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A New Way to Tell if Your Radio and Broadcast TV Ads Are Effective

Rather than making an “educated guess,” you can use these tools, which work based on the numbers/traffic/leads you receive at your store each month.

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Want to know if your radio and broadcast TV campaigns are paying dividends? There’s a really good chance you might already have the tools you need to tell, but you just might not know how to do it. Rather than making an “educated guess,” you can use these tools which work based on the numbers/traffic/leads you receive at your store each month.

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Today, many automobile dealers have some very sophisticated reporting/analytics software upon which they rely heavily. That all by itself makes them worthwhile because they have more information at their fingertips than ever before. But it’s through this same software that you can use real-time data to determine if your radio advertising campaigns are doing everything they should to bring customers to your business — online or in person.

So how is this done? Dealers can view daily broadcast impressions (the total number of exposures to your ad) served immediately after their advertisements are run. For an example, let’s take a close look at data from my dealership, Fort Myers Mitsubishi in Florida. These reports, taken from our dealer reporting software during a recent one-month time frame, show a definite parallel between when our radio and broadcast TV ads are aired and when we see significant spikes in our online traffic. Below are reports on each of the four types of website traffic (Direct Web Traffic, Online Search, Paid Search and Referrals) to demonstrate this.

Direct Web Traffic
The parallel here is apparent — and it makes perfect sense. When a potential customer hears your radio ad with a degree of frequency, they can be motivated by your ad. When they are, they go to the dealership website — and since the web address is top-of-mind, they type it in rather than searching for it. Looking at the chart below, you can see the undeniable connection.

 

Organic Search
This is similar to direct web traffic, except these are the people who couldn’t necessarily remember the exact web address but were still compelled to use a search engine to type in the keywords that will lead them there. But again, just like direct web traffic, they had to hear our ad in the first place to be compelled to find out more information. Knowing this, it’ll be no surprise to you to discover that the organic search chart follows a similar pattern as direct web traffic.

Paid Search
While the strategy of paid search is different from direct web traffic and organic search, it still relies upon a potential customer searching for you (or your specific cars/services) to begin with. As a result, the correlation still exists — which you can see by the parallels between the corresponding dips and upticks.

Referral
You might not immediately think that third-party web traffic would be impacted all that much by daily radio impressions. But here’s the thing: collectively, these impressions create awareness for my brand. That, in turn, causes traffic on review sites and, eventually, referral traffic coming to my dealership’s website.

The Conclusion
As mentioned earlier, a good percentage of today’s auto dealers have the capability to monitor the effectiveness of their radio ads but either don’t know how to do it … or simply choose not to. But anyone who uses radio and/or broadcast TV as part of their monthly ad campaigns should pay close attention.

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If you run these reports at your store and discover you’re not getting similar parallels as those of our client shown in the charts, we strongly recommend you seek help getting the proper mix of reach, frequency and creativity that will get you pointed in the right direction. Jeff Johnson

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