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How Radio Ads Influence Generation X

Remember Generation X? That’s the group that’s older than Millennials yet younger than Baby Boomers. They are today’s 35-54 demographic (sizable, but smaller than Boomers or Millennials).

Check out this new chart from on what media are perceived to have persuaded purchases by Gen X during the six months prior to the survey:


Quick take:

Radio ads – good, old-fashioned radio ads – are, if anything, MORE influential than they were two years ago.

Still, radio ads are perceived to be LESS influential than word-of-mouth recommendations, TV ads, opt-in emails, and Yelp-style reviews. All of these are perceived as LESS influential than they had been previously, but they are MORE influential than radio spots for this sample of consumers.

Radio ads are perceived to be LESS influential than mailed advertising flyers, although that’s not surprising since these cards and flyers are primarily discount-oriented.

Significantly, radio ads are perceived to be LESS influential than ads on social media platforms which are TWICE as influential as they were two years ago.For Gen X, radio ads are LESS influential than social media ads Click To Tweet

Interestingly, radio ads are perceived to be MORE influential than outdoor ads, suggesting that outdoor should use radio to advertise rather than vice versa.

Finally, the “big lie” to all this is shown in the final metric: “None [of these] have influenced me to purchase a product.” That, of course, is abjectly false, but it’s an easy perception to proclaim and exactly why asking questions like these based on opinions is limited when it comes to correlating advertising spend with consumer outcomes in the marketplace.

Still, audience perceptions count for something, and media perceived to be more influential should be more attractive to clients than those which are deemed less influential, right?

Meanwhile, it should not escape your notice that some of these categories are not mutually exclusive. That is, a campaign which includes both radio ads and social media spend would likely be more effective than either alone.

So are you in the business of selling spots?

Or the business of selling results?

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