Audio's impact on driving website traffic is hugely underestimated according to a new study

Following on from Radiocentre Ireland's research into how radio drives website traffic, Radiocentre UK and Colourtext commissioned research to look at how audio impacts website activity and the research revealed significant shortcomings in the typical short-term attribution models used to assess the impact of radio advertising on performance campaigns. The study which involved a detailed regression modeling analysis of 1.6 billion multimedia impacts across 30 million web sessions from in-market campaigns, has shown that audio advertising’s true performance effect is underestimated by an astounding 92% due to current attribution methods.

The research demonstrates that it takes a full 19 hours for the effects of each audio advertisement to be fully realized, challenging the conventional measurement approach that captures only 8% of an ad’s effectiveness in the first 20 minutes following transmission. When the full impact of radio is accurately accounted for, the medium is shown to significantly enhance performance-led media campaigns.

These results were consistent with the Radiocentre Ireland research which showed that there was an "attribution halo", that 72% of the website visits that arrived via search could be attributed to the audio activity once the attribution window was increased to a 24 hour to 36 hour period. A lot of audio listening occurs when people are busy with primary tasks like driving, cooking or working, which gives rise to the delayed characteristics of radio ad response

The UK research showed that, based on the campaigns they had analysed, audio accounts for 36% of total media-drven uplift in daily web sessions.

And that audio uplift of web sessions is twice as cost efficient as other "denand-generation" media combined.

In conclusion, the UK research produced similar conclusion to the Radiocentre Ireland study - that there is a very strong relationship between audio advertising and online search behaviour. Short-term attribution measurement does not pick up on the strength of the relationship between audio and online traffic when looking through a narrow 5 - 60 minute post-transmission window. The effect of audio only becomes apparent as we zoomed out to a broader 24-hour attribution window. Current attribution methods that don't look at a broader 24 hour attribution window exclude 92% of audio advertising’s true effect. Regression analysis revealed a clear and responsive relationship between the weight of daily audio impacts and the amount of web traffic that hits a site within the same 24 hour period. Advertisers need to develop more accurate and nuanced understanding of the impact of individual elements of the marketing mix on website traffic

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