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Study: ‘Radio Catalyzes Consumer Brand Conversations And Interactions.’


Radio's ability to drive consumer conversations about brands and its impact on purchase intent and achieving brand goals are examined in a new study commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Conducted by data and analytics firm Engagement Labs, the study found heavy radio listeners engage in 4.7 billion weekly brand conversations, outpacing heavy users of other media channels, including TV, social media, magazines and newspapers.


Radio's ability to drive consumer conversations about brands and its impact on purchase intent and achieving brand goals are examined in a new study commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Conducted by data and analytics firm Engagement Labs, the study found heavy radio listeners engage in 4.7 billion weekly brand conversations, outpacing heavy users of other media channels, including TV, social media, magazines and newspapers.


“These influencers possess a distinct power: more and better conversations hold the potential to significantly bolster the bottom line for brands, everything from increased sales in CPG to growing new subscriptions in streaming media,” the report says. “We must recognize conversations as a tangible asset, measure them, and harness their potential rather than allowing them to languish.”


Heavy radio users are defined as spending 2+ hours with the medium per day. The threshold is the same for heavy TV and social media users but drops to 1+ hours per day for heavy newspaper and magazine users.


The findings dovetail with Engagement Labs' prior research, which showed that 25% of the media’s impact is channeled through conversations and that 19% of sales, on average, are driven by consumer conversations.


For the study, Engagement Labs defines brand conversations as self-reported, brand-related conversations consumers have that happen face-to-face, by phone or through digital communications.


The study found that radio dominates brand conversations across 15 business categories, including sports, financial services, food & dining, healthcare, media & entertainment, and technology.


The analytics firm says heavy radio listeners are 25% more likely to be everyday consumer influencers than the average person, 23% more likely than heavy TV viewers and 4% more likely than heavy social media users.


Engagement Labs defines influential consumers as the 10% of the total public that “may engage in 2-3 times as many brand conversations as others.”


“Heavy radio listeners stand out as influential consumer influencers, driving more impactful conversations among a group that have an amplified impact on other people’s purchase decisions,” the report says. “This trait reaffirms conversations as a tangible asset, capable of propelling significant bottom-line growth for an advertiser.”


The study found that just over half (51%) of brand conversations among heavy radio listeners result in an intent to purchase, slightly better than the national average of 49%. This impact is more pronounced in sectors like automotive, sports, telecom, technology, beverages and healthcare.


This follows Engagement Labs' earlier findings that conversations contribute directly to sales attribution and that radio's ability to convert discussions to purchase intent enhances its impact.


“The findings highlight the value of conversations, their conversion to sales, and the necessity of nurturing them, corroborating these insights within the realm of radio,” the study concludes. “With radio's ability to amplify conversations, engage everyday influencers, drive purchase intent, and foster dialogue on crucial issues, its role as an indispensable tool for brands and advertisers becomes undeniable. To maximize this potential, we must recognize, measure and optimize conversations as a primary asset, enriching the brand-consumer relationship and driving the bottom line.”


Commenting on the study, RAB President & CEO Erica Farber said, “Radio is often referred to as the original social medium because of its ability to engage listeners through conversation, entertainment and information. This study underscores radio’s ability to drive word of mouth brand conversations for advertising partners, more so than any other media.”


Added Steven M. Brown, President of Engagement Labs, "We embarked on this study to understand radio's impact on brand conversations for advertisers. The results are remarkable as Total Social data demonstrates that radio's influence spans industries and demographics and impacts everyday influencers and KPIs such as purchase intent. This study validates that radio catalyzes consumer brand conversations and interactions and underscores the medium's power.”


The study analyzed a cross-section of consumers ages 13 to 69 in the U.S. from August 2022 to July 2023. During this one-year period, approximately 38,000 interviews were collected.


The full report, “Radio Drives Brand Conversations: Unveiling the Untapped Potential of Radio Conversations” is available for download HERE.


RAB will host a live presentation at 12 p.m. CT, Wednesday, Sept. 13 featuring Brown, and Matt Phillips, VP of Client Success of Engagement Labs, who will share findings from the study and case studies. RAB members can register HERE.

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