Radio Gives Big Lift To Department Stores


    In the Spring of 2021, a national department store ran an AM/FM radio campaign. The Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group, in a new post-COVID study, examined the sales lift of the entire campaign that included every single AM/FM radio ad run by the retailer. Here’s what they discovered.

    The Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group commissioned a Nielsen sales effect study. Nielsen matched PPM panel commercial audience exposures with credit and debit purchase data to reveal how AM/FM radio impacted sales for the major national department store retailer.

    Nielsen’s analysis examined the campaign that ran from April 19, 2021 through July 31, 2021, comparing those who were exposed and unexposed to determine ad effectiveness.

    Using Nielsen’s Portable People Meter panel of 80,000 respondents, campaign exposure was measured at the individual person level, not just at the household level.
    Commercial audience exposure was matched to actual spend using credit and debit card spending from the home address associated with PPM advertising exposure.

    In his latest blog post Cumulus Media’s Pierre Bouvard writes that light exposure to the campaign generated a 22% increase in the retailer’s customer base. “Those who were only exposed one or two times across the three-month period generated an impressive +22.4% increase in the retailer’s customer base. Campaign exposure of three to six times resulted in a +7.6% customer base increase. Those reached seven or more times saw customer base growth of +17.8%.”
    Bouvard writes that exposure to the AM/FM radio campaign drove significant lifts in buying transactions, especially among heavy shoppers. “The number of transactions per buying household grew +11% among existing customers of the national retailer and a stunning +31% among heavy shoppers.”

    And Bouvard adds that the AM/FM radio campaign caused the retailer’s share of category spend to rise 15% and increased total sales by +10%. “For every dollar spent on the AM/FM radio campaign, the national department store chain generated $13 of incremental sales, on par with Nielsen’s retail AM/FM radio return on advertising spend benchmarks.”

    Watch a video of Bouvard discussing the study HERE.


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