How LeadsRx Revolutionized AM/FM Radio Attribution: Insights from 17 Groundbreaking Campaign Studies

Over the past five years, from 2019 to 2023, LeadsRx has embarked on an ambitious journey to analyze the impact of AM/FM radio on site traffic and search. In partnership with Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®, our team has conducted 17 comprehensive attribution studies across various categories, unveiling significant insights reshaping how marketers understand radio’s role in modern advertising.

Unveiling the Power of Radio: A +14% Lift in Site Traffic

Our research spanned diverse categories, including tax preparation services, apparel retailers, financial institutions, and more. Each campaign provided unique insights, contributing to a deep understanding of AM/FM radio’s effectiveness. A standout finding was the average +14% lift in site traffic across all 17 campaigns. In particular, three tax preparation service campaigns achieved a remarkable +30% to +48% attributed lift, demonstrating radio’s significant impact in time-sensitive categories.


See Westwood One’s blog, “Yes, AM/FM Radio Attribution For Site Traffic And Search Can Be Measured,” which dives further into the research, complete with graphs and charts.

When and Where Matters: Timing and Programming Insights

Our analysis revealed that both days of the week when ads air and radio programming format play crucial roles in campaign effectiveness. AM/FM radio campaigns performed exceptionally well on weekends and Mondays, aligning with times when radio listening is at its peak. This insight is invaluable for advertisers looking to optimize their media spend. Furthermore, evening time slots showed a higher share of attributed web sessions, indicating consumer availability and device accessibility during these hours.

Creative Counts: The Impact of Ad Content

The studies also underscored the importance of creative execution in driving traffic and sales. A jewelry retailer’s campaign, focusing on price matching and offers of rewards, proved content is a vital contributor to attributed web traffic. This reinforces the idea that compelling and clear ad content significantly enhances campaign performance. Moreover, it highlights the potential of radio advertising to influence consumer behavior through targeted and well-crafted messages.

Branding Essentials: Early and Often

A key takeaway from our analysis is the effectiveness of early brand mentions in ads. The highest-performing ads mentioned the brand within the first five seconds, resonating with Nielsen’s findings about consumer engagement. This emphasizes the need for clear and consistent branding throughout the ad. In today’s fast-paced media environment, capturing the listener’s attention quickly is more important than ever.

Deep Dive into Daypart Strategies

Delving deeper into daypart strategies, our research suggests that while mornings historically underdeliver their share of impressions, they should not be overlooked. Morning radio audiences are substantial, and exposure during this time can drive results in later dayparts. This finding challenges traditional notions about media buying, advocating for a more nuanced approach that considers consumer behavior throughout the entire day.

Expanding Reach Across Programming Formats

Our studies also highlight the importance of diversifying across a broad array of AM/FM radio programming formats. From sports to news/talk, various formats can drive search and site traffic. This approach not only increases reach but also taps into different audience segments, maximizing the impact of the campaigns.


In a new report from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), “Audio Attribution, November 2023,” provides an overview of the current attribution landscape for radio across platforms. The report outlines the capabilities of different attribution providers, identifies challenges, and forecasts future possibilities.

Enhancing Local Market Strategies

Another intriguing aspect of our studies is local market analysis. By examining ad occurrences and site traffic from specific Nielsen DMAs, we can understand the nuanced impact of national campaigns at a local level. For example, we observed that certain messaging resonated differently in various regions, underscoring the need for tailored local strategies.

Seasonal Trends and Consumer Mindset

Seasonal trends play a significant role in campaign success. Our research showed that campaigns timed with seasonal demands, like tax services during tax season, had a stronger performance. Understanding and aligning with the consumer’s purchase mindset, especially during peak periods of need, is crucial for maximizing campaign effectiveness.

The Role of Strong Offers in Creative

Our examination of creative content showed that ads with strong, clear offers tended to drive more site traffic. This aligns with the general trend in advertising where compelling offers capture consumer interest and prompt immediate action. In the case of the jewelry retailer, the combination of a rewards offer and price matching proved to be highly effective.

Recommendations for Maximizing Campaign Effectiveness

Based on our comprehensive studies, we recommend:


  • Balancing campaign weight across dayparts, considering both morning and evening slots.
  • Ensuring weekends constitute a significant portion of campaign weight.
  • Tailoring day-of-the-week attribution strategies by category.
  • Aligning campaigns with seasonal category demands.
  • Diversifying across a broad array of AM/FM radio programming formats to enhance reach.
  • Crafting ads with compelling offers and clear branding that are inserted early and frequently.
  • Considering local market nuances in national campaigns.
  • Leveraging seasonal trends to align with consumer mindsets.

The Future of Radio Advertising

Our journey through these 17 attribution studies has reinforced the significant impact of AM/FM radio in the digital age. As we continue to innovate and refine our attribution methods, LeadsRx remains committed to providing advertisers with the insights and tools they need to maximize their campaign effectiveness. Stay tuned to the LeadsRx blog,  for more insights and success stories from the world of advertising attribution.


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