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Turbocharge Your Radio Spots

Read the findings from one of the largest studies ever conducted on automotive radio advertising.


Five Attribution Secrets for Automotive Advertisers

The study was recently presented at the Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit (AAAS) in Palm Beach, FL, in November. The session titled “Turbocharge Your Radio Spots — Five Attribution Secrets for Automotive Advertisers” also upends some common misconceptions about how consumers shop online for cars — highlighting radio’s key role in driving measurable results in the process.

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In addition to driving new potential customers and immediate web traffic results, the other attribution “secrets” noted by the study are that marketing tactics that influence response include dayparts, day of week and ad length; endorsements drive optimal results, because radio serves a companionship role; and reach and frequency are the top contributing factors to success.

The study found that radio reaches new potential customers; the majority of radio attributable web traffic is from new customers who had never previously visited the site; endorsements drive two times the response and produces optimal results because radio is a companion; and the top factors for successful radio marketing are reach and frequency. In addition, the study uncovered several best practices in how to plan an effective automotive radio campaign leveraging dayparts, days of week, ad length and the number of radio stations included in the campaign. 

The companies used advanced marketing attribution technology to analyze the impact of radio advertising over 17 months for more than 300 automotive advertisers, across nearly 2 million commercials and all major automotive brands. Reach and frequency were cited as the top factors for successful radio marketing. In short, it’s about the number of people who hear an ad — and the number of times it’s heard. The report says real advertiser value kicks in at just 10 commercials, with those marketers alone seeing a response rate that’s a whopping 120% above their competitors who air fewer than 10.


There are several misconceptions about the most effective media, days, time, advertisement length and advertising budget regarding automotive ads. The study uncovered five important takeaways:

  • Radio drives immediate web traffic response for automotive advertisers. Automotive advertisers earned an average 17% lift in web traffic attributable to radio marketing. In addition, the web traffic response is immediate — within 10 minutes of hearing a commercial.
  • For optimal results, advertisers should air ads seven days per week versus just on specific days. Those who advertise seven days a week saw +90% greater results than those who advertised three to four days per week. Automotive advertisers running only in the second half of the week are missing out on the opportunity to capture online shoppers in the early portion of the week.
  • Car shopping aligns with radio listening because car shopping is primarily a daytime activity, which is also when radio has its largest audience. The study found web traffic response to advertising is two times greater from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. than in evenings or overnight.
  • The study found that automotive advertisers who found the best results used multiple ads of varying lengths. Campaigns with multiple ad lengths outperformed campaigns with single ad lengths by over two times. Advertisers seeking to build additional reach and frequency with a limited budget may see improved results by adding :05s and :15s ads to existing schedules, when the message applies.  
  • Overall, the most important determinant for a successful market campaign is reach and frequency — that is, the number of people who hear your ad, and the number of times they hear it. Running 10 commercials per day using a mix of ad lengths, dayparts, stations and days of the week can lead to a two times greater web traffic response rate.

“The goal of any attribution study is to demonstrate how to make campaigns more effective and this study confirms that advanced attribution helps automotive businesses to plan, measure and evaluate their advertising,” said AJ Brown, CEO of LeadsRx, at the AAAS conference.


If you’d like to receive a copy of the study, email Larry Barditch at the address in his bio.

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