B2B Marketing Study: Radio Outperforms TV At 1/5 Of The Cost


    As business-to-business marketing increasingly evolves to recognize the importance of pre-targeting potential buyers, overlooking AM/FM radio as a channel can be a significant misstep for advertisers aiming to engage a professional demographic.

    In the realm of advertising, B2B brands have made their presence felt with significant investments in AM/FM radio and podcasts, including Staples, Indeed, Dell, Intuit, ZipRecruiter, and CDW, with Magellan reporting a striking $182 million in podcast advertising expenditure by B2B brands over 14 months.

    So why radio? The daily commute is prime time for consumption by executives and decision-makers to tune in to their favorite stations during their drives, according to Nielsen Scarborough data. This presents an invaluable opportunity for B2B marketers to deliver targeted messaging directly to a captive audience.

    B2B Radio Reach
    (Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

    Contrary to popular belief, B2B professionals engage with a diverse range of content, not limited to News/Talk formats. Studies by Signal Hill Insights and MESH Experience reveal a broad spectrum of interests among these listeners, making audio platforms an effective medium for diverse marketing messages.

    B2B Radio formats
    (Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

    Given the medium’s reach and frequency, radio ads are a cost-effective addition to the marketing mix. Radio offers competitive pricing compared to other traditional and digital media, providing B2B marketers with a high ROI. As an extra bonus, AM/FM’s established presence in the lives of business professionals grants it an inherent trustworthiness. When a B2B brand aligns with this medium, it leverages radio’s credibility to enhance its own reputation among its business audience.

    A prime example of this idea at work is a campaign effect study of an IT brand by MESH Experience that found AM/FM radio drove stronger impact than TV, despite spending the brand spending a staggering five times more on TV.

    B2B Brand health metrics
    (Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

    Audio remains highly relevant in other forms: Edison Podcast Metrics further corroborates the value of podcasts for B2B brands, with over half of weekly podcast listeners involved in purchase decisions at their workplaces. The car environment, where AM/FM radio dominates with an 85% share of ad-supported audio, presents a prime opportunity for reaching decision-makers.

    Detailed figures from Magellan podcast ad spend for January 1, 2023, through February 22, 2024, show NetSuite at the forefront with a spend of over $17 million, followed by ExpressVPN and LifeLock, among others.

    These investments reflect the massive reach of AM/FM radio, touching 85% of business decision-makers weekly, and podcasts, reaching nearly 40%. More details are shared in this week’s Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group blog.

    The scope of B2B marketing in audio extends far beyond immediate buyers, with a significant emphasis on nurturing recognition among future customers.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here