(By Charlie Sislen) Your station’s ratings can be a source of joy or sorrow. Let’s say you’re garnering an older-skewing demographic — one that likely has a large portion of Adults 65+. Your clients want Adults 18-49 or 25-54. What do you do?
Many sales reps set prices based on the advertiser’s target without talking about the value of their audience outside of the advertiser’s requested target demo. Yet, they rarely highlight the value of these listeners. Therefore, they are delivering this audience segment at no cost. In other words, this 65+ (or even 55+) portion of the population is being given away.
Something should only be given away if it has no value. And that simply isn’t the case when dealing with the older segment of the population. Why is this?
They are growing in size: Every year with the October PPM and Fall diary surveys, Nielsen updates their population estimates. In examining dozens of markets it became apparent that in most markets 65+ was the fastest-growing demographic segment. In some markets, the 65+ portion of the population outnumbered any other demographic cell. By ignoring them, advertisers may be ignoring a valuable consumer base. Look at your market and know the facts.
They have disposable income: While their annual household income may be lower than other segments of the population, it is widely understood that this group has less debt. Typically they have no student loans, and often no mortgages or car payments. They have the disposable income to make buying decisions that other demographic segments cannot make because of their debt. If you want to prove it, just look at the net worth (investments) of the average Adult 65+ in your market’s qualitative data.
They are super radio fans. While younger segments of the population are tuning to the radio, it is the older segment that is most loyal to radio. In most cases, the TSL to radio by Adults 55-64 and Adults 65+ dwarfs that of their 18-24 and 25-34 counterparts.
Does your advertiser want to miss one of the fastest-growing segments of the population that has a high disposable income? They love radio and therefore our medium is the best way to reach this valuable segment. The facts are on your side. You just need to present them to the local advertiser.
Don’t shy away from this segment of your audience. Present their value to the advertiser with pride.
Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at [email protected]. This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.