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Radio's 'Trust Halo' With Consumers Drives High Purchase Intent, Research Shows.

When AM/FM radio's continued dominance of ad-supported audio consumption – 75% of audiences, according to Edison Research's Q2 2022 “Share of Ear” report – isn't enough to sway local advertisers, research data uncovers another advantage to reaching radio listeners: they have higher purchase intent, as in a potentially greater likelihood to buy a product or service.

“It’s a point to make when re-engaging customers, or talking to new ones who need more understanding of the power of radio,” Mallory Bouslog, Senior Account Executive at Marketron, which develops sales tools for radio, says in RAB's “Radio Matters” blog.

“Radio has a 'trust halo' with consumers. They feel connected to personalities and stations, finding them honest and authentic. That trust expands to the advertisers on their stations. When there’s a greater emotional connection, it improves retention of the ad content.”

According to RAB's research, spots on radio can drive brand traffic and deliver new customers, especially for automotive, jewelry, physician and life insurance brands, where store traffic increased by at least 22%. MRI-Simmons data shows streamers of AM/FM stations have higher purchase intent for starting or buying a business, and for fitness equipment, large household items, life insurance, meal kits, real estate, cars and investments.

“These categories cover a large number of local businesses, so the opportunities to leverage this data are broad,” Bouslog says. “Many larger companies have lots of internal information about customers and can assess this on their own, [but] your local advertisers may not have this data internally. The way they can understand intent is with the direct-from-consumer research you provide about what buyers’ preferences are, and plans for purchase — and, more importantly, what channels they pay attention to in buying decisions.”

While the 'trust halo' may not itself make listeners more likely to purchase any advertised product or service, it can be the tipping point for interested consumers, as Bouslog stresses. “If they are in the market and hear ads, it could be the nudge they need to visit that store or website. As the number one reach medium, radio will effectively grow awareness of an advertiser’s brand as it successfully reaches more engaged and prime potential customers than other media.

“As a broadcast seller, you want to impart that your audience does turn to radio as a trusted channel. If you can present these statistics to your advertisers, they’ll be all ears.”

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