Is there a general return ratio in radio advertising?

  • How many calls should you expect from a radio campaign (let’s say out of 100,000 or 1,000,000). I know “it depends” … but I am sure there is an average? LinkedIn Question by: Oren Yehezkely

Normally there are several factors that would restrict you to put a ratio expectation to your Radio advertising. Some of these factors are: campaign period, frequency of appearance, number of channels, reach of channels, competitive clutter, creative standard, mode of delivery, whether spots or sponsorships, whether call in programs or just spots, etc. etc. – the list is really huge!

In the simplest sense, let’s say you want to spend on only one channel, for a 4 week period within a prime time program. Without going into the costs, I’d say that your best chance of getting maximum effectiveness would perhaps be to concentrate on a call-in program that involves the listener to take part in the program while being told that the caller might win prizes courtesy your brand, or caller may answer questions about your products – which were perhaps talked about within the program itself! Therefore it becomes a “give and take and recall” kind of relationship.

In this type of scenario, the responses could be quite high. But again, without any numbers background (eg. target numbers, reach numbers, etc.) it would really be difficult to quantify the ratio.

In general, there’s no hard and fast “rule of average returns” in any kind of advertising – leave alone radio! The reason: an ad’s response rate, returns and overall success depends of multiple factors, all of which are not controllable majority of the time – esp. in case of mass offline media. Having said that, one can design a small-target focussed campaign using various response-based ad formats, where some minimum amount of responses are considered as “decent” or “threshold”; e.g in Direct Mailer advertising, Online advertising, Direct Response Coupon Based Ad, etc.

Concluding, therefore, a fixed ROI is not available for radio advertising – even though there are plenty of ways to have a meaningful return from Radio as well as other media.

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