Radio Ads Sell Cars


iHeartMedia is again taking the lead in finding ways to do a better job telling radio’s story. The latest data iHeart has come up with, and is sharing with the industry, involves radio’s largest ad category…automotive. And it includes details that may help you get those pesky car dealers to stop requesting Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning schedules.

iHeartMedia and marketing attribution software company LeadsRx released findings from a new marketing attribution study  that drilled down on automotive radio advertising. The study, conducted over 17 months, for more than 300 auto advertisers included nearly 2 million ads covering all the major auto brands. Here’s what the study concluded…

The study found that “radio reaches new potential customers; the majority of radio attributable web traffic is from new customers who had never previously visited the site; endorsements drive two times the response and produces optimal results because radio is a companion; and the top factors for successful radio marketing are reach and frequency. In addition, the study uncovered several best practices in how to plan an effective automotive radio campaign leveraging dayparts, days of week, ad length, and the number of radio stations included in the campaign.”

Here are five takeaways from the study:

  •     Radio drives immediate web traffic response for automotive advertisers. Automotive advertisers earned an average 17 percent lift in web traffic attributable to radio marketing. In addition, the web traffic response is immediate – within 10 minutes of hearing a commercial.
  •     For optimal results, advertisers should air ads seven days per week versus just on specific days. Those who advertise seven days a week saw +90 percent greater results than those who advertised three to four days per week. Automotive advertisers running only in the second half of the week are missing out on the opportunity to capture online shoppers in the early portion of the week.
  •     Car shopping aligns with radio listening because car shopping is primarily a daytime activity, which is also when radio has its largest audience. The study found web traffic response to advertising is two times greater from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. than in evenings or overnight.
  •     The study found that automotive advertisers who found the best results used multiple ads of varying lengths. Campaigns with multiple ad lengths outperformed campaigns with single ad lengths by over two times. Advertisers seeking to build additional reach and frequency with a limited budget may see improved results by adding :05s and :15s ads to existing schedules, when the message applies.   
  •       Overall, the most important determinant for a successful market campaign is reach and frequency – that is, the number of people who hear your ad, and the number of times they hear it. Running 10 commercials per day using a mix of ad lengths, dayparts, stations and days of the week can lead to a two times greater web traffic response rate.

The name of the study is “Five Secrets for Automotive Advertisers” and it can be downloaded HERE.


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