Documenting That Your Listeners Are Not Typical

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(By Charlie Sislen) In my previous post, “Convert Your Listeners Into Dollars,” I outlined how a broadcaster can convert their cume into spending power by using locally driven data. If you missed it, just click here. Using local expenditure data is a powerful tool.

As mentioned in the essay, this system treats all residents in your market the same. In other words, the Sports listener has the same spending habits of a Soft AC listener. Clearly that is not true. So how do you take the unique characteristics of your listeners and deliver data that is more appropriate to your potential advertisers?

The answer is simple…qualitative research.

By using the appropriate qualitative category, you can adjust this number to better reflect the spending power of your listeners. As my last post showed, because of the station’s cume, it was projected that their listeners would spend $96,700,000 in an average month on new cars. Again, that takes into account the average person in that market. By adjusting the number to reflect the station’s qualitative audience, a more appropriate number can be documented. For example, in an average month, this station’s audience would spend:
* $87,600,000 if the station indexed 100 for planning to buy a new car
* $105,120,000 if the station indexed 120 for planning to buy a new car
* $70,080,000 if the station indexed 80 for planning to buy a new car.

This makes the station with a high index look even better. However, if a station is getting beaten up over a low index, converting it to dollars with the qualitative adjustment might help. If an advertiser mentioned that your station indexes 20% below the market average for planning to buy a new car, a clever and well-prepared salesperson can respond with: “Yes, but they also average spending over $70 million dollars monthly on new cars. Do you want a portion of that?”

Honestly, the exact dollar amount does not matter as it is impressive either way. What matters is that you can document your listeners’ spending power in a logical fashion. Using local market data, as was previously outlined, and combining it with your station’s qualitative profile results in a bullet-proof and impressive number. It is 100% defendable.

Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at csislen@ResearchDirectorInc.com. This blog post is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

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