Since March 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Philadelphia area, more than 503,812 local people have been infected, according to data collected by USA Facts. The measures imposed to contain the outbreak have transformed the way consumers work, shop, commute, and conduct the business of everyday life.
One aspect of daily life in Philadelphia that remains little changed due to the pandemic is radio listening. Despite the Coronavirus crisis, radio has held its long-held position as the most used of all local media. This is good news for area business owners who depend on radio for marketing their goods and service.
Each week, according to Nielsen, 3.6 million adult consumers tune-in to a Philadelphia radio station. This is significantly more people than are reached by all other local advertising options, including TV, cable, streaming video, streaming audio, social media, and newspapers.
Not only has Philadelphia radio remained the most used medium by local consumers during the pandemic, but also, the time listeners spend tuned-in each week has remained consistent with pre-crisis levels.
One aspect of Philadelphia radio, though, that has evolved over the course of the pandemic is where consumers listen.
During the early days of the pandemic, as many Philadelphia consumers curtailed commuting in favor of working where they live, radio listening shifted from in-car and in-office to at-home. But, as people return to the roads for working and shopping, they are taking radio along for the ride.
Despite the pandemic, radio advertising still provides the same superior return-on-investment (ROI) as it did before the crisis.
Between April 30 and May 27 of last year, the darkest days of the pandemic, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a retailer who conducted an advertising campaign during that period using both radio and TV.*
According to Nielsen, during the campaign period, the retailer experienced a 6.2% increase in sales growth. The majority of the increase came from households where consumers were exposed to the advertising campaign.
When Nielsen looked at how each advertising medium contributed to sales growth, the consumers who were exposed only to the retailer's radio commercials were three times more likely to make a purchase than those exposed only to television advertising.
Overall, according to Nielsen, people who were exposed to only the retailer's radio commercials represented only 20% of all advertising impressions. However, these same consumers were responsible for 42% of the sales increases.
The bottom line of this study for any Philadelphia small business owner who is struggling with where to place their limited marketing budgets. Radio produces the strongest increase in sales for every dollar invested. In this Nielsen study, the retailer earned a $28,000 increase in sales for every $1000 spent.
These findings confirm 21 previous studies by Nielsen, which demonstrate that, on average, radio advertising returns $10,000 in advertising for every $1000 invested. The chart below shows the range of returns from each study.
Radio advertising has helped Philadelphia business small business owners survive wars, depressions, recessions, and natural disasters. Clearly, a worldwide pandemic is no match for radio's strength, either.
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