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Posts in "Hot Topics"

They’re Back!

August 26, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

Events and appearances have always been a way for radio stations to separate themselves from the competition. Because of COVID, they suddenly stopped.

Simply put: THEY’RE BACK!

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Selling Without Ratings

August 19, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

For the past 30 years, Research Director, Inc. has helped radio stations maximize the value of their investment in ratings research. For much of that time it was Arbitron data and now it’s Nielsen. We also utilize qualitative research like Scarborough and The Media Audit.

This research is invaluable, but many salespeople become overly reliant on the Nielsen data. This is especially true for Nielsen subscribers that have a strong ratings position. Beware: those that live by the numbers, die by the numbers.

If you are overly dependent on the ratings you are extremely vulnerable.

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You Wear It Well

August 12, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

The recent announcement by Nielsen that the company will deploy wearable technology for PPM data collection is a welcome bit of good news. The original PPM technology has been around for decades and has clearly been lapped by not only the advancement of digital tech but by the habits of the users.

It would be easy to say “well it’s about time,” but that would be an overly cynical take. We applaud Nielsen for proceeding with caution as they roll out these new versions of the meter.

As such, we are also impatient. At the time of this writing we know that there will be a total of 3,000 new wearables in the field this fall, 1,000 of which will be new panelists. We also know we won’t know how this new system impacts ratings until the second quarter of 2022.

This gives us plenty of time for speculation and to ask a bunch of questions. And we have answers from a Nielsen spokesperson.

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Local Is Bouncing Back

July 29, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

Here’s another great sign that the local economy is returning! BIA Advisory Services is one of the foremost firms on tracking and forecasting advertising expenditures. On July 22, they revised their estimate for local advertising dollars for 2021 to $142.4 billion dollars. That is an increase of $4.8 billion or 3.5% higher than they had predicted in November 2020.

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Saving Dealership Dollars

July 22, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

As I talk to sales managers, it’s almost a uniform cry: “Business is returning – the only thing holding up the rebound is a lack of auto dollars.” This is true for understandable reasons.

All you have to do is drive by any car lot and see the lack of cars available. The recent microchip shortage, combined with a recovering economy, has resulted in car dealers selling out their fleet with little to no marketing. This is the case for most brands. So why advertise?

There are several important reasons why car dealers need to continue advertising.

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Get to Know Your Panel

July 1, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

The beauty of the PPM ratings system is that it can accurately – and quickly – record listener behavior. We see that year after year during the Christmas holiday. We see it in markets where a major sports franchise goes to the World Series or the Super Bowl. We saw it over the last year as listeners stopped commuting.

There is also a level of consistency in these numbers. A person can be in the panel for up to two years. Sometimes, even longer.

Of course, sample size remains an issue. However, this is not something you or this blog can solve today. What you (and we) can do is get to know the panel.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

June 22, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

I just had the privilege of speaking at a conference with over 400 broadcasters. Standing on the stage viewing a roomful of people amazed me. Who would have thought just a few months ago that this would ever occur again? This was not the “new normal.” This was normal.

Last week, the May 2021 PPM data was released. This survey period covered April 29 to May 26. By casual observation I noticed that market listening in the May survey increased.

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It’s the Small Things

June 15, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

As The Ratings Experts, we wallow in data every day. We crunch the numbers to help our clients understand what happened to their station in a particular survey. The emphasis here is on the “what.”

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the problem with big data. Not that it isn’t valuable. Every industry needs to understand how it is evolving. Deciphering consumer behavior is crucial to tailoring a product or service to keep up with what customers need and want.

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The Importance of Listener Databases

June 3, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

In business today, companies pay dearly to learn about their customers. Understanding their consumer base is a tremendous selling point for most digital sales teams.

Most radio stations used to maintain a database of listeners, contest players, or fans of the format. These days, programming teams are stretched so thin and many stations no longer actively maintain their listener databases. I’m shocked when I have a conversation with a PD and they say, “Yep, I know it’s important, but I just don’t have the time.”

I would contend that, in this age of digital data, a listener database is more important than ever before. There are several reasons for this…

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Better Commercials

May 20, 2021

Filed Under: Hot Topics

The most negative feedback a radio station, or any advertising-supported platform, receives is about commercials. Consumers generally hate them. Yet, these same consumers will actually quote famous, effective campaigns:

“Where’s The Beef?”

“Real Men of Genius”


So, is the issue the actual presence of commercials or their quality?

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