A Practical Guide to Radio Advertising Analytics

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Companies running radio advertising campaigns need to answer, Did the radio ad reach the right people and convince those people to take action (i.e. visit a website, walk in the store, sign up for a special promotion, etc.)?' 

Looking at radio advertising analytics on radio management platforms like WideOrbit and Marketron alone, you will only be able to answer which ads ran, when they ran, what stations they ran on, etc. None of this information gives you insight into the impact of your radio ads on your target audience.

There are many different methods of compiling and viewing radio advertising analytics that do give you insight into the effectiveness of your radio ad campaign such as evaluating website traffic during the time the ad ran or sharing a unique URL as part of the ad message. Each method has its pros and cons, but the key to radio advertising analytics is that measuring the impact and effectiveness of radio ads requires correlating radio ad runs to other marketing campaigns, website performance, store traffic, etc. 

A lot of teams (including our own) have spent many tedious hours (or days) manually pulling pieces of data from multiple sources and carefully arranging the data to find these correlations for each ad campaign

This is why we designed TapClicks to quickly pull data from nearly any data source (including WideOrbit and Marketron, but also thousands of other marketing data sources such as website analytics, digital ad, social media platforms, and a lot more) and compile that data into automated reports so stakeholders can easily see analytics on any combination of marketing campaigns (e.g., radio ads and web traffic). 

This post will cover the pros and cons of common ways to measure the effectiveness of your radio ad campaign and show you how TapClicks lets you quickly and easily view these analytics with automated reports.

Want to see how easy it is to use TapClicks to measure radio ad effectiveness? Try our free 14-day trial.

Common Methods for Measuring the Effectiveness of Radio Advertising

Because listeners can't directly interact with radio ads, we have to rely on other indicators (e.g. increased traffic, better CTR, etc.) to know if people are hearing and responding to the ads. Additionally, we often have to use multiple methods to track radio ad effectiveness because most methods can only tell you part of the story. 

As we discuss below, putting together the analytics for most of these methods can be tedious when done manually (especially if you choose to use several methods). You would have to export radio ad run data, then export web traffic or click performance of digital ads, for example. Then, manually plot them into a spreadsheet to see if there is a correlation. 

If you report on your ad campaigns regularly (e.g. monthly),  this can become a heavy burden because you have to download fresh data every month and re-do the spreadsheet work. 

As we'll show below, TapClicks can automate this process. You just have to set up the integrations, graphs, and calculations once and TapClicks can keep a live dashboard that updates daily. TapClicks can even automatically create PowerPoint or PDF files that are directly linked to each data source to automatically update data in the file every time it's generated (e.g. weekly or monthly).

Here's an overview of the most common methods for tracking the impact of radio advertising: 

Correlate Website or Non-broadcast Campaign Activity with Radio Ad Runs

Since listeners can't click on a radio ad, the most likely response is to go to the physical location of the store, do a Google search, or be more responsive the next time they see an interactive ad (i.e. they click on it). 

So, this method is about looking at the performance of non-broadcast campaigns (i.e. campaigns that the viewer can interact with), website traffic, physical store traffic, etc., during (or close to) the time the radio ad ran.

Pros: This method lets you quickly see if your radio ads had a clear benefit on the most important business metrics. Additionally, simply looking for correlations between campaigns doesn't require any additional effort from the listener which means you'll have a more complete picture of who responded to the ad. As we'll see in a few of the following methods, sometimes you need the listener to do more than they would naturally do (such as mentioning they heard the ad to receive a discount or filling out a survey) in order for you to track the impact of your radio ad campaign. Oftentimes, only some of the listeners will be willing to take this extra step. 

Cons: It may be hard to be sure changes in the metrics you care about (e.g. web sales) were a result of the radio ads. Most of the campaigns or platforms you'll be looking at to find the impact of radio ads already have traffic going to them, so natural fluctuations in that traffic could cloud the impact of radio ads. For example, if there was already growth in search engine traffic, paid social traffic, or email marketing, when the radio ads were run, it could make it seem like the radio ads were the cause of an increase when in fact it was something else. 

