When a Maine small business owner invests in an advertising campaign, the goal of the ads should never be to sell a product. The primary purpose for any type of ad including those on TV, on radio, or online, is to be remembered. When a consumer can't recall your company's message when it's time to make a purchase, chances are they'll buy from your competitors.
So, when a business owner has to choose between purchasing ads on Portland radio, TV, or digital, the owner needs to know which ads are most likely to be remembered. Spoiler alert: it's the radio commercials. How do we know? Science tells us so.
Recently, Brainsights, a research company that uses neurological, bio-metric and non-conscious data to learn how consumers make decisions, set out to compare the advertising efficacy of different media. The study was commissioned by Canadian Broadcast Sales.
Researchers used EEG technology, that records electrical activity of the brain, to track individual reactions to radio content. Respondents were exposed to 32 commercials across various categories ranging from automotive and finance, to entertainment and personal care. The electrodes measured subconscious engagement across three key variables: awareness, connection and encoding.
These three areas of engagement measured are the states of mind that influence advertising results.
Radio: The Stuff Memories Are Made Of
The study found that radio, TV, and digital ads performed comparably in awareness, and connection. When it comes to encoding, however, radio commercials proved far more effective than other media.
What is encoding? It's the process our brains use to store and recall information. For the information in ads to influence a sale, it must be properly encoded.
According to the study, radio's ability to affect encoding was 8% greater than all general advertising; 21% greater than television advertising; and 4% greater than digital advertising.
Radio's encoding advantage is even more evident when individual product categories are considered.
For financial services, for instance, radio produced 30% more encoding than the general advertising benchmark for the study. For e-commerce categories, radio's encoding results were 35% higher.
Radios Delivers "Eye Popping" Return On Investment
Perhaps there is a causal link between a radio commercial's ability to prompt encoding and the medium's extraordinary return-on-investment for Maine small business owners who advertise on Portland radio.
Over the past few years, Nielsen, a company that tracks our media consumption well as buying habits, has done more than 20 studies to determine what type of return a business owner could expect for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising. In every, case, radio advertising's return-on-investment, was, according to Ad Age, "Eye-popping."
Spend $1.00 Get $12.00 Back
The most recent ROI study, released this month by Nielsen is no exception. According to Westwood One, the company that commissioned this latest study, a radio campaign for a men's personal-care brand produced $11.96 in sales-lift for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising. Wow!
"To determine sales lift," says Pierre Bouvard of Westwood One, "Nielsen Catalina Solutions matches Portable People Meter panel data and shopper card data from NCS and Nielsen Homescan. This creates a household match of actual AM/FM radio listening and their purchase habits.
Mr. Bouvard also noted, radio advertising's overall effect on the brand's sales. "Households where men were exposed to the AM/FM radio campaign saw an 8% lift in sales for the parent brand. The growth in sales was driven by more spending per trip."
This new Nielsen study not only affirms its 21 preceding studies, but it also confirms what many Maine small business owners already know: advertising on Portland radio works.
Case in point. Scott Libby, owner of Royal River Heat Pumps in Freeport, credits his radio advertising campaign and its catchy jingle with doubling his sales in just one year. "When it comes to reach," says Mr. Libby, "radio is second to none."
Advertising On Portland Radio Delivers Qualified Customers
Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, has had similar results utilizing radio as part of her company's marketing mix. "When we began advertising on the radio several years ago," says Ms. Manchester, "our business doubled! We went from selling 100 homes a year to approximately 200 homes each year! Radio advertising continues to provide a steady stream of well qualified customers for us!"
Jon Goodman, who is the front man of Time Pilots, a Maine based wedding band also experienced accelerated growth when he started advertising on radio. "It would be fair to say," says Mr. Goodman, "that our wedding business has tripled."
Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick, also lets reality not perception guide her company's media and marketing decisions. "We have been using Portland radio as a primary marketing source for about 10 years now." said Ms. Dodge. "We have seen very measurable results and are able to target our audiences more effectively."
"We are also more effectively able to market specific brands to a specific audience which is sometimes harder, and more expensive, to do with other mediums, said Ms. Dodge. "Radio is a very cost effective way to get your message out to the people you want to hear it."
Radio Delvers Higher ROI Than Other Media
Not every radio campaign can deliver these types of results. On average, the studies Nielsen has conducted, produce a 6 time ROI. According to Ad Age magazine, these findings indicate that advertisers can expect higher returns-on investment from radio than TV, digital, or social media.
More Great Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Target The Heart: Advertising Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Advertising On Public Radio. Should Maine Small Business Owners Do It?
- A Tip For Maine Small Business Owners From Top Marketing Companies
- What's Your Story? Tell it on Portland Radio
- Satellite Radio: What Maine Small Business Owners Need To Know