Financially Speaking, Radio Listeners are Confident

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Going to the store lately is always an adventure and not for the reasons you think. The adventure isn’t about what is available for purchase but more about how much the tab will be. Prices are rising. According to the Consumer Price Index, food prices have risen by 3.4% over the past year, and apparel is up 4.2%.

With the increase in prices, what impact is that having on finances?

Fifty-eight percent of adults have completely changed how they think about money due to the pandemic and over half of adults view their financial well-being as changed since the pandemic. These findings are from a recent Capital One survey.

Understanding consumers’ financial perspective is important. It can help guide and influence how advertisers deliver messages to their potential customers of across a myriad products and services ranging from everyday needs to unexpected necessities.

The Capital One survey found that 48% of adults increased the amount of money they believed they needed for the rainy-day fund. Because we know that all consumers are not alike, we decided to look at radio listeners.
Radio listeners have a more positive perspective on the economy and their financial standing. Eighty-two percent of radio-listening adults believe that they are in about the same or better financially than a year ago, and 32% stated that the pandemic has not had any or not very much impact on their lives personally. These are the results from the recently released July 2021 COVID-19 study from MRI-Simmons.

Radio listeners are looking forward to their future being secure. Eighty-three percent believe that investing in their future is very important. They also have a greater sense of financial security – 68% agree. With this greater sense of financial security, only 4% of radio listeners postponed investing in various funds or the stock market, and only 3% postponed their retirement.

Radio listeners are also prudent about how they spend and save. They would rather save up in advance of a purchase than borrow money and be in debt (84%). As a result of COVID-19, 25% of radio listeners postponed nonessential purchases. This is a direct contrast to the results from the Capital One survey. Thirty percent of survey respondents struggle with their spending habits and want to learn how to stop spending on unnecessary items (44%) or spending on impulse (41%).

In today’s economic climate, consumers are being thriftier and more cautious with where and how they spend their money. Their mindset and perspective on their current finances and plans for the future will have a direct impact on the products and services they purchase or don’t.

Addressing and recognizing the realties that some consumers are facing can help advertisers to determine what messages should be included when targeting their patrons. While not all radio listeners may be as confident financially, the data from the MRI-Simmons study confirm those of the recent Nielsen custom survey – radio listeners are on the move, ready to go and shop. They are confident in their finances and in their future.


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