advertising that runs in all days and dayparts.

About the Studies

LeadsRx, one of the leading multi-touch attribution firms, conducted a major attribution study. They measured advertising campaigns of 207 different direct-to-consumer retailers that ran during 2019 covering the categories of home, auto, events, entertainment, food, pet, apparel, and marketplace/online auction sites. LeadsRx measured the site traffic lift of the 207 direct-to-consumer brands generated by advertising on Google/Facebook, AM/FM radio, and television. These findings were compared to the first LeadsRx DTC study conducted of 62 brands in 2018 and released in April of 2019.

MARU/Matchbox fielded a national awareness study in February 2020 of 400 direct-to-consumer brands selected across a variety of categories. 1,456 consumers were surveyed. The DTC firms measured included nearly all of IAB’s “250 Brands To Watch”. Awareness data for 86 brands measured in the 2019 MARU/Matchbox study were trended to the 2020 study.

In addition, an analysis of GfK MRI consumer shopping data profiled e-commerce consumers, their spend and media habits. Nielsen Media Impact, the media optimization platform, was utilized to quantify the incremental reach of adding AM/FM radio to DTC TV campaigns.

Listen to the LeadsRx podcast with Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of Westwood One, where he shares his viewpoint on the Westwood One-LeadsRx Direct-to-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness Report insights and findings https://leadsrx.com/blog/pierre-bouvard-the-truth-about-media-for-d2c-businesses.

About Westwood One
Reinforcing Westwood One’s commitment to understanding the impact of audio and using its power to drive sales results, the report is being released by the Westwood One ROI Guarantee Audio Insights platform.

Westwood One, the national-facing arm of CUMULUS MEDIA, offers iconic, nationally syndicated sports, news and entertainment content to over 250 million monthly listeners across an audio network of 8,000 affiliated broadcast radio stations and media partners. Westwood One is the largest audio network in America, home to premium content that defines the culture, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, Westwood One Backstage, and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The rapidly growing Westwood One Podcast Network delivers popular network and industry personalities and programs. Westwood One connects listeners with their passions through programs and platforms that have everyone listening. For more information please visit www.westwoodone.com.

About LeadsRx

A fast innovator and a marketer’s choice for 4,000-plus global and local brands, LeadsRx is an unrivaled multi-touch attribution SaaS platform. Powered by a unique Universal Conversion Tracking Pixel™, LeadsRx provides an impartial view of customer journeys, giving each advertising touchpoint proper weight and credit including broadcast media. Founded by marketers, LeadsRx enables companies of any size to elevate marketing performance in a framework that is easily understood delivering sustainable return on ad spend (ROAS). To learn more about how LeadsRx can support you in marketing transformation visit LeadsRx.com. Connect with LeadsRx on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

For more information:
Karen Glover | Westwood One | kglover@westwoodone.com | (212) 299-3108

Jeff Fishburn | Fishburn PR for LeadsRx | jeff@fishburnpr.com | (503) 799-1988