Westwood One 2018

Westwood One says a new study pertaining to the launch of a new financial brand has demonstrated AM/FM radio’s ability to boost awareness, consideration, usage and brand images.

The national study, commissioned by Westwood One with MARU/Matchbox, fielded an 850-person study group twice—once during the initial days of the campaign and again following its conclusion.

From September to November, according to a blog post by Pierre Bouvard, the Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus/Westwood One, each stage of the purchase funnel saw growth: aided awareness of the new financial brand grew 26%. There was also improvement in favorable brand images (43%), consideration (20%) and association of the brand’s slogan (46%).

“Increasing brand images is essential, especially for brands that aren’t already known in the marketplace… New brands can’t afford to wait to be known,” Bouvard writes. “Working to develop strong awareness, images and consideration from a brand’s early stages sets up future success.”

In the financial services space, introducing a new brand is particularly difficult, Bouvard notes — with banks, credit card companies, financial advisors and investment firms all engaged in a fierce battle for market share.

According to Westwood One, its study showed growth in key brand associations for the new financial brand after consumers gained exposure to the AM/FM radio campaign. When compared with the previous year, 43% more consumers associated no charges or fees with the brand; 20% more believed the company to be transparent and innovative; and 47% more consumers thought the brand offered fixed, low-rate personal loans.

Most significantly, the study found, an additional 67% more associated the brand with providing personal loans to those with good credit.

Significant gains in awareness and brand favorability were also made in the key target 35-64 demographic. “Post-exposure to the AM/FM radio campaign,” Bouvard writes, “the financial brand saw increases in aided awareness and favorable brand images across the board. However, the most significant jumps were seen among their key demographic, adults 35-64. Aided awareness grew +29% from September to November among adults 35-64. Favorable brand images increased an even more impressive +40% among adults 35-64.”

The emphasis on those 35-64 — and especially those at the upper end of that age spectrum — is no accident. According to Bouvard’s post, Baby Boomers are working longer and making more money. According to data from Acxiom, Boomers control 54% of all disposable income.

Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, Bouvard’s post says, key brand metrics were even higher following exposure to the campaign. “Heavy AM/FM radio listeners were greatly impacted by the AM/FM radio ads, with growth in favorable brand image (+71%), usage (+50%), aided awareness (+37%), brand consideration (+36%), and slogan association (+33%).”