There's an advertising cliche attributed to 19th century department store tycoon John Wanamaker. He supposedly said, "I know that half my advertising works, I just don't which half." If Mr. Wanamaker, in fact, did utter these moth-eaten words, then it was only because he did not have access to the same research we have in the 21st century.
Maine small business owners often wonder, too, if their advertising campaigns on Portland radio delivers substantive results. A deluge of recent research is proof positive it does.
One of the most compelling studies was conducted by NextRadio. Using smartphone technology, a home improvement retailer was able to identify listeners who heard their radio ad during the course of the month. Among those listeners, 10% made an in-store visit to the retailer during the course of the campaign. More impressive is the finding that 83% of those radio inspired visitors were new or dormant customers.
The ability to drive massive store traffic, as proven by the NextRadio study, contributes to the astounding return-on-investment generated from every dollar invested in radio advertising.
Eye Popping Return On Investment
Research giant Nielsen has produced 20 studies that demonstrate AM/FM radio can deliver what Ad Age magazine calls an "eye-popping return on investment." Their latest study produced similar results. It revealed that a radio advertising campaign conducted by an auto-aftermarket retailer generated $21.00 of incremental sales for every $1.00 invested.
Over a three-month period, according to Westwood One who commissioned the latest study, Nielsen matched its Portable People Meter panel with credit and debit card spending data in order to compare purchases of those exposed to the radio campaign with consumers who were not exposed. The results continue to demonstrate radio advertising's jaw dropping ability to improve a business owner's bottom line.
In addition to the 21-times ROI, the current Nielsen study also found that during the radio advertising campaign, the retailer experienced a 64% increase in brand new customers. It also found that the retailer's share of total auto aftermarket sales increased by 71%.
This new Nielsen study not only affirms its 20 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.
If radio advertising and sophisticated research had existed in Mr. Wanamaker's era, then he would have known which half of his advertising was working.
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