Increasing Ad Spend, Reach Makes Radio “Ideal Medium” For Insurance Brands.


Not only are AM/FM radio's heaviest listeners more likely to be in-market insurance shoppers, but an increase in radio ad expenditure drives up incremental reach, search and site traffic, as reported. That makes AM/FM radio the ideal medium for insurance brands, according to Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard. “The greater the time spent with AM/FM radio, the more likely listeners are in the market for insurance,” he says in in Westwood One's latest “Everyone's Listening” blog.


According to Miller Kaplan, the insurance category increased network radio spend by 26% in 2020 vs. 2019, and supporting research makes it easy to see why. Nielsen Scarborough reports 90% of potential insurance company switchers are reached by AM/FM radio, and MARU/Matchbox shows nearly one in five consumers are “extremely likely” to shop for insurance in the next six months, with nearly a third of heavy AM/FM listeners in market, 67% more likely than average. The blog also cites research from AnalyticOwl showing ads on AM/FM increased auto insurance web traffic by 12% and foot traffic 59%.


For as much insurance advertising as appears on television, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 30% more likely to be in the market for insurance, compared to heavy TV viewers – with 30% of heavy AM/FM listeners “extremely likely” to shop for insurance in the next six months compared to 23% of heavy TV viewers – according to the MARU/Matchbox research.


Making an even stronger case for radio, when looking at five major insurance brands based on their December 2020 TV campaigns, AM/FM radio generates an average 39% increase in incremental reach among adults 25-34 when added to TV, with any duplication between the two eliminated, according to Nielsen Media Impact.


“AM/FM radio makes your TV better,” Bouvard says. “Life’s major milestones typically occur between the ages of 25 and 34: first car, first house, marriage, and first child. Insurance firms need to create awareness, interest and favorability for their brand with this demographic so they get into the consideration set of consumers.”


Nielsen's research also shows that the younger the demographic, the greater the increase in incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio, with that 39% increase among adults 25-34 flanked by a 46% lift among adults 18-24 and 22% for those 35-44. The blog also notes Nielsen figures showing live and time-shifted TV's weekly reach at just 62%, with two of five adults 18-34 not reached by linear television weekly, while 84% of adults 18-34 are reached weekly by AM/FM radio.


Westwood One's report also cites its earlier blog showing insurance brands score high among consumers with their audio logos, using both the brand name and melody effectively, and a Cumulus Media/Veritonic study showing ads for insurance brands that said the brand name earlier performed better.


“Insurance brands have mastered one of the most crucial audio creative best practices: brand early and often,” Bouvard says. “They have learned the power of placing their brand name within the first three seconds of the ad and frequently throughout.”

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