Business case studies No 164 - 10.02.2017

Convergence research demonstrates the impact and complementarity of FM and online audio campaigns

As the audience of online radio continues to grow, media buyers and planners are demanding proof of the effectiveness of their digital audio campaigns. RMS, the German audio sales house, has a long history of research proving the power of FM radio, and to meet the demands of its clients for convergence research, the company has developed a new tool called RMS AUDIO TOTAL Tracker. This analyses the effectiveness of campaigns delivered to three different groups of listeners: FM radio exclusive listeners, online audio exclusive listeners and those who listen to both (mix listeners).

The concept

The first step when devising the Tracker was to develop a survey that would analyse which radio stations people had listened to over a four-week period and on what devices. The KPIs used to evaluate advertising effectiveness were similar to those found in the traditional online panels RMS already deploys; i.e. brand awareness, recall, relevance to the listener and purchase intent.

Respondents who did or did not recall the ads were compared to isolate the effect of the radio/audio campaigns.

RMS AUDIO TOTAL Tracker was first used to evaluate a national McDonald’s campaign that ran for four weeks in February 2016 on both FM and online audio. The sample size was 1,500 people within McDonald’s target group 14-49.


The great majority of people reached by the campaign were people who listen to both FM and Internet radio. Only a quarter of the respondents were people who can exclusively be reached by FM radio, and just 3% of the sample were people who can be reached by online audio alone.

The ad recall rate was 40% higher for mix listeners than for FM exclusive listeners. This is due to the fact that online audio offers additional audience touchpoints, for example when commuting, shopping or cooking, over and above the usual FM listening.

Listeners of both traditional FM radio and online audio also scored better on restaurant visits, with 80% of those who recognised the commercial visiting a McDonald’s restaurant within the duration of the campaign. In comparison with 74% of FM exclusive listeners with recognition of the commercial. The same goes for the frequency of visits: 36% of mix listeners who knew the ad went to McDonald’s two-to-five times, compared to 24% of FM exclusive listeners who recognised the spot.

Roland Meves, head of Marketing/Media of McDonald's Germany was very satisfied with the impact of the campaign and commented: “Radio has been a very important medium for McDonald’s for quite a while now, because it’s a well-proven promotional medium. The new analysis illustrates that convergent audio campaigns create an increased ad effect through additional touchpoints in younger target groups. The additional stimuli not only lead to increases in sales, but also keep the message and the brand in people’s minds.”

Why this matters to egta members

With online audio consumption on the rise, it is important to have concrete proof of its effectiveness and complementarity with FM campaigns. This research proves that online audio delivers additional touchpoints and allows radio campaigns to maximise their reach beyond FM radio listeners.

Case studies like this assure clients of the effectiveness of traditional radio and help prove that online audio drives additional revenues.  



» Presentation of the case at egta Market Intelligence Meeting 2017 (click here)
» RMS website (click here)
» Infographic (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


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