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Is Radio the Ultimate Sidekick? CRA Study Says Yes.

Investing just 11% of a campaign budget in radio will double its effectiveness, according to a study conducted by Commercial Radio & Audio, an Australian trade association. The study – conducted in collaboration with Professor Mark Ritson, a respected marketing educator – set out to better understand the impact of how changes in radio spending can directly influence an ad campaign’s effectiveness.

“Radio has been underrated in maximizing the overall impact of your marketing,” Prof. Ritson said.

The study analyzed the Advertising Council of Australia’s Effectiveness Database, which includes all 470 Effie Award entries since 2018, and are recognized as the pinnacle of advertising excellence.

It relied on a key marketing and media planning metric known as Extra Share of Voice (ESOV), which measures the degree to which a brand’s share of voice exceeds its share of market. ESOV refers to Share of Voice (a brand’s share of the advertising space in its category) minus Share of Market (the brand’s share of sales in its category).

Ritson and CSA explored what happens to ESOV when radio is added to a marketing plan and what impact radio has on campaigns that have already proven effective.

The study concluded that positive ESOV campaigns drive stronger business effects when radio is in the mix. Among the findings: brand impact was 13% higher in campaigns with radio. And campaigns incorporating radio exhibited substantial effects on the brand, leading to larger increases in mental availability, and consequently stronger business results. The researchers concluded that the larger mental availability gains when radio is included underpin stronger business results.”

“ESOV is important because it increases brand awareness, can potentially increase brand loyalty and ultimately, increase sales,” writes RAB Senior VP of Insights Annette Malave in a post about the study on the Radio Matters blog.

Radio’s ability to improve the acquisition of new customers is a key part of stronger business results, the study found.

“Radio doesn’t need to be the hero, or the lead media, but it does drive a disproportionately large impact for a relatively modest investment of just 11%,”Ritson said. “It’s the ultimate sidekick.”

In addition, campaigns with radio also deliver stronger impact on brand awareness, product knowledge and help to build distinctive assets, per the study.

The findings align with global studies drawing on the IPA/Effie's database compiled by media measurement experts Peter Field and Les Binet, underscoring the international significance of radio's impact on advertising effectiveness.

“For the best bang-for-buck, marketers should consider radio as an integral part of the channel mix – and an 11% investment can double your campaign’s impact,” Ritson concluded.

The study also acknowledges that on today’s fragmented media landscape, consumers are engaging with multiple forms of media throughout their day. “Implementing a media strategy for any brand is as important as the brand’s messaging, and it is critical to look at the power and complementary effect that multiple forms of media have on the plan,” Malave says. “In other words, partnerships with multiple media channels to drive KPI delivery will always generate a greater impact.”

Download the study HERE. 

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