Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Old Fashioned Paper Diary

Rating services have been using the Paper Diary for around 45+ years.  They are still used around the world even with the advent of the people meter.  They are simple to fill out and there's not a lot of expense to get the data once you've got a willing participant.   But, it's getting harder and harder to get the younger audience to fill out a diary with a paper and pen.

Writing things down is something that is quickly fading from our world.  We click on the keyboards (no matter how small they are) and dictate to our devices.  There is no need to write much for the older half of Gen X and all the Millenials which make up the entire 18-45 cells. Even their signature is going digital.

We have seen the sample sizes continue to struggle in these cells and we often see extra cash sent to these groups to try and get the sample.  In most cases, the sample falls short and the diaries from these cells are weighted up, so they are worth 130 or 200 percent of the value of the demo cells that met their goals in returns.

So why not take the diary on-line?  Have it set up so you can fill it out on your smartphone or tablet or laptop.  Will younger demos fill it out?  Will it be more accurate? In Canada, their ratings system (Numeris), made the bold move to give it a try this past Fall.

So how did it turn out?  So far it looks like the sample return was up for 12+  just under 6%.  The 18-34 demos did show a stronger return.  But, the time spent listening was down - also around 6%.  Is the On Line Diary more cumbersome to fill out on a keyboard than just grabbing a pen?  We also saw fewer listening occasions, but longer reported listening when they did tune in according to what they entered in the on-line system.

No doubt there will be tweaking ahead, but it's a great move to at least see the potential of moving beyond the paper diary.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Is Social Media Branding A Waste!!!

We see it all the time as a brand or business launches something new and posts it on Facebook.   The post goes up and then you look at the comments and it's filled with haters.  Everyone complaining about the announcement to the point of no return.

Even though you may have 1000 likes and 800 shares, the 500 haters commenting and picking everything apart almost makes you wonder - should we have just announced the change on our website and avoided all comments?

This is one of the issues with Facebook and perhaps it's may not be your best option to announce a change.

I've recently seen some changes in radio stations where they ran out with announcements on Social Media.  The problem is that they had NO control over how the message would hit and with the door wide open for comments they get clobbered.   It usually starts with all the people who claim radio is useless or so old fashioned and that they have moved on to satellite radio or one of the streaming apps.  They claim not to listen at all, but they seem to know how bad it is or that the station doesn't play their kind of music now.  The same can go for personalities, contests, features and even special community events.  They can say anything they want in the comments - make it up and say whatever you want.

All it seems to take are a few haters tapping away on their keyboards to dampen the whole event or change.  There are ways to make sure you have some control when you announce in today's world - it may be worth it to consider the alternatives.  While yes - the haters will hate hate hate - you don't have to open the door just to accommodate them.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Helping The Sales Team

With all the opportunities we have to market and build brands with all of today's Media options on so many platforms, your sales team has to really hustle to hit those budgets and build the revenue line. This probably isn't 'breaking news' in your shop, but has it become 'old hat news'?  Is it just a 'slump' that seems to go on and on?   Are we giving up on opportunities we could take advantage of or create?

But, what can the programming team do to help?  It's a sales issue, right?

Radio advertising may look like just selling 30s and 15s in the 2-3 spot islands we have in most hours, and while that probably makes up much of the revenue, we have a lot more opportunities.
The Potential to work outside the cluster boxes to build brands, draw customer traffic, and help brands integrate themselves in the community.

Many of these opportunities involve embedding opportunities outside of the clusters - an integration right into the product.  A place where your message is a lot harder for the audience to pass over.

It's sponsorship of features, events, promotions, studios, weekends, whole dayparts, and anything else we can dream up.  Too often we look at these as 'inventory' on a list that the sales team needs to sell.  How about if we changed the 'optics' to - opportunities for brands/clients/advertisers to engage their message front and center on the product.

Programming needs to take a leadership position here and look for opportunities that fit the product and don't intrude on it.  Next, we need to outline the opportunities and create the guidelines so the sales team and the client knows what to expect.  It may sound simple, but do you and your team have a real plan here?  Or do we just wing it when the client brings it up?  Maybe it's time to work with your sales team and develop your plan.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Your Point Of View Behind the Mic

When you, or the on air talent on your team, cracks the mic what is their Point Of View.  Are they in the sound proof room talking into the magic cylinder and making the meters wiggle so the masses can hear their every word?  Or are they communicating with the listeners and having a real conversation with them?

Obviously we know what will connect with the audience.  Yet, how many breaks do we hear on stations in all size markets with all levels of talent that just focus' on them and their point of view only.  Yes there are personalities that have a captivating point of view and a gift of gab and much of their audience dials in to bathe with their words, but face it most of the on air talent we have will build a lot stronger engagement with the audience by taking their Point Of View.  

Go back and listen to your breaks if you are on the air - where was your Point Of View?  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Big Data

Today we are all giving off huge quantities of data with our every breath.  It's tracked on our Fit Bits, phones, computers, cars, tablets, the affinity clubs we've joined, the social media we use, and all the cameras we pass through all over the place.  We can open our GPS apps and see exactly how fast traffic is moving on nearly any street in the country, and it's done by tracking the movement of every cell phone on the street.  We can see so much and are able to store so much of it that the term Big Data is really an gross understatement - it's way bigger than big.  I don't think Carl Sagan could find a word to do it justice.    

On the other side of this picture we have many who are studying all of this data to see if they can find the 'needle in the haystack' or the 'golden nugget' that launches a new product or allows you to direct all your marketing and distribution systems to hitting the consumer target right between the eyes - with 'super smart bomb messages.'  

We have tons and tons of data.  Yes, more than we can put to any real use.  So much that it often points in multiple directions with equal conviction.  

While all this data grows and accumulates are we just making huge piles of big data or are we actually finding new answers to human behavior or new ways to reaching them in marketing or messaging?  

One thing to keep in mind.  Just having lots of data is not the answer - we have to be able to understand and find real ways to use the data and that comes from finding a balance between the 'Art' and the 'Science'.   We have tons of 'Science/Data' here.  To make progress with all this data we will need to develop the 'Art' of building messages and having a full understanding of the audience.  

Just having piles of data is not enough.