Tracking Radio Advertising
How Do I track my radio campaign? Radio is difficult to track. It’s one of the few weaknesses that come with the medium. The good thing is, the trackability of radio does not hamper the effectiveness of radio. Radio is often a leap of faith. But, if it’s respected it works.
The main way you will track your campaign is by the amount of money you’re making. Luckily, that’s the result most people are hoping for when they buy advertising. But, if you do want to see something more solid, here are a couple tactics to generate measurable feedback.
- Redirect Websites – Offer a different website as a contact point in your ad. Make it memorable. Make it match your campaign. Track the results online with analytics. Here’s an article I wrote on how to do this. ***NOTE – This is NOT an exact science! It does not mean that everyone will connect with you through the website. Your web stats should be taken with a grain of salt. I’d suggest that your web traffic to your redirect website may only indicate a 10th of the people you’ve ultimately reached in your campaign. Maybe less.
- Parroting – Say something outrageously memorable in your campaign. If it’s entertaining enough, people will repeat it when they enter your store. The more ridiculous the gimmick line, the more likely you’ll receive parroting.
- Offer your service for free – If you ever doubt any medium, offer your product for free on it. People will flock to you, and you’ll realize how well it works. The medium is proven to be effective. Now, craft a commercial with an intriguing offer or a compelling brand for a more stable campaign.
How do I know how many people are hearing my message (impressions?)
This question is often raised these days. It often draws a comparison to new media. People are often enamoured with the analytical results from their online campaigns. It’s easy to get excited when you see that you received 50,000 impressions and 50 clicks with your online campaign. Remember though, “impressions” do not mean your ad was noticed, and “clicks” does not mean you made a sale. There are equivalents in radio. They just aren’t as precise. If you’d like to know how many “impressions” you’ll receive with your radio campaign, ask your sales rep for information on “daily cume.”
Cume, is the cumulative total listeners for a radio station. They may be passersby, and they may be solid listeners. This is the radio comparable to online “impressions.” It doesn’t mean that that many people heard your message. It just means that that many people were exposed to it. If you run a campaign that airs all day, you can expect to receive as many impressions as the daily cume. If you run segmented messages, divide to find the average, or ask your rep for more concise numbers (they may not give you this information.)
As for “clicks,” I’d refer back to a point I made in the last question. It all comes down to bills in the till. If you’re making more money, you are succeeding. Clicks don’t mean results. Sales conversions are all that count.
I can’t stress this enough. Do not rely heavily on tracking radio or any other medium. In my experience, the people who put a huge amount of effort in tracking tend to fail creatively. They expend so much effort, and sacrifice so much time in their message on attempting trackability that the campaign dies. Remember, people have flawed memories. They don’t usually remember where they heard/read/saw an advertisement. They don’t know when their subconscious drew them to you. I’ve heard businesses ask customers where they heard their ad. Often, the responses will be impossible. They’ll mention the paper even though they don’t advertise. They mention a different radio station than what the business runs on. It’s all over the place. This makes it almost impossible to create a reliable tracking measurement.
Spend your time making a great message about your business. The sales will come in with patience.