“You wouldn’t know it from all the news coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music,” says marketing expert Doug Schoen in a recent article in Forbes, “But recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers.” This is not only true across America, but in Jonesboro, Arkansas as well. Thousands of adults tune-in to an AM/FM radio station every week.
A few months ago, we conducted a survey among Northeast Arkansas small business owners to measure their perception of how radio stacks up against other media. As Mr. Schoen pointed out, these business owners seemed to have been seduced into believing that newer media like Pandora, Spotify, Sirius/XM, and YouTube have eclipsed radio’s reach. Perception, as Mr. Schoen professes, is not reality.
According to recent Nielsen research, AM/FM radio is the number one medium by far with 97 percent of adults tuning in every month. No one else even comes close. Not TV. Not Pandora. Not Spotify. Not YouTube.
Radio’s gargantuan reach isn’t just limited to older demographics, as some Northeast Arkansas small business owners may think. According to Nielsen, radio is ubiquitous in the life of every adult, regardless of age. Yes, radio does a better job reaching the elusive 18-34 year old audience than all other media.
Perhaps most important to area small business owners is the favorable return-on-investment advertising on Jonesboro radio can deliver. Research giant Nielsen Catalina found, on average, radio commercials produce a $6.00 sales lift for every $1.00 invested. According to Ad Age magazine, these findings indicate that advertisers can expect higher returns-on investment from radio than TV, digital, or social media.
This ROI study, from combined data from Nielsen’s newly acquired radio-audience, measures business with shopper-card data from Catalina to link consumers’ media usage directly to their buying decisions. Radha Subramanyam, a media executive with deep credentials in television, digital and radio said, “I have never seen such consistent delivery against advertising metrics and this kind of massive return on investment.”
Of particular importance to Northeast Arkansas small business is how well retail advertising performed in the study. Retail brands found the highest return on investment from radio advertising with results ranging from 11.1 percent ROI to 23.2 percent ROI. According to Ad Age, these results are “eye-popping.”
Mr. Schoen suggests, at the conclusion of his Forbes article, “It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”