Study: Marketers And Agencies Commuting Less Than The Average American.


Studies have shown that decision-makers at ad agencies have media habits that are markedly different from those of the average American. Now a comparison of separate studies conducted by Nielsen and Advertiser Perceptions shows the two groups have much different commuting habits, too.


Fielded by Nielsen in March 2022, the first study surveyed 1,000 Americans aged 18+. The second was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and commissioned by the Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group. Fielded in April 2022, the second study probed the personal commuting habits of 300 marketers/media agency personnel as well as their perceptions of how average Americans are commuting.


A comparison of the two studies shows marketing and agency personnel are commuting to work less than the average American. According to Nielsen, 86% of U.S. pre-COVID commuters are commuting to work. Advertiser Perceptions finds 63% of marketers and agencies are commuting.


In addition, the percentage of pre-COVID commuters working outside the home has steadily increased from 48% in April 2020 to a high of 86% in March 2022, according to Nielsen. Advertiser Perceptions, meanwhile, reports 37% of marketers and media agencies are working from home compared to only 14% of average Americans who commuted before the pandemic, according to Nielsen.


“The average American will be exposed to billboard and radio ads more often than individuals working in marketing and at media agencies. This is because twice as many people employed by agencies and brands are working from home when compared with the average American,” said Suzanne Grimes, Executive VP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Companies are navigating how and when their employees should return to the office. This first-ever look at the commuting patterns of marketing and agency personnel gives our peers a chance to understand how the industry is reacting, as well as compare those commuting habits to the average American.”


In other findings from the Audio Active Group’s comparison of the two studies:


  • Advertiser Perceptions finds marketing and agency employees who are commuting are averaging three days a week in the office. Smaller brands and agencies see higher rates of employees commuting to the office (3.54 days on average among firms with 1-999 employees) versus larger organizations with 1,000+ employees (2.88 days on average).

  • Among marketing and agency personnel who are working from home, one in three does not plan to return to the office full time. For those partially commuting, 25% do not plan to return to the office full time.

  • Advertiser Perceptions data also reveals 41% of marketing/agency personnel have resumed in-person media vendor meetings and 33% are already attending in-person conferences/events.

  • Marketers and agency personnel underestimate how many Americans are working outside the home. They perceive 72% of employed Americans are commuting while the Nielsen study show that number is higher at 86%. Marketers and agency people believe 28% of Americans are working from home when only 14% of pre-COVID commuters are still working from home, per Nielsen.


View the complete analysis HERE.

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