6 Key Insights: How to Measure Audio Performance

By Audacy Insights Team

Audio keeps soaring to new heights. Each day seems to bring exciting tech advances for broadcast radio, streaming, and podcasts – and that means fresh advertising opportunities for brands. A report published this month by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)1 shows Audio streaming ad revenue skyrocketed by nearly 60% last year, outpacing increases in video and search. Numbers like these confirm the positive embrace our industry is seeing from both advertisers and consumers.

As marketers amp up their audio investment, they’re eager to take advantage of the latest innovations in measurement and attribution. Recently, we hosted a panel which brought together thought leaders from Nielsen, Veritonic, Claritas, and our Audacy team. As these thought leaders pointed out, audio – ALL audio – is measurable across the full funnel, from awareness to sales.

1 Match Tactics to Goals

It may sound very basic, but to achieve stellar results in your marketing efforts, one of the first steps is to clearly define your goals. There are a number of measurement tactics to choose from, but – it’s important not to rely just on trusted favorites, and to lean into the attribution format that matches desired outcomes. For example, if your creative asks listeners to visit your store, foot traffic is probably a better metric to use than web lift.

2 Test Creatives Pre-flight

When talking about campaign measurement, usually we’re looking backwards at an analysis of the schedule after it’s already run. But we all know creative plays a massive role in the success of any campaign. More and more, brands are incorporating pre-flight creative testing.

“There’s so much to be learned from a ‘know-before-you-go’ approach,” says Amanda DiMarco, VP of Client Strategy at Veritonic. Before investing big in a campaign, she advises companies to test creative before launch.

“You have this enriched amount of information about your audience, about your script points, if you’re using the right music or not,” Amanda says, adding that once you better understand the effectiveness of your creative, you can make little tweaks to have the greatest impact possible.

3 Embrace Cutting Edge Podcast Metrics

Podcasting is the space that – without a doubt – has seen the quickest transformation in measurement. Once a niche medium, podcasting has become mainstream.

“With measurement, you hate the use the term ‘Wild West’ – but it really was, even a couple of years ago,” Jay Green, Audacy’s SVP, Podcast Strategy & Analytics, says. As an industry, the more podcasting became mainstream, he says, the more we had to find a standard everyone could agree on. “We got together with the IAB and answered the questions our clients had about definitions and nomenclature. Now, we’re past measurement and talking about not just web and app attribution, but we’re even talking about advanced metrics like foot traffic.”

4 Go Full Funnel with Brand Lift Studies

Brand lift studies have become an increasingly important tool in our kit, and they’ve become more popular with the influx of brands we’re seeing in the audio space. “In the beginning, podcasting was all about direct response,” says Arica McKinnon, VP of Solution Consulting at Nielsen. “It’s amazing to see larger brands become interested in the podcast space. Often creating a brand lift study is their first point of entry to understand how to build brand awareness.”

Awareness, brand recall, purchase intent – brand lift studies can help uncover data to shed light on all of these KPIs across the funnel. And brand studies are frequently used for over-the-air and streaming Audio, too.

Arica shared that across all Nielsen brand lift studies, it’s typical to see an average 48% unaided brand recall. Audacy campaigns outshine those results with an average 53% brand recall.

5 Show How Podcast Advertising Increases Sales  

It used to be that brands needed vanity URLs, coupon codes, or one-question surveys – all with their inherent flaws – to measure an Audio campaign’s engagement. Now, that’s changed. In addition to conversion metrics that many marketers are becoming accustomed to, category leaders are paving the way with customized attribution tactics specific to their industry needs.

“At my company, we’ve been focused primarily on engagement conversion measurement through pixel-based solutions… Now we’re seeing the first audio-specific campaign for CPG sales analysis, which is really exciting,” says Omer Jilani of Claritas.

He shared a study completed for one of our clients in the consumer-packaged goods space. Our client used a combination of streaming and podcasts, and saw a notable sales lift and increase in basket size directly from their Audio campaign.

The study took digital and mobile ad-exposure data and compared that with retail purchases. The first-of-its kind study opens the door for CPG brands to see detailed sales lift analysis for their campaigns in Audio.  

6 Remember, All of Audio is Measurable

Digital audio gets a lot of air-time when talking about measurement. But leading audio publishers and attribution pros have also cracked the code for measuring OTA radio campaigns. Radio delivers a highly engaged audience that regularly tunes in and interacts with their favorite stations while in their cars, in their homes and offices, as well as through apps, smart speakers, and station websites. These listener touchpoints, along with ad play data, serves as a tremendous representative panel of a station’s audience, and fuels many of the same measurement KPIs that you see with digital audio. Radio advertisers have become more and more accustomed to leaning into web visitation metrics, web conversion, in-store foot traffic and brand lift studies to gauge their campaign’s success.

Web lift attribution and measurement is quickly becoming table stakes for over-the-air Radio campaigns. Perhaps more importantly, we can lean into the campaign data to optimize campaigns in an effort to drive greater response and traction. We can now measure OTA similarly to what’s possible in the digital space.

Jon Blum
SVP, Agency Partnerships & Analytics, Audacy

You’re welcome to dig in deeper with these Audio measurement trends and watch the full Audacy Insights Series webinar by CLICKING HERE.

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1Outlook 2022: The US Digital Advertising Ecosystem” PwC Report published by the Internet Advertising Bureau

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