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Study Shows AM/FM Radio And Podcast Ads Boosted E-Commerce Retailer Brand Perceptions.

A marketing mix of AM/FM radio streaming and podcast advertising made a notable impact on key brand perceptions for an e-commerce retailer, based on research conducted by Cumulus Media/Westwood One's Audio Active Group.

The study in conjunction with online brand measurement company Upwave – focused on the retailer's six-month ad campaign using AM/FM streaming and a sponsorship of “Elizabeth the First,” the podcast about actress Elizabeth Taylor, narrated by Katy Perry – surveyed an equal number of consumers exposed and not exposed to the ads, identified in each case by a pixel placed in the digital audio ad server.

According to the analysis of the survey's results in Westwood One's weekly blog, for the campaign's primary target of women, those exposed to the campaign significantly lifted key brand perceptions at levels higher than those unexposed. Most notably, they were 140% more likely to associate the brand with offering “the best sales and coupons,” 81% more likely to say the retailer “is a brand I trust,” and 33% more likely to say the brand “partners with all my favorite stores.”

Additionally, key measures of brand equity were also significantly higher among the women sampled who were exposed to the e-commerce retailers ads, including a 102% increase in purchase intent, 54% growth in familiarity, 37% greater consideration, and a 55% lift in Upwave's prediction of future customer growth.

“The campaign was extraordinarily successful, both the AM/FM streaming and the podcast,” Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says. “The e-commerce retailer campaign grew top-of-funnel metrics among women.”

In Westwood One's blog, Bouvard cites experts on marketing effectiveness and measurement to point out that for such direct-to-consumer campaigns, there are key differences in advertising online vs. offline retailers, as in those with brick-and-mortar stores. The former should allocate 74% of their budget to creating brand building, or creating future demand, and 26% to sales activation, or converting existing demand.

“Creating future demand (brand building) ads creates memories that influence future behavior, [while] sales activation ads produce an immediate behavioral response,” he says. “Offline retailers have the benefit of the physical stores, that brand that you see passing by the store or shopping in it. That distinctive asset does not exist in the online world, therefore they [should allocate] an even greater proportion of marketing investments devoted to creating future demand or brand building.”

Other courses of action recommended include targeting broadly to expand the customer base, use emotional advertising to build direct-to-consumer brands and drive sales and profit, be known before you are needed, and buy lots of ads in all days and dayparts.

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