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AM/FM Best To Reach High-End Financial Services Market, Study Shows.

Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are three times more likely than heavy TV viewers to be in the market for a new or additional financial advisory firm. That's one of the many findings of an April 2021 survey commissioned by Cumulus Media, as reported in Westwood One's “Everyone's Listening” blog. “AM/FM radio should have a much greater role in the overall media plan targeting high investable asset individuals since [it] plays such a large role among the employed segment,” Cumulus Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says.

The study, conducted by market researcher MESH Experience among 300 individuals with high investable assets of $500k or more, found persons 35+ to be the ideal demographic to target, with adults 35-64 accounting for half of the high-end investors market. Nearly one-fourth of these investors are likely to be in the market for a new or additional financial advisory firm, with three in four in the 35-64 age bracket, nine in ten employed, and over half heavy AM/FM radio listeners, while just 16% are heavy TV viewers. Most notably, one-third of heavy AM-FM listeners are likely to be in the market for a new or additional firm, compared to only 11% of heavy TV viewers.

The survey results suggest that any ad campaign's focus should be on the employed segment of the high investable asset group, which is 11 times more likely than the retired segment to be in the market for a new or additional firm (44%, vs. 4%). “They are far more likely to engage with brands,” Bouvard says. “This will set up financial investment brands for long-term benefits, as retired consumers are unlikely to switch their firms and show much less interest in the category.” Among the high investable assets segment, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are twice as likely to be employed than heavy TV viewers (61%, vs. 27%).

Overall, MESH Experience found heavy AM/FM listeners to be more engaged with the financial services category compared to heavy TV viewers, showing greater likelihood of being customers, higher familiarity with brands, having higher brand favorability for firms and showing higher ad recall. Additionally, when played a radio ad for a financial services brand, AM/FM listeners were more than four times likelier than TV viewers to take some sort of action, whether contacting the company, visiting the website, visiting a brand office or opening an account.

Oldies/Classic Hits, Classic Rock, News/Talk, Rock, and Top 40 are the most listened-to AM/FM formats among those with $500K+ of investable assets, according to MESH Experience, while the best formats to target those in the market for a new financial firm are Classic Rock, Rock, News/Talk, Oldies/Classic Hits, Top 40, Sports and Adult Contemporary.

Westwood One's blog also includes an analysis from Nielsen Media Impact showing how adding AM-FM to a media plan for any of nine financial brands' existing TV campaigns increases reach when 20% of the television investment is reallocated to AM/FM with no increase in budget. “Regardless of the TV spend, the addition of AM/FM radio lifts reach,” Bouvard says. “The average financial services brand would experience a +63% increase in reach with the addition of AM/FM radio to the plan and no increase in budget.”

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