The Critical Importance of Integrating Radio Advertising and Search Engine Marketing

By Moss Jacobson


Since today’s typical consumer journey involves online search along every step, can traditional media such as radio influence search engine use?


Consider this:

Radio reaches more than 90% of the people age 12 and older in the U.S. every week, and it’s on 24/7. The effectiveness of radio advertising lies in the scientific foundation of how human brains process and retain sound called echoic retention. The area of the brain responsible for echoic memory provides for sounds to be much more easily implanted and recalled than visual images. (Have you ever thought about how much earlier in cognitive development humans speak compared to learning how to read?) These principles cause people to remember things they never committed to memory as a result of frequent and repetitive exposure to audio messages including words, statements, phrases, jingles, and songs. (Isn’t it a lot easier to sing the 8:33 minutes of “American Pie” than recite the more than 800 word lyrics?)


What happens next:

So When effective radio advertisements repeatedly inform listeners (249.1MM 12+ reached per week!) about products and services, the messages stick in one’s brain until there is a need to fulfill. When listeners turn to online search during the initiation phase of their journey this is no longer a random search. They are under the influence of the power of words and sounds embedded in their minds as radio-exposed consumers. (Did you really think all those search terms came out of thin air?)

Yes, there’s the proof:

Recent research revealed that Radio drove an average of 29% incremental lift in Google searches across eight brands. Using Google Trends + Google AdWords, the study derived actual minute by minute search volume for given search terms and matched to radio spend data by brand, market, date, and day-part. The power of radio’s audio influence on purchase triggers, specific mentions of pricing, mnemonic branding, and explicit calls to action, resulted in one category achieving 370% lift in search, and it gets even better. In another category, radio drove 228% more search than television. The results are in, and now you’re listening. Radio is the most powerful and influential media driving online search.

Want to know more? Say “OK, Google. Tell me how radio advertising drives online search.”


(Sources: Wizard of Ads, Radio Advertising Bureau)

Comments are closed.