Nielsen: Radio Sways ‘Undecided’ Car Shoppers in L. A.

  • Nielsen

When it comes to buying a car, radio has long touted its ability to sway potential buyers and new data from Nielsen shows radio is particularly effective at influencing undecided shoppers. According to a survey of the Los Angeles market, Nielsen says undecided car shoppers cited radio as more influential on purchasing decisions than local TV, newspapers or digital media.

Only direct mail and billboards rated higher among these shoppers, who have yet to commit to a vehicle or manufacturer.

The findings were among the takeaways from a Nielsen study in partnership with the Southern California Broadcasters Association that analyzed automotive shopping and media in the Los Angeles and San Diego markets. Among “decided” shoppers in L.A. who had already selected a make and model, radio was not as powerful on purchase decisions, ranking slightly lower than TV, digital and newspaper, but ahead of direct mail and billboards.

“Understanding vehicle purchasers in their local markets and the role each advertising medium plays throughout the purchase path, local auto dealers and car manufacturers can more effectively drive sales,” Nielsen noted in its report.

Among the Los Angeles shoppers surveyed, respondents said they often visited a manufacturer’s website after hearing a radio ad, with 48% reporting their first action after listening to a car ad on radio was to go online to an automaker’s site, compared to 40% who took the same action after seeing a TV ad or a newspaper ad. In contrast, 28% of car shoppers visited a local dealership after hearing an ad on the radio, compared to 48% who did the same after being exposed to a local TV ad or 44% for newspapers.



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