Compare Month-to-Month or Region to Region

This method solves the problem of not knowing how much of the activity to attribute to radio ads presented in the previous method by setting a baseline for finding correlations. To do this, you want to either find a similar time frame where you didn't run ads or a region with similar demographics where you didn't run ads that can be used as your baseline. Then, you compare the current time frame (or region) to that baseline and anything over the baseline can be attributed to radio ads. 

For example, last July you didn't run any ads and your website traffic was 100,000. This past July, you ran a radio campaign and website traffic was 125,000. You could attribute 25,000 in website traffic to your radio ads. 

Pros: This method doesn't require any additional action from listeners and the baseline may give you a more accurate idea of the impact of the radio ads. 

Cons: Demographics can be difficult to match up and numbers naturally fluctuate between time frames, so it can be difficult to find an accurate baseline. 

Share Unique URLs, Phone Numbers, Discounts, etc.

As part of the call-to-action at the end of your radio ad, you can mention a URL, phone number, phrase, discount, sweepstake, etc., that is only mentioned in your radio ads. Then, you can be certain that any traffic related to the URL, discount, etc., came as a result of someone hearing the radio ad. 

Pros: Using this method, all traffic can be directly linked to radio ads. 

Cons: Not everyone will remember the URL, phrase, etc. so they may conduct a more general search instead which could alter the results. 

Conduct Surveys

Surveys can include a variety of methods for asking customers where they heard about the product or company and why they responded (such as having employees ask questions at checkout, sending surveys to existing customers, etc.)

Pros: If the customers answer accurately, this is the most direct way to gather information about whether the customer heard the ad and if the ad was what convinced them to take action. 

Cons: Customers often misremember how they heard your product or just give the first answer that comes to mind (A friend told me about it' or TV'). Surveys require additional action from customers and sometimes rely on employees remembering to ask every customer (which often doesn't happen). 

TapClicks: Easily Automate Reports to Find Correlations between Radio Ads and Other Marketing Campaigns

TapClicks was built to help companies or agencies manage many different types of marketing campaigns including radio and automate their analytics and reporting. 

TapClicks helps with:

  • Aggregating marketing data from hundreds of marketing, sales, and advertising platforms. 
  • Storing this data in a single data warehouse.
  • Easily exporting data to reporting or business intelligence software.
  • Building automated reports right inside TapClicks itself.

With these capabilities, you can understand how different platforms and channels are performing, if any of their performances correlate with one another, and therefore find the most compelling combination of campaigns. 

Here's how it works: 

Instantly Pull Data from Hundreds of Platforms 

Pulling data from many different channels can be a huge time drain when you have to go into each platform individually or use several different tools (such as ETL or BI tools) to help you.

One of TapClicks' biggest strengths is that it lets you integrate with thousands of marketing platforms, sales platforms, and data sources so you can manage all of your client and brand data from one place. 

We have pre-built API-based connections to hundreds of marketing platforms and have the ability to create custom connections to thousands more (via what we call our Smart Connector' tool), including WideOrbit and Marketron. You can even include offline data sources that can be emailed into TapClicks.

TapClicks integrates with over 250 instant-on connectors.

All data is permanently stored in TapClicks, so you can access it years later even if it's no longer accessible from the original source. Additionally, when you first connect a data source, TapClicks will pull up to 12 months of historical data, if it's available. This means you won't have any gaps in your data during the transition. 

Finally, TapClicks manages your connectors and handles every update for the API which is one less thing for you to worry about. Your data dashboards will always be connected and up to date. 

Get Live Reporting with Custom Dashboards and Visualizations

With all of your data in one place, it will be much easier to create reports and find correlations between radio ads and the performance of other media platforms. TapClicks gives you two options for viewing analytics: 

  1. You can export data stored in TapClicks to an analysis, visualization, or business intelligence (BI) tool, or anything from Google Sheets to Tableau.
  2. You can create a live dashboard from within TapClicks.

