(By Charlie Sislen) Each one of your listeners is a consumer. They are buying products and services. For most radio stations, the buying power of their listeners does not stop at the borders of the metro. In most cases, stations are not getting credit for those non-metro listeners. So how do you get credit for this bonus?
Non-metro listening is slightly easier to document in diary markets than Nielsen Audio markets that are surveyed by PPM. The reason is because the diary markets still have have the TSA (Total Survey Area) as part of their reported estimates. This means that a radio station can document that they have listeners beyond the metro. Tapscan users can refer to the “Outside” Ranker report. This simple report compares your metro audience with your TSA or DMA (Designated Market Area) audience. Use this report to document that your station (or cluster) reaches the advertiser’s potential clients beyond the metro. Therefore, if they are pricing your station on your metro audience this is a 100% bonus. You are giving the advertiser these consumers at no extra cost.
When providing your advertisers this added benefit, it is advisable (and more impressive) to use cume estimates to demonstrate your strength beyond the metro. By telling an advertiser that you reach X number of consumers in the metro and another Y amount in the TSA, you are displaying the most impressive angle. The cume persons number will always be bigger than the AQH persons.
It is also important to note that those living in the non-metro TSA may consume certain products and services at a higher propensity than those that live in the metro. Are they more likely to buy a certain type of vehicle because they live in a more rural area as opposed to those metro listeners who live in center city?
While this exact strategy cannot be replicated in PPM markets, a similar (and maybe more valuable) technique can be used in PPM markets with Scarborough data. Most Scarborough markets have estimates for both the metro and DMA. In this case, you can then compare your metro cume of the advertiser’s target audience with your DMA cume.
Does this work for every account? Clearly the answer is no. Some advertisers only care about listeners who live within the metro. However, others are not concerned whether the message influences a metro listener or a consumer in the non-metro TSA. These are the ones for which this strategy is most effective.
Forget the mathematics. The important issue is that when your advertiser buys a schedule on your station, their message does not stop at the metro line. Most schedules are reaching consumers beyond the metro. For your advertisers, this means that they reach additional consumers at no additional cost. This advantage is part of your sell to the advertiser.
This is a tricky but extremely effective strategy. Stop giving these non-metro listeners away for free.
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.