Starcom Mediavest: AM/FM Radio Is Critical To The Purchase Process, Including Auto Buying

August 16, 2016 By Pierre Bouvard

When Americans are about to make a purchase, it’s likely they are in the car with the radio on. Radio listening correlates highly with people making purchase decisions.

That’s a key finding from Starcom Mediavest Group’s recent report, “Reaching Consumers during the Purchase Process.” The study examines consumers’ media usage immediately prior to a purchase.

Starcom partnered with RealityMine, the company that fuels the syndicated TouchPoints cross-platform research service. In the study, each panelist uses an opt-in eDiary that collects information on location, social settings, activities, media usage, and emotions every half hour, and passively tracks the activities of mobile device usage.

The chart below shows the correlation between media usage and purchase decisions. Audio has high numbers, indicating a strong relationship between audio ad exposure and purchase decisions. Audio and out-of-home media (billboards) are most closely related to purchase decision-making.

The report says: “Despite being one of the oldest advertising media forms around, it is clear that radio — and all forms of audio — will continue to play an important role in the decision making and purchase process.”

AM/FM radio leads in auto purchase influence

The study also examined automotive and found the same results: audio and out-of-home media influence auto purchase decision-making over other media – including search and digital video. Today there are so many media options available to auto dealers. Some, like digital video, have very weak correlation to purchase.

This study, from one of America’s largest and most prestigious advertising agencies, proves radio advertising leads the pack in influencing auto purchase decision-making. Radio is most influential with auto purchases because it reaches consumers in the very thing you want them to buy!

Among all audio sources, radio dominates. AM/FM radio influences auto purchase consideration the most, beating streaming and satellite.

The report says: “Looking at the relationship to purchase activity in this category by audio type, AM/FM is strongest overall, and in particular during the critical consideration stage.”

To recap:

1. Starcom Mediavest’s study provides powerful new proof that radio is a leading method to influence consumer purchase decisions.
2. AM/FM radio is one of the top influences on auto purchase decision-making.
3. Among audio platforms, AM/FM radio influences auto purchase consideration the most, beating streaming and satellite.

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of Cumulus | Westwood One. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Ellie Behling is Managing Editor, Insights of Cumulus | Westwood One. Follower her on LinkedIn and Twitter.