Consistently, radio has been proven to provide political advertisers an ROI double that of even the best results of many other media, and this year radio is poised to deliver even more. At a recent seminar held in Washington DC, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau in partnership with Katz Radio Group and Nielsen, political advertisers and consultants learned about the new big data targeting capabilities that Nielsen is now able to provide. This data affords advertisers the ability to literally pinpoint the voters they need to reach in select markets. It was also revealed that as political campaigns look for the right radio format to reach a specific voter group, they’re likely to discover that what works in one market won’t deliver the same results in another. Format preferences vary dramatically from market to market—even for the same political persona. Inside Radio, an industry e-newsletter, reported it best: “When you look at these markets they are like snowflakes, politically—there are no two that are alike so it’s really important to activate locally,” according to Rich Tunkel, VP, Nielsen Audio. He cited the battleground state of Florida as an example because it is home to five markets, each with distinct political views. “The radio station strategy in each market will be as different as the populations of the markets themselves,” Tunkel said. News/talk is the number one format in one of the markets among a certain party while CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) is a top format for that same party in a different market. In addition to format, dayparts, local culture and opinions matter. Radio matters a lot in reaching the voters that candidates and issue-based organizations need to reach. To view the presentations from this political advertising seminar and download the presentations, please click here.

Following this event, Katz Radio Group released their first wave of data from “The Local Vote 2016” -- an effort that gauges voter sentiment around candidates, issues and media choices at the state level by re-contacting Nielsen Scarborough respondents. Key insights include:

  • Roughly a third of all registered voters in Colorado, Texas and Virginia are still
    open to be influenced by political messaging. These individuals comprise the “Opportunity Vote” –registered voters who are voting in their Democratic or Republican primary but are still undecided on a candidate, OR registered voters who have not yet decided if they will vote.
  • Seven key issues are driving the most influence on candidate selection, but are prioritized differently for voters according to state and party lines. These issues are: Healthcare, the Economy, Gun Control/Gun Rights, Jobs, National Security, Government Spending and Immigration.
  • Radio leads all other media in reaching the critical “Opportunity Vote” in Colorado, Texas and Virginia (93.2%), followed by broadcast television (89.9%), cable TV (89.8%), the Internet via computer (87.8%) and mobile Internet (64.4%).
  • One in three Opportunity Voters invests more time listening to radio than watching television. On average, these voters listen to nearly 2 hours of radio daily (1:52), while watching less than 1 hour of TV (:52).
  • In the world of audio choices, registered voters are 5X more likely to agree that radio is an appropriate place for political advertising than Pandora (32% agreement vs 7%).
  • Multiple Radio formats (not just News/Talk/Sports) offer a high density, politically targeted audience for campaigns.
Click here to download the full analysis.