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Radio Advertising: It Still Works for Automotive Dealers

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Is Radio Advertising still 'In'?

With the rise of digital marketing and the seemingly endless array of advertising platforms available today, it can seem like Radio advertising might be out of date. Despite this, radio advertising remains a highly effective method for reaching potential customers, especially for local automotive dealers. With its power to boost brand awareness, Radio can help drive sales by keeping your dealership top of mind, often at an affordable rate.

Radio Delivers Targeted Reach and Frequency

One of the primary benefits of radio advertising is its ability to reach a targeted audience with high frequency. Radio stations cater to various demographics, which allows local automotive dealers to zero in on the specific market segments they want to target. By running ads consistently during peak listening times, dealers can ensure that their message is being heard by their desired audience multiple times, increasing the likelihood of potential customers taking action.

Get a Cost-Effective Buy

When compared to other advertising platforms, such as TV or print, radio advertising is considerably more cost-effective. Not only are production costs lower, but the cost per thousand (CPM) impressions is often more affordable, as well. This means that you can reach a larger audience without breaking the bank. Additionally, radio stations frequently offer package deals and promotions that can further reduce advertising costs.

Immediacy and Flexibility

Radio advertising offers a level of immediacy that other mediums cannot match. When a listener hears an ad on the radio while they’re driving, a connection can occur between the advertisement they heard and the vehicle they were thinking about upgrading. It doesn’t hurt that they’re on the road and can easily act on the information they just heard. The immediacy radio provides is especially valuable for automotive dealers who want to promote limited-time offers, or sales events. Check out these examples:

Marc Motors

Three times a year Marc Motors runs a weekend sale and uses radio to advertise them! Throughout the year, Marc Motors maintains a steady presence on Radio, and when it comes time to advertise an event, we’ll run a heightened schedule from Sunday through Thursday. The dealership has seen sales increase 200% over a typical Saturday.

Faulkner Toyota

Faulkner Toyota was looking for a boost in sales, we turned to radio to help create buzz around their Flash Sales. Once a month for six months, Faulkner Toyota would run a Flash Sale for a specific amount of time over the weekend. Armed with big savings and a hefty radio buy, Faulkner Toyota and CBC were able to boost sales!

Moreover, radio advertising allows for flexibility in terms of ad length and content. Dealers can choose from a variety of ad formats and lengths to suit their specific needs and goals. For dealerships, like Stivers and Red McCombs Ford, we utilize :15 radio spots to increase frequency and recognition for their low prices or inventory levels. Additionally, updating ad content is relatively simple and can be done quickly, and inexpensively, making it easier for dealers to keep their messaging fresh and relevant.

Emotional Connection and Trust

Radio is a unique medium in that it fosters a strong emotional connection between the listener and the broadcaster. Listeners often develop a sense of loyalty and trust toward their favorite radio personalities, which can translate to a heightened level of trust in the ads they hear on that station. Local automotive dealers can capitalize on this connection by aligning their brand with popular radio personalities and leveraging their influence to build credibility with potential customers.

Integration with Digital Marketing

Finally, radio advertising can be effectively integrated with digital marketing efforts to create a cohesive and powerful marketing strategy. Automotive dealers can use radio ads to drive traffic to their website, social media pages, or online promotions, while also using digital channels to reinforce their radio messaging. This multi-channel approach ensures that potential customers receive a consistent message across multiple touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of conversion.


Although the marketing landscape has shifted significantly in recent years, radio advertising remains a valuable tool for local automotive dealers looking to reach their target audience and drive sales. With its targeted reach, cost-effectiveness, immediacy, emotional connection, and compatibility with digital marketing efforts, radio advertising continues to be a wise investment for automotive dealers in the modern age.

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