Understanding How Radio Advertising Drives Business Growth

Understanding How Radio Advertising Drives Business Growth

Understanding How Radio Advertising Drives Business Growth

As advertisers grapple with shrinking marketing budgets against ever-increasing sales and customer acquisition targets, there is greater pressure on marketing dollars to work harder than ever before.  When you add continuous innovation to marketing and media platforms, advertisers have more communication vehicles than ever before to romance their target audience – and consumers have more communication vehicles than ever before to listen (or ignore) these messages.  But which communication vehicles are known to be more effective in driving sales and customer acquisition?  Which marketing channels typically achieve higher return on investment?  In studying the roles various marketing channels play in driving key performance targets across a number of verticals in Australia, it is possible to draw some overall conclusions to address these questions.  Over the next few newsletter issues, we will spotlight some marketing channels and explore their role in driving business growth for advertisers.  Our last issue explored TV.  This issue puts the spotlight on Radio.

Radio advertising has the power to reach consumers at the right place and at the right time.  Consumers do not need to be in front of a screen and can be engaging in other activities (such as driving, washing the car, cooking or gardening) whilst listening to brand messages on the radio.

Some interesting research commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia in 2012 and conducted by Colmar Brunton found that:

  • Consumers on average are 6 times more likely to access an advertiser’s website if they hear a radio ad with an online call-to-action, compared to consumers who did not hear the radio ad.
  • Radio advertising’s immediate effect was evident as nearly 4 out of 5 consumers who were exposed to the radio ads performed some form of digital activity within 1 day.
  • Commercial radio drives substantially more visits to a web page if an online call-to-action is incorporated in the radio ad.

Whilst these findings were consistent across verticals, larger uplifts in online activity occurred for the food, finance, government and motor vehicle verticals.  (source:

However, advertising through Radio can have its drawbacks.  Unless your well-established brand, product or service relies heavily on leveraging specific opportunities dictated by daypart, seasonality or location (such as a quick-service restaurant during lunchtime or an office and stationary supplier during the back-to-school period) when you can catch consumers in transit nearby, Radio advertising is usually not as effective as a primary channel driver for foot traffic or sales compared to other channels such as TV, especially if your Radio ad is charged with launching a new brand, product or service and therefore needs to educate consumers on the merits of the new brand/product/service.  Radio is most effective as a support channel within a multimedia campaign.  Radio can reinforce the message carried initially by other communications channels with wider reach such as TV and Print.  It can also lengthen the life of a TV campaign more effectively and cost-efficiently compared to investing in a longer TV campaign only to drive your marketing strategy.  Advertisers need to ensure that if Radio is included in their media plan, that they properly leverage the power of opportunistic consumer accessibility Radio enjoys against its format-driven limitations.

Hopefully these observations about the role Radio can play in your marketing strategy has been valuable.  Please watch out for the next issue which puts the spotlight on the medium of Newspapers.

For further information about media effectiveness or how you can optimise your marketing strategy, please feel free to contact Clare by emailing