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Formats Make a Difference to Auto Buyers

Since car dealers are usually local radio station’s largest advertiser group, presumably it would be great if one could combine listening habit data with actual car purchases. Nielsen believes it has done that with its latest survey.

By combining Nielsen Portable People Meter radio listening data in the three largest U.S. radio markets with Polk automotive data that tracks ownership history for more than 600 million vehicles nationwide, the audience research firm says it can now connect what consumers listen to on the radio with the type of car they buy.

“One of radio’s great strengths is its ability to impact consumers in unique ways on a market-by-market basis, which isn’t easily copied from one local market to the next,” says Farshad Family, senior vice president, Local Product Media Leadership. “Formats really make a difference in reaching certain auto buyers in different markets, and this test proves the importance of being able to use specific, granular radio data to explore those connections for both broadcasters and marketers.”

Some key findings from the study include:

● In New York, the sports format scored best among high-end vehicle buyers, particularly those in the prestige sports and prestige luxury categories (e.g. the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS or BMW 7 series)
● Roadster buyers in Los Angeles and Chicago (e.g. those in the market for an Audi TT, BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster) are most likely to listen to the news, talk and information format compared to all other forms of radio
● Basic luxury buyers in Los Angeles (e.g. those in the market for the Acura ILX, Infiniti G37 or Volkswagen CC) can most effectively be reached by news, talk and information, variety, contemporary Christian and country radio formats.