Measure the Effectiveness of Radio

Radio advertising returns can be easily measured if you know how, and if you're doing it right.


It’s the most common question I’ve come up against since joining the radio industry- How can we measure the impact of Radio? There are ways- and they may not be what you think.


Before joining the industry I was the marketing manager at a local commercial and industrial storage equipment company. My sole responsibility was to increase in-bound leads and I was on a strict budget. At the time our company didn’t even have a receptionist- we didn’t need one. The phone never rang, and our website hits were negligible.


The first order of duty for me was to build a new website. You can have the best services, widgets, logos, and people, but if you can’t be found online it can amount to nothing. So I built it, and taught myself how to search engine optimize it. Within months we started noticing hits, people filled out contact us forms, and phoned us. Most people found us by searching for products like shelving, racking, and lockers. It was a success, Google Analytics showed an average of about 800 hits and about 20 conversions per month over 6 months.


Those conversions, unfortunately, were not high quality- most people were looking for multiple quotes so they could buy the cheapest product, and many of those opportunities were lost on price alone. Sound familiar?

A few months later I was at a Stampede barbecue and began talking to a Radio rep who invited me to learn about advertising. It cost less than we anticipated, and our company advertised a new narrative: We don’t just sell storage equipment; we solve storage problems. We distanced ourselves from the pricing game and positioned ourselves as experts who would measure space, inventory, and build custom solutions that could combine existing equipment.

This advertising supercharged and qualified our website traffic. Hits went from around 800 a month up to around 1,500 a month. We increased conversions to about 50 per month.

Google ranked our site higher because the number one search term became our company name, adding credibility to our site. We rocketed to #1 on Google for our key search terms!


Customers asked for pricing less and less- instead they would ask for advice, tell us their problems, and ask us to survey their space. Once we were seen as the experts, we built trust with our clients and pulled ahead of our competition. It increased our closing ratios tremendously.


Often my clients know of only one way to measure success, simply to ask their customers; but customers aren’t always sure, or don’t offer that information. Think about your own behavior- if you’re exposed to an ad for steak and lobster, do you always remember what channel it was on? Do you tell the restaurant hostess you saw or heard their commercial? In most cases the answer is no.


Measure the success of Radio by benchmarking your website with Google Analytics before your ads start. Monitor the changes in the search terms that increased your traffic. Compare closing rations before advertising and after. Measure, and appreciate how satisfying it is when you know that radio is working for you.

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