Research published by a trade association with a vested interest in the outcome deserves extra scrutiny. But, when the research is conducted properly, it’s definitely worth a look. In this case, I’m talking about the "Does Radio Drive Store Traffic" study published Dial Report and the Radio Advertising Bureau.
The study encompassed 107,000 smartphone listeners who heard radio spots. A control group of listeners was not exposed to the radio ads. The listeners were located in the Top 100 U.S. markets. Researchers tracked changes in visit counts to specific retail stores in these markets over a period of seven days. Ten brands participated in this study.
The good news is radio advertising appeared to yield benefits for retailers. Here’s how the increase in store traffic broke out across the verticals for specific participating brands:
- Home improvement 1 4%
- Home improvement 2 8%
- Home improvement 3 10%
- QSR 1 16%
- Automotive 1 18%
- QSR 3 21%
- Beauty retailer 1 27%
- QSR 2 32%
- Beauty retailer 2 37%
- Automotive 2 45%
Researchers also studied the timing of ads and when store traffic increased. For example, QSRs often run radio ads on weekend overnight time spots. That practice is associated with a 26% spike in foot traffic, presumably because hungry consumers who are out late hear the ads and stop by the restaurant for a quick meal. Retailers who run ads before 7:00 p.m. on weekends can also count on driving store traffic. In this study, researchers measured a 28% boost in visitors. PMD (P.M. drive time) is another important day part for radio advertisers. Brands can see up to a 27% jump in store traffic when they run ads during the evening commute.
In the Dial Report RAB study, researchers also found an association between increased store traffic and the types of stations marketers used for advertising. Retailers that bought ad space on Top 40 and Adult Hits saw their foot traffic increase by over 25% during the study period.
Remind your clients that radio advertising is a critical piece of the media mix. To learn more about radio listening audiences, review the profiles available at AudienceSCAN, found on AdMall from SalesFuel.