Hot Sales Strategy: Prioritize Categories Where Heavy Radio Listeners Over-Index.


As the radio industry looks to regain revenue in the re-opening phase of the pandemic, data is playing a crucial role. Understanding which categories are experiencing increased consumer demand and how radio performs with these purchase intenders is one savvy way to prioritize targets. It involves matching up heavy radio listeners with categories where spending is on the upswing.


“If you have a bigger than average audience to bring to that client, why not make that clear,” Rick Ducey, Managing Director, BIA Advisory Services, said during the Tuesday webinar, “U.S. Local Radio: State of the Industry Now and 2021.”


New Nielsen consumer survey data reveals where consumers intend to spend more money within two months after coronavirus restrictions are eased. With Americans spending more time at home, home improvement is an obvious growth category for radio stations to target. One in ten consumers (10%) surveyed by Nielsen said they intend to spend more on plumbing/HVAC when restrictions are eased. But the percentage jumped to 14% among heavy radio listeners. Put another way, heavy radio listeners are 40% more likely to spend more on plumbing/HVAC when restrictions are lifted.


Similarly heavy radio listeners are 36% more likely to spend more on electrical than the general population, 33% more likely for lawn care/landscaping, 21% more likely for cleaning services, 20% more likely for furniture, 13% more likely for hardware/home improvement and 6% more likely for remodeling/home improvement.


“If you have that group of heavy radio listeners, they’re more likely to spend in those sub-verticals,” Ducey said. “You’re going to reach a greater proportion of people intending to spend more within the next couple of months within these categories.”


The data from Nielsen and BIA helps radio show clients and prospects the correlation that listeners equal buyers and that heavy radio listeners are higher home improvement spenders. It can be used as a selling insight to help marketers prioritize their media buying.


Nielsen data also indicates that in the auto parts sub-category, heavy radio listeners are 20% more likely to have the intention to spend more than the average consumer. And heavy radio listeners are 27% more likely to have the intention to spend more on auto repair, 36% more likely to spend more on investment, 39% more likely on insurance and 40% more likely on accounting services.


The latest BIA forecast identifies four ad categories expected to be the biggest radio spenders this year. Financial/insurance is on track to allocate $2 billion to the medium in 2020. Retailers are close behind, poised to shell out $1.97 billion, followed by automotive (once radio’s largest category) at $1.5 billion and tech companies with a $1.3 billion outlay.

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