Retailers Cash In On Portland Radio…Good News For Maine Small Business


If you listened to a Portland radio station last week, then you probably heard commercials for Home Depot, Macy’s, Walgreens, JC Penney and Jared.  These retailers account for 5 out of the top 10 biggest spenders on radio last week. These companies clearly know something most Maine small business owners don’t: radio, according to Ad Age magazine, delivers an “eye popping” return-on-investment.  Ad age goes on to say that advertisers can expect higher ROI from radio than TV, digital, or social media. 

A recent study conducted by Nielsen concluded that when retailers spend $1 on radio advertising, they enjoyed $17 in incremental sales.  The study compared quarterly sales results for 4 retailers who invested in radio advertising with the same quarter or the previous year when radio was not used.

Radio Advertising Increased Store Sales By 10%

Overall, the retailers using radio saw a 10% increase in overall sales. The study credits radio advertising not only with increasing the total number of customers who buy by 3%, it also showed that each of these customers increased their spending by 6%,

These findings by Nielsen support other recent studies that demonstrate the remarkable return-on-investment Maine small business owners can expect from advertising on Portland Radio. A study earlier this year Catalina found, on average, radio commercials produce a $6.00 sales lift for every $1.00 invested. Radha Subramanyam, a media executive with deep credentials in television, digital and radio said, “”I have never seen such consistent delivery against advertising metrics and this kind of massive return on investment.”

Another  recent study by Nielsen compared sales results of a telecommunications company that advertised on radio to 4 similar companies who did not.  The radio advertiser’s commercial schedule was married with Nielsen Catalina consumer purchasing data that pulls together the credit and debit card transactions of more than 125 million adults. “The results showed that radio delivered $14 dollars in incremental sales for each dollar invested in advertising,” Nielsen reports.

Radio Advertising Provides Meaningful Spending Lift

The Nielsen study also confirmed there was also a “meaningful lift” in how much consumers who heard the radio spots spent. Those who heard the commercials spent an average of $8 more per month than consumers who weren’t exposed. The impact was twice as big among millennials, who spent an average of $16 more after hearing the radio ads.

The findings of these studies have led Schoen to conclude his Forbes article by saying, “The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries and as a marketing professional with over 35 years of experience, I found this data nothing short of fascinating. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”

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