Some of the most successful AM/FM radio and podcast advertisers are business-to-business (B2B) brands. These companies sell to businesses rather than consumers. Examples include brands marketing to small business decision makers (Staples, Indeed, Dell, Intuit, and ZipRecruiter), brands targeting IT decision makers (CDW), and brands focused on facility managers (Grainger).
Here are five business-to-business brand case studies that saw significant results from AM/FM radio advertising.
Successful B2B AM/FM radio campaigns use more than News/Talk stations
The B2B myth leads advertisers to believe that in order to reach decision makers, all money should be put into News/Talk. While News/Talk is a powerful format, studies show business decision makers listen to a wide variety of AM/FM radio programming formats. A series of MARU/Matchbox studies revealed that decision makers in a major B2B brand category listened to broad array of AM/FM radio programming formats.
This major B2B firm built their brand with massive AM/FM radio campaigns that generated a monthly reach of 64%. They spread their investments over virtually every AM/FM radio programming format.
The table below depicts the brand’s share of impressions by AM/FM radio programming format. The first row shows what percentage of total U.S. listening each programming format represents. The second row shows the share of impressions for the B2B brand’s monthly campaign.
The B2B brand bought broad reach campaigns that used just about every AM/FM radio format to the proportion of total listening. 11.1% of the brand’s buy went to Urban, representing 12.1% of total U.S. listening. 8.9% of the brand’s buys were on Classic Rock stations, very close to the 8.2% of total U.S. AM/FM radio listening to Classic Rock.
Heavy use of AM/FM radio by a major B2B brand significantly lifted brand awareness, brand consideration, purchase intent, and advertising recall
How did this aggressive AM/FM radio campaign using virtually every single AM/FM radio programming format work out for the brand? Quite well!
The table below from a MARU/Matchbox national campaign effect study compares key brand equity metrics from 2019 to the prior year. Unaided awareness grew +35% and brand consideration was up +33%. Average brand perceptions soared +25%. Ad recall also grew very strongly.
A software firm used AM/FM radio to reach those who make or influence decisions about HR software for their companies
Another MARU/Matchbox study found HR software decision makers frequently listened to a wide variety of AM/FM radio programming formats, +13% more AM/FM radio formats than the average frequent listener.
The AM/FM radio formats with the greatest reach among HR decision makers? Classic Rock, Rock, Top 40, News/Talk, Sports, and Oldies/Classic Hits.
AM/FM radio worked for the HR software firm
A MARU/Matchbox pre/post campaign effect study revealed AM/FM radio lifted brand equity measures. Unaided awareness grew +50%. Usage was up +26%. Average brand perception increased +29%.
Heavy AM/FM radio listeners power impact for a construction equipment rental firm
A MARU/Matchbox study of construction equipment decision makers found that those who were extremely likely to purchase or rent equipment for their company in the next year were +12% more likely to be heavy AM/FM radio listeners.
Among in-the-market construction equipment decision makers, it is not surprising to find Rock formats generated the largest reach of all AM/FM radio programming formats.
The AM/FM radio campaign generated significant impact among those with the greatest opportunity to hear the ads – heavy AM/FM radio listeners.
Brand equity measures for the construction equipment rental firm were much stronger among heavy AM/FM radio listeners.
CDW, an information technology hardware and services firm, uses Westwood One’s NFL and NCAA March Madness play-by-play broadcasts to reach IT decision makers
A series of Nielsen studies conducted over a five-year period reveals:
- Westwood One’s NFL audience reaches a very high concentration of IT influencers, twice as high as the NFL TV audience
- Half of all March Madness AM/FM radio listeners are IT influencers involved in purchase decisions
- The NFL and NCAA AM/FM radio campaigns built significant awareness, brand favorability, and recommendation intent for CDW among IT decision makers
- AM/FM radio elevates the media plan: Those who recall the AM/FM radio ads have far greater awareness for CDW advertising on multiple platforms (digital, social, TV, and outdoor)
A business software brand used AM/FM radio to successfully reach small business owners and decision makers
A recent study of small business software decision makers (up to 100 employees) conducted by Hanover Research revealed that Rock-based AM/FM radio programming formats (Classic Rock, Rock, and Classic Hits/Oldies), along with Top 40 and News/Talk, generate the strongest reach among decision makers.
The business software firm made a modest test buy between February and April of 2021. Hanover Research found that during the February 2021 to April 2021 period, overall AM/FM radio recall for the brand doubled (5% to 10%). Among those most likely to switch business software systems, AM/FM radio ad recall for the business software brand soared from 4% to 14%, a 3.5X increase.
A Nielsen Media Impact analysis of the TV and AM/FM radio campaign of the business software firm revealed that at 3% of the budget, AM/FM radio generated an astonishing +25% increase in incremental reach.
A reallocation of the AM/FM radio component of the business software firm’s media plan from 3% to 10% would generate a +48% increase in incremental reach with no increase in budget.
AM/FM radio packs a powerful punch for a fraction of a TV investment. The AM/FM radio investment is 15% of the TV cost but generates the same reach!
- Successful B2B AM/FM radio campaigns use more than News/Talk stations as business decision makers listen to a broad array of programming formats
- Heavy use of AM/FM radio by a major B2B brand (64% monthly reach) significantly lifted brand awareness, brand consideration, purchase intent, and advertising recall
- A human resources software firm used AM/FM radio to reach those who make or influence decisions about HR software for their companies
- Heavy AM/FM radio listeners power impact for a construction equipment rental firm
- CDW, an information technology hardware and services firm, uses Westwood One’s NFL and NCAA March Madness play-by-play broadcasts to reach IT decision makers
- A business software brand used AM/FM radio to successfully reach small business owners and decision makers
- Classic Rock, Rock, and Classic Hits/Oldies AM/FM radio formats perform exceptionally well for B2B brands
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.