Advertisers know that today's technology affords them greater accountability of the results of their ad buys. They've come to expect measurement tools and data that enables them to assess the effectiveness of various media platforms in their campaigns. They can very closely track how many people were exposed to their messages, see how consumers respond, adjust their offers or targeting, and assess the campaigns effectiveness in real time. (We recommend you listen to the "Identifying Opportunities for Advertisers in Internet Radio" panel from our recent RAIN Summit Dallas here for more on this.)
This obviously seems like something of a short-coming for a one-way, broadcast medium like AM/FM in this regard. Inside Radio reports today, "until the rollout of people meter-based ratings, radio’s quarterly diary ratings data put the medium at a disadvantage." The spread of PPM to more and more markets will help broadcasters (and, to that end, so will making this data available to "media modelers," as Arbitron is reportedly doing). But what broadcast radio is lacking is the trackability of the Internet -- a fact which underscores the need for broadcasters to more urgently embrace Internet technology.
But as the news source reports, radio's lack of "trackability" has indeed cost them advertising dollars from ZipCar, the short-term car rental service located in urban markets across the country, even as evidence shows its radio ads were effective. "ZipCar spent about $2 million on radio ads during the second quarter," and "revenue jumped 16% and consumer awareness of their unique rental model also increased," reports Inside Radio. Yet, they're discontinuing AM/FM advertising.
"The biggest challenge for anyone, not just Zipcar, with radio, first of all, terrestrials are really hard to track," Inside Radio quotes ZipCar CEO Scott Griffith telling investors. "You can track a little better on streaming but even at that, getting attribution directly to radio is hard — and so we faced that same issue... It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t go back to it someday, but we wouldn’t do it the same way and we want a better way to attribute the results more directly to where radio came in."
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