Radio Endorsements Most Trusted According to Recent Study

A ringing product endorsement from a trusted radio personality trumps its digital and terrestrial competitors, a recent study has found. Conducted by the University of Southern California, a study of 2,700 respondents revealed that radio recommendations carry more weight than social media ads or TV ads.

Inside Radio reports that 6 out of 10 respondents felt that radio hosts are “like a friend” who can be trusted.” As a result, more than half of survey participants said they trust brands, products and services that a personality talks about.

The survey also showed that 40% of those survey said personalities make a broadcast more personal. “On-air personalities are a key element in defining what makes radio different — and more personal — than any other medium in consumers’ minds,” CEO Bob Pittman says.  He says that’s a “powerful relationship” that can be leveraged by marketers.  “No other medium has this power,” Pittman says.

The news comes at the same time that Clearchannel CEO Bob Pittman told the global “Festival of Media” that advertisers need to drastically re-evaluate their ad-spend. “TV is wonderful but the media mix is out of whack — radio deserves a lot more than it gets,” Pittman said. He went on to describe a friend who runs a film company who found that “60% of people heard about the movie on TV, 20% on radio. Then he looked at his ad spend and realized he’d spend 80% on TV and 3% on radio.”

Radio also has a distinct advantage in native advertising. Now being utilized by digital platforms as “advertorials,” radio has been a front runner for decades. Aside from sponsored segments, radio host banter serves as the perfect opportunity to bring up local and national products. For many during their morning commute, this serves as an essential source for consumer information about new products and businesses.

All Access writes of the study:

The vast majority of Americans have interacted with radio personalities during their lifetimes; 8 out of 10 have called into a station, met a DJ in their community, or interacted in some other manner. And the growing social media landscape provides even more opportunities for listeners to connect with their favorite radio personalities ‹ according to the research, about 6 out of 10 of listeners have also engaged with radio through social media platforms.

And of course, radio does local like no other.

At the same time, many big marketers are becoming increasingly disillusioned with social media ads. Priceline’s CEO Darren Huston recently announced that Facebook and Twitter ads failed to drive conversions for the travel website. The majority of conversions came from keyword targeting with Google, where Priceline spends 90% of their digital ad budget. While that lesson may be more relevant to travel business, it would be wise for marketers to be wary of any platform that claims a one-size-fits-all edge over competitors.

Of course none of this means advertisers should ditch TV and digital. It means advertisers need to re-evaluate their ad-spend percentages and smartly distribute their dollars where they can make the most impact. Radio hosts can better connect with their fans on social platforms, and social media campaigns may get a boost from on-air calls-to-action. It just goes to show that extensive cross-platform marketing is essential for any successful campaign.

If you’d like to know more about some of the work Altitude has done with radio endorsements, check out our award-winning campaign with Bermuda tourism.