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Second Annual DtC Media Attribution & Awareness Report


Westwood One
Westwood One

Cumulus Media's Westwood One has partnered with LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox to conduct their second annual Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness study to understand the marketing effectiveness of direct-to-consumer firms and the state of their brand equity.

Even before the coronavirus, e-commerce was surging. In the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. government indicated e-commerce represented 11.8% of total U.S. retail sales up from 6.9% in the first quarter of 2015 and 4.8% in in the first quarter of 2010. eMarketer forecasts e-commerce will represent 14.5% of full year 2020 total retail sales.

"Direct-to-consumer brands are entering their second act now, seeking to grow through market penetration and attract the masses via TV and AM/FM Radio," said Cumulus Media and Westwood One Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard. "This study validates the brand-building sales effect of broadcast media as TV and Radio drive seven times the search and site traffic lift of Google and Facebook."

Another key finding from the study is that AM/FM radio is a catalyst for increased effectiveness of Google and Facebook ads during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. During the pandemic in Q2 2020 radio's impact on Google/Facebook performance surged to 20.0%.

"Why is radio driving even more Google and Facebook impact during the pandemic? I believe it's because radio listeners at home are responding MORE to radio ads now than they 'normally' did last year," observed LeadsRx co-founder and CEO AJ Brown. "Radio has this 'halo' effect and sub-conscious impact. Even while listening in the background while checking email or performing other work activities, it's likely consumers recall an advertiser when getting on the internet."

The study includes the following highlights:

  • Combined, Radio and TV deliver seven times the site traffic lift of Google and Facebook. The combined site traffic lift of TV and AM/FM radio grew from 40% in 2018 to 63% in 2019. The lift of Google and Facebook fell from 17% to 9% during the same period.

  • AM/FM radio advertising enhances Google/Facebook performance during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. The first quarter of 2020 showed an uptick in the average lift to 16.4%, increasing to 20% when the pandemic hit in the second quarter.

  • Surprisingly, AM/FM radio is just as good as TV in driving site traffic and TV. Across all the attribution studies performed, LeadsRx found a $24,300 investment in AM/FM radio generated one point of search and site traffic lift; to attain a point of lift via TV advertising, a $25,581 investment is needed.

  • Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 37% more likely to shop online than heavy TV viewers. According to GfK MRI, 59% of heavy AM/FM listeners have shopped online in the last year versus only 43% for Heavy TV viewers. For every dollar a DTC brand spends on TV, only 43 cents reaches consumers that shop online.

  • The profile of online shopper aligns more with AM/FM radio listeners than the TV audience. GfK MRI reveals online shoppers are nearly equally segmented into three age groups: 18-34 (32%), 35-54 (36%) and 55+ (32%). Heavy radio listeners mirror the online shopper profile: 18-34 (33%), 35-54 (36%), and 55+ (31%). The heavy TV viewer skews much older: 18-34 (14%), 35-54 (23%) and 55+ (64%).

  • There is a massive disconnect between the media selection for DTC advertising and which media audiences make the most online purchase. GfK MRI reports AM/FM radio represents 60% of the consumer e-commerce spend. Yet, according to Kantar Media, only 3% of e-commerce ad dollars are spent on AM/FM radio.

  • Per Nielsen's Media Impact optimization platform, a reallocation of 20% of a DTC TV buy to radio generates stunning growth in incremental campaign reach. The challenge for DTC brands: most online shopping occurs among those under 55 while most TV tuning is generated by 55+ viewers. Per Gfk MRI, 68% of online shoppers are 18-54, however only 36% of heavy TV viewers are 18-54. Nearly two thirds of TV deliveries (64%) skew 55+ a demo that only represents 32% of online shoppers. Radio to the rescue. Adding AM/FM radio into the DTC plan generates significant incremental reach under the age of 55.

  • Best practices to power DTC marketing effectiveness: Allocate 74% of marketing budgets to brand building, target broadly with emotional advertising that runs in all days and dayparts.
For the full Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness report, click here.

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