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Study: Brand Awareness Gets Significant Boost From AM/FM Listening.

A new study from Westwood One and MARU/Matchbox on the subject of brand awareness underscores the boost that’s provided by AM/FM radio.

The first analysis took place in January of last year, when the firms conducted a national study of 252 direct-to-consumer brands that were chosen across an array of categories, with more than 1,300 consumer surveyed. Among the DTC brands, the report notes, 189 were included in IAB’s 250 DTC Brands To Watch.

The second round occurred in February of this year, studying 400 brands and including nearly all of IAB’s 250 Brands To Watch, surveying 1,456 consumers. There are 86 brands, the report says, that are trending from last year to this year.

In terms of average awareness among those trending 86 brands, consumers 18+ saw an increase from 19% to 22%, with awareness gains also made nearly across the board: 35-49, 60-64, 65+, men and women. Only among millennials was there an awareness decline.

The biggest increase in awareness, however, came among heavy AM/FM radio listeners (those who listen 16+ hours per week). Among that demo, awareness increased from 15% to 22% among those trending brands.

Breaking down those 86 brands by category, health/wellness (4 brands) saw an average awareness increase of 12 points. That was followed by food/beverage (19 brands, +6); personal care (13 brands, +5); home/furniture (13 brands, +4); and apparel/fashion (13 brands, +2).

Declines were seen in beauty, financial, pet care, and hobbies/lifestyle.

But again, once heavy AM/FM Radio listenership entered the equation, the overall picture changed substantially, with additional gains realized across the board: personal care, for example, went from +5 to +10; beauty went from -1 to +5; financial went from -1 to +3; pet care went from -2 to +2; and hobbies/lifestyle went from -3 to zero.

Another finding — one that has remained consistent across a vast ocean of marketing research — is that brands with higher media spending were able to grow more awareness.

Light media spenders (average spend of $150,000 and under, 22 brands) saw a single-point decline in average brand awareness; and medium spenders ($2.5 million, 23 brands) saw a single-point gain. But heavy spenders ($47.6 million, 23 brands) realized a dramatic gain: an average brand awareness lift of 13 points.

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