Good Medicine: Health Retailer Sees Website Traffic Rise After Buying Radio Ads.


Attribution demonstrating a radio ad led to a purchase isn’t always as easy a story to tell as in the clickable world of digital media. But a growing body of research and cases studies is chipping away at the wall that some brands have put around buying audio. A just-released study by Cumulus Media takes another whack at bringing it down for good, showing how a direct-to-consumer drug company saw the health of its brand awareness and website traffic improve after spending on radio.


The national health and nutrition products retailer – its name isn’t being made public – ran a national spot campaign on Cumulus-owned Westwood One stations from October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019. To measure the ad’s effectiveness, Cumulus enlisted the help of MARU/Matchbox to measure brand effect and LeadsRx to quantify search and site traffic. What it found was that the AM/FM radio campaign resulted in an eight percent increase in the retailer’s web traffic on average.


That alone would be a nice story for radio to tell. But Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media and Westwood One, says they took it a step further and analyzed what impact increasing the media weight would have on website traffic. The data shows that in markets where the biggest number of commercials ran there was more than twice as large a lift in search and website traffic, compared to those markets where the fewest number of spots aired. Markets with the heaviest GRP weight from the AM/FM radio campaign saw a “massive” 16% increase in visitation to the retailer’s website, says Bouvard, while cities with light GRP exposure saw a still-respectable 7% lift in website visitors.


It wasn’t just website traffic that grew. “The AM/FM radio campaign increased ad recall and brand equity for the retailer’s new offering,” says Bouvard. In a blog post, he says the retailer’s new service saw its awareness (+50%), interest (+30%), and purchase consideration (+52%) numbers all increase thanks to the radio spots. “Versus the overall market, heavy AM/FM radio listeners were twice as likely to want to try the new service,” says Bouvard.


MARU/Matchbox also found awareness of the new service among heavy AM/FM listeners (24%) to be nearly three times greater than in the market overall (9%). In fact, 44% of heavy AM/FM listeners said they would be very likely to try the new service versus 17% in the total market.


The gains made for the health and nutrition products retailer may not be all that surprising, and not only because of other studies that show how radio ads translate to sales. In this specific ad category, MARU/Matchbox data shows heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 72% more likely to be heavy category purchasers. Heavy AM/FM radio listeners were also more likely to be a customer of the health and nutrition retailer and shop there the most. “Given that heavy AM/FM radio listeners are strong category users, it is not surprising that awareness, interest, and consideration of the new service is significantly greater among heavy AM/FM radio listeners compared to the overall market,” said Bouvard.

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