Radio Ads Garner Gen X’s Attention

July 29, 2016

MCSurveyMonkeyAudience-Purchase-Influence-Gen-X-2016-v-2014Yahoo calls them “the most influential generation” – but they’re also often overlooked by advertisers in favor of both their younger (Millennial) and older (Boomer) counterparts. In a new study, MarketingCharts delves into the marketing and advertising channels to which Gen Xers ascribe the most purchase influence, with some surprising results.

The results indicate that of the major adult generations, Gen Xers (35-49) are the most likely to say that they’re exposed to multiple ads on the radio in a typical day. These ads seem to be breaking through the clutter, as Gen Xers were also the most apt to say that they’ve noticed a specific advertiser in the previous week when listening to the radio.

As a result of exposure to these ads, Gen Xers join Baby Boomers as the adults most likely to say that they’ve influenced to make a purchase by radio ads. Strikingly, more Gen Xers now ascribe purchase influence to radio ads than did so in our inaugural study in 2014. In so doing, radio advertising has overtaken print – both magazine and newspaper – ads in stated purchase influence for this demographic group. In fact, radio is the only traditional advertising medium measured in both 2014 and 2016 to see an increase in ascribed purchase influence among Gen Xers. (In a fascinating twist, radio’s influence also edged up for Millennials, while remaining steady for Baby Boomers and declining slightly for Silents. Then again, radio maintains almost universal weekly reach among Millennials…)

Besides radio, Gen Xers are also reporting greater purchase influence from several digital channels. Among the fastest-rising is social media, which has in fact overtaken radio since 2014 (and which is poised to become the top paid medium for Millennials). Moreover, the proportion of Gen Xers saying they’ve been influenced to make a purchase as a result of mobile display ads and online video ads has more than doubled in the past 2 years. So while radio might be holding the fort on the traditional media end of things, digital ads (with the exception of paid search) are rising quickly in importance for Gen Xers.

For a complete list of purchase influencers across generations, genders, and household income segments, purchase the MarketingCharts report here. The 47-page PDF study – replete with 42 charts and tables – is accompanied by the full survey results broken out by demographic group.

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