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 Closing Sales with Qualitative Data

 Closing Sales with Qualitative Data

While Nielsen data may be the pricing tool of our industry, qualitative data is the selling tool. It does not matter if you are using Scarborough, The Media Audit, or other qualitative tools; they must be used effectively to have a positive impact on sales.

When qualitative research is used properly, it tells the potential advertiser that your listeners are the ideal consumers for their product or service.

The question is often asked, “What is the best way to position qualitative?” There are three basic ways to position your station’s qualitative story.

Qualitative Cume Persons & Cume Rating
This approach is about Reach. You are telling the advertiser that your station reaches a certain number of their target consumers. The only difference between qualitative cume persons and cume rating is:

  • Cume persons is the number of target customers your station reaches.
  • Cume rating is what percent of those target customers your station reaches.

Typically, the market’s highest cuming station performs well with this measure, simply because they reach a lot of listeners. Therefore, they reach a lot of the advertiser’s target consumers.

The downside to using qualitative cume persons and rating is that, while you are reaching a lot of target consumers, you are also potentially reaching a lot of consumers outside of the target. In some people’s eyes, this can translate to wasted impressions.

Qualitative Composition & Index
While qualitative cume persons is the number of target consumers you reach, composition and index tell an advertiser how efficiently you reach these target consumers.

  • Cume composition represents the percent of your audience that falls into a particular category.
  • Cume index is how this composition compares to the total market, with 100 being the market average.

Often, smaller niche radio stations do well with this measure. They do not reach many listeners, but you are getting these well-targeted consumers with less waste.

The problem with using composition is that, while the advertiser may not be buying waste, they still may not get the mass appeal reach they are looking for.

Qualitative Composition of Top Stations
This approach shows the efficiency of your station to reach a target consumer compared to other stations in your market. Select the major stations in the market and rank them based on their composition. In a large market, you might want to look at the top 20. In smaller markets, the top 10 to 15 will be sufficient.

This approach tells the advertiser, “I am the most efficient station when compared to the other major stations in the market.” It is often advantageous to ask the advertiser who else they are considering, and look at just those stations.

Whichever strategy you decide to utilize, be ready to properly explain and justify it. The story has no value unless you understand it and can explain it.