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When strategizing a marketing plan, media decision makers would be wise to stick with traditional AM/FM radio as opposed to popular digital destinations and even television. In a blog post Westwood One/Cumulus Media director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano lays out the case for radio, which reaches millions more than other media and digital outlets.

Vetrano says the decision makers should look at Nielsen numbers when developing their marketing game plan. Those numbers show that AM/FM radio has a monthly reach of 243.3 million persons 18+. Its closest media competitor is live and time-shifted TV (229.9 million) – which reaches 13 million fewer people than radio. AM/FM radio dwarfs digital outlets such as search sites (197.5 million), social media sites (179.2 million), video sites (143.6 million), e-commerce sites (143.6 million), news sites (105.1 million) and sports sites (57.7 million).

A Nielsen study of nearly 500 cross-media campaigns looked at three media factors that drive sales lift – Reach, Targeting and Recency. Reach represents 61% of sales growth, making it “the most powerful media sales driver.”

TV and popular digital destinations cannot be ignored, Vetrano acknowledged.  In fact, radio is the perfect companion to using these outlets for a marketing or ad campaign, he says. When combined with TV or digital campaigns, radio’s reach can help brands improve in key marketing initiatives. When allocating 20% of a TV budget to AM/FM radio, the campaign reach is increased by 40%. “The addition of AM/FM radio into the media plan also boosts advertiser awareness, consideration, purchase and brand advocacy,” Vetrano writes.

A study by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) shows that AM/FM radio boosts Google brand searches by an average of 29%. AM/FM radio also “drives digital impact by increasing website interest, converting awareness and driving retailer website visitation,” Vetrano said. “Similar to television, allocating 20% of a digital budget to AM/FM radio also results in incremental reach increases (29%) and greater brand impact.”

Vetrano concludes the post by writing, “Whether television, search sites or popular digital destinations, with AM/FM radio in the mix, all media boats rise.”