What is the best way to grow sales? The gurus of marketing effectiveness say the driver of sales lift is customer growth powered by mass reach and expanded media channels.
Byron Sharp: Mass reach is the key to new customer growth
Byron Sharp’s legendary marketing book How Brands Grow says broad reach is key to acquire new customers. Jack Neff’s wonderful analysis of Sharp’s book in Ad Age concludes:
“Mass marketing is alive and well: Churn in a brand’s consumer base is inevitable. So it’s important to have broad and frequent reach. The unavoidable turnover among customers makes increasing household penetration crucial.”
Les Binet and Sarah Carter: Target everyone who buys your category
In their marketing account strategy book How Not To Plan: 66 Ways to Screw It Up, Les Binet and Sarah Carter offers these recommendations to grow sales:
- “Always aim to get more customers from all segments of the market. It’s the main way brands grow.
- Talk to everyone who buys your category. Talk to them regularly. Advertising memories fade.
- Go for reach, rather than frequency. Reach as many category buyers as possible.
- Don’t target too narrowly. It may be efficient, but it’s rarely effective. Tight targeting means low sales and profits.”
Peter Field and James Hurman: Adding media channels increases reach and effectiveness
A few weeks ago, Cannes Lions and WARC released The Effectiveness Code, a major new study by marketing effectiveness experts James Hurman and Peter Field. Their expansive report analyzed 4,863 effectiveness case studies from every major market in the world.
One of the key findings of their study showed that as the number of media channels increases, effectiveness grows. Along with spend and campaign duration, there is a strong correlation between the number of media channels used and effectiveness.
James Hurman and Peter Field found that even with a small budget, increasing the number of media channels in the plan can have a positive and outsized impact on effectiveness. Adding AM/FM radio to a digital plan, a TV plan, or a digital and TV plan can have stunning impact.
A smart way to optimize a TV media plan is to add AM/FM radio into the mix.
Nielsen: AM/FM radio is TV’s “reach accelerator”
A series of Nielsen cross-media studies commissioned by CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One finds the addition of AM/FM radio to the TV plan generates a substantial lift in campaign reach. Oliver Marquis, VP Media Analytics at Nielsen examined the TV and AM/FM radio campaign deliveries of a quick service restaurant, a home improvement retailer, courier services company, a wireless provider, and a retailer.
Nielsen ran audience deliveries for the TV investment via their Ad Intel service and AM/FM radio deliveries via Media Monitors. All of the advertising occurrences from all ads in the campaign were matched to the 80,000-person Nielsen Portable People Meter panel to determine actual commercial audience exposure.
As Nielsen’s Portable People Meter service measures both TV and AM/FM radio audiences with the same panel, commercial audience reach can be precisely determined for those only exposed to the TV ads, those only exposed by AM/FM radio ads, and those exposed both to both the TV and AM/FM radio ads.
Adding AM/FM radio to the TV plan generates a +20% lift in incremental reach
While each campaign utilized varying levels of TV and AM/FM radio investment, putting AM/FM radio into the media plan consistently increases campaign reach.
While each advertiser represented very different consumer categories, five consistent themes emerge.
The younger the demographic, the greater the increase in incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio
Across the five categories, AM/FM radio generated an average +13% incremental lift TV reach among persons 55+ and a +26% increase in TV reach among persons 35-54. Among persons 18-49, reach grew by +33% and among persons 18-34, reach increased by +41%.
Most of the impressions TV delivers are among persons 55+. If a brand’s target audience is under the age of 55, adding AM/FM radio to the plan dramatically increases reach among persons 18-54.
AM/FM radio generates large reach lifts in bigger households with children
Does your brand target families? Does your store target households with children? AM/FM radio needs to be in your media plan. Across the five case studies, AM/FM radio drove greater reach growth with larger households with kids and teens.
Hispanic and Asian audience reach soars with the addition of AM/FM radio
Nielsen finds putting AM/FM radio in the plan significantly lifts reach among Hispanic and Asian audiences.
Reach among employed consumers gets a major boost when AM/FM radio is added to the plan
A larger percentage of TV viewers are retired. Most AM/FM radio listeners are employed. That’s why AM/FM radio is known as “the soundtrack of the American worker.” If a brand target includes the workforce, AM/FM radio is the ideal addition to the media plan.
The major source of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach are light TV viewers
Over the five studies, Nielsen found nearly two-thirds (63%) of the incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio is from light TV viewers. A wise media planner once said, “You cannot solve your light TV viewer problem by buying more TV.”
It’s virtually impossible to reach the light TV viewer with TV ads. According to Nielsen, 49% of persons 25-54 in America are light TV viewers who generate only 9% of total TV time spent. AM/FM radio to the rescue! AM/FM radio reaches 90% of America’s light TV viewers.
Across the five studies, AM/FM radio lifted reach among light TV viewers by an average of +78%. Very little of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach comes from the heavy TV viewers who get hammered with TV ads. Most of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach comes from those who rarely or never see TV ads.
These case studies prove that across multiple categories, adding AM/FM radio to the media plan generates incremental reach to TV campaigns.
- The Mount Rushmore of Marketing Effectiveness, Byron Sharp, Les Binet, Sarah Carter, James Hurman, and Peter Field, concludes that new customer growth is the key to increasing sales. The route to acquiring new customers are campaigns with broad reach over multiple media channels.
- Brands with small budgets experience strong effectiveness lift by expanding the number of media channels.
- Five Nielsen cross-media study commissioned by CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One reveal that the addition of AM/FM radio to the plan guarantees a significant lift in campaign reach. Across the five case studies, AM/FM radio generated a +20% lift in incremental reach.
- The younger the demographic, the greater the increase in incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio
- AM/FM radio generates large reach lifts in bigger households with children
- Hispanic and Asian audience reach soars with the addition of AM/FM radio
- Reach among employed consumers gets a major boost when AM/FM radio is added to the plan
- The major source of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach are light TV viewers
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.