The benefits of storing data in TapClicks and exporting it to another tool are that you only have to pull data from one place (instead of going into each platform individually) and the data will always be accessible (rather than getting deleted after a certain period of time). This is a great option if you want to continue using specific tools that work really well for your team. 

If you're looking to store data and view analytics all from one platform, TapClicks' live dashboards may be the better option (or a nice addition). TapClicks' live dashboards automatically update when new data is available. Plus, TapClicks offers: 

  • Pre-built templates. TapClicks offers templates for PPC, social media marketing channels, ad networks, email campaigns, and more.
  • Custom templates. Each dashboard you create is automatically saved as a template that can be inserted into another dashboard. If you need to update one aspect of the dashboard, it will be updated on all dashboards that use that template. (You also have the option to update only one dashboard, if that's what you prefer.)
  • Customizable widgets. Each dashboard is made up of highly customizable widgets which can be edited or removed completely. These widgets let you choose which metrics to track and how to track them. They also let you choose how to visualize the data (e.g. graph, pie chart, bar chart).
  • White-label interface and reports. All aspects of the dashboards and reports are white-label so they can be customized to reflect your visual brand.

Dashboards (and widgets) can be created for just one client (or campaign) or for multiple clients (or multiple campaigns).

Editing widgets in TapClicks

Automate Repetitive Data Analysis and Calculations

Most marketing teams have specific calculations or data analytics that need to be generated regularly, such as average cost per click or total radio ad spend. Often these calculations are done manually, which can take hours or days to complete. Manual calculations also tend to be prone to human error. 

TapClicks lets you create a calculation once and continue to use it in all future reports.

Additionally, each metric that makes up that calculation can be defined once and dropped into any calculation or report. For example, you could have a metric called Total North Region Radio Ad Runtime. 

You can define that metric to include data from any radio ad campaign in that region once, and it will be ready to be used in any calculation (such as a calculation to add up all broadcast ad runtimes). Then, if you want to update the definition of that metric (to accommodate a new territory in the northern region, for example), you can change it in one place and it will get updated automatically in every other report that uses that metric. 

Complex calculations can also be defined and automated to further streamline your workflow. For example, you could add up all of the ad spots that ran for a particular campaign (e.g. Product A radio ads) by looking for a particular set of words or letters in the data (Product A). Anything that includes the key phrase would be included in the calculation.  

This automation capability saves brands and agencies dozens or hundreds of employee hours that would otherwise be spent on manual calculations every week or month to build executive or client reports

Schedule Reports to Be Sent Out That Automatically Get Updated

TapClicks offers a reporting tool called Report Studio which allows you to build different types of reports (such as PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, or PDF) that are connected to your data sources.

Report Studio example in TapClicks

These reports can be automatically sent out to anyone you choose and at any set interval (daily, weekly, or monthly, for example). Because these reports are connected to your data through TapClicks, you only have to create the report once and the numbers will automatically be updated each time the report gets sent out.

Manage Spend and Performance Goals During the Campaign

With TapClicks, you can gain a high-level view of your marketing campaign performance and costs against the goals you set and against previous months. This means you can evaluate the pace and KPIs of a campaign as it unfolds and make adjustments before issues arise rather than reacting to the results once it's too late. 

For example, if there's a campaign that isn't projected to meet your original goals, a well-placed radio ad could increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to the campaign. 

You can view the data for just one campaign, or zoom out and view the metrics for several or hundreds of campaigns (or clients).

TapClicks Reporting & Analytics: Goals

Next Steps: Sign Up for a Free Trial of TapClicks

TapClicks can help you save countless hours of manual work trying to evaluate the effectiveness of your radio ad campaigns. Because it's so easy to manage all your data from one place and create any report, you'll be able to create as many reports as you need to get the full picture of how your radio ads are impacting your marketing efforts. 

Want to see how easy it is to use TapClicks for your radio advertising analytics? Try our free 14-day trial.