Why Radio Is Leading The Way


(By LeadsRx CEO AJ Brown) I recently published a blog on three trends that will make a big mark on the marketing attribution landscape in 2020. And while I was speaking to all marketers who advertise on any medium, two of my trends come directly from our company’s experience in the radio industry. Radio is leading the way.

In every technology market, there is an adoption curve that tracks and foreshadows how new tech will be absorbed into the mainstream, or falls woefully by the wayside without achieving great success. Made popular in the book Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore in 2006, the technology adoption curve is important to understand not just as a vendor, but as a buyer of technology as well. Knowing where you fit on the curve helps you know when the time is comfortable to run. With something new, moving too soon could be a big risk for you. But adopting new technology too late might leave you feeling left out of the momentum.

I believe marketing attribution is poised in the “ready” position to move into the mainstream market. And the industry that has put it in this position is broadcast radio in particular. Never in my 40-year career have I seen such a dominant use of new technology within a single industry sector. Nearly every major radio broadcaster in the country has adopted marketing attribution, and TV broadcasters are following suit. These courageous early adopters are setting the standards delivering unparalleled transparency, accountability, and insight to their advertising clients. If you’re in the radio industry and not offering marketing attribution reports to your advertisers, you may soon be left behind.

My first prediction for 2020 is that the radio industry will set the tone for marketing attribution. Other industry segments see the huge successes being achieved by broadcasters with marketing attribution and they are applying it to benefit their business. We don’t know yet which industries will adopt the fastest, but certainly automotive (see this joint auto advertising and attribution study done by LeadsRx and iHeartMedia) and Direct-to-Consumer (and another joint study on Direct to Consumer attribution with Westwood One) show early indicators of the next great success.

Adoption of marketing attribution will move into the mainstream, and the nasty old “chasm” will be left far behind because radio is building us a bridge through their leadership. Accolades aside, this is a huge and important moment not just for marketing attribution technology, but for radio at large.

However, this doesn’t mean the radio industry has finished with marketing attribution. In fact, the industry’s journey has just begun and is quickly evolving to include new audio platforms, digital streaming, podcasting, and more.

My second prediction is that these new-use cases (along with similar ones from the TV industry) will fuel deeper use of marketing attribution and will further benefit advertisers with a more complete picture of how broadcast is contributing to sales success. We will see a comprehensive technology that incorporates all forms of broadcasting into marketing attribution models, and this innovation will again be guided by the radio industry. In this second big move, the radio industry will solidify their dominant use of marketing attribution technologies to not only deliver cross-platform transparency to advertisers, but will once again demonstrate to the rest of the world how to get the job done.

AJ Brown is the CEO of marketing attribution software company LeadsRx. 
He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


  1. So, radio is to be saved by a technology.
    Candy hearts and flowers to follow.
    It sure takes the responsibility off the producers of the programming and the spots themselves.

  2. The author is “CEO of marketing attribution software company.” Just another way for the agencies to increase the costs and staff work load at the station–while paying us next to nothing to run their copy.

    Every other year or so we see someone that is pushing some new scheme promising not only to identify when a spot ran but the exact number of listeners who immediately ran out to buy the product. Of course the agencies snap up this new wonderful software–but it’s different software for each agency. And then they want to charge the stations to use it.

    Like the fad for electronic billing–for some agencies it costs us 50 cents a pop, others, $10.00. Of course, 90 days after the flight they still want our traffic guru to fax them three copies of the invoice and affidavits…

    Then there are the services we have to pay to download the copy in order to run the flight to begin with.

    • totally agree..and lest we forget the agencies usually are the slowest pays…but they sure demand us to drop everything for them and dont forget that “value added” flight or free interview!


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