(By Rick Fink) I’m not saying this because of their recent decision to go to a “subscribers first” policy. In fact, I agree with their decision and frankly, I am not sure why this hasn’t always been their policy. It never made sense to me that stations not paying for the service had access to it, even if it was in a roundabout way.
Here are the main reasons I have always been a staunch opponent of Nielsen or any other ratings service. Simply put, they make your sales efforts weaker and have caused far more campaigns to fail than they have ever helped.
In nearly every study conducted about how and what makes advertising campaigns successful, research shows that Creative is the most important element in determining whether a campaign is successful or not.
Even Nielsen’s own study suggests that Creative, at 47%, is the most important element attributed to the success of a campaign. That study also stated that Creative is more important than Reach at 22%, Brand Strength 15%, Targeting 9%, Recency 5%, and Context 2%. Of these, only Reach and Targeting ( 31% combined) have anything to do with the success of an ad campaign. (I apologize for using Nielsen’s information for which I did not pay.)
Just imagine how strong radio would be today if instead of spending money on “ratings”, station owners invested the money on training their media reps and on-air talent how to sell and use radio correctly, and how to create, write, and produce great ads and ad campaigns.
Let’s be clear, the reason we have heard this statement, “I’ve tried radio once and it didn’t work”, far too often is not because of the number of listeners the station had or didn’t have, or whether or not they were reaching the “right” demographic. In most cases, it didn’t work because the ad or Creative SUCKED and/or they didn’t have enough frequency or consistency to give it a chance to work. It had nothing to do with ratings or rankings!
Continually spending money, year after year, on information that is reliable for only a matter of months or one year seems silly. Dump Nielsen NOW and invest that money into training your sellers and on-air team to sell radio correctly, and create, write, and produce GREAT radio ads.