Thursday, October 20, 2005

Research Director and Coleman - Diaries vs PPM

Coleman has completed an analysis of Arbitron data from the first three months of the Houston PPM trial and found that the ratings for many stations varied significantly between the PPM and Diary methodologies. How big were these differences? Were some formats impacted more than others?

Download the free Early PPM Insights report at

... which reminded me of a report, first created in 1994 and updated annually since then, from Julie Heath and Charlie Sislen at Research Director on the impact of heavy users on diary-based ARB and BBM ratings.

* Nearly three-quarters of all station quarter hours come from just over a third of the average station's diaries.

* Exclusive audience, people who report listening to only one station, gives more than double its share of quarter hours, compared to its percentage of diaries.

* A small number of diarykeepers makes a big difference in the average station's ratings.

* Those heavy listeners who give the average station 100 or more quarter hours per week of their time are less than ten percent of all diaries, but account for four of ten of ALL quarter hours of listening.

* THE ballgame is decided at work! On average, it would take almost twice as many at home and four times as many in car listeners to equal the contribution to the normal station's time spent listening that at work diarykeepers make.

* The first and second day of the diary week ARE almost ten percent more likely to have reported listening in the diary, but don't forgot those other weekdays too. They are written down by more than half of all diarykeepers. Two out of three diarykeepers write no listening on Sunday.

* There are really two ways to increase your time spent listening, by increasing the number of listening occasions (the average is 6.2 times per week which are written in 3.4 days in the diary) and the length of time spent each time.

* If you do any special marketing to diarykeepes, do it in the last phase of each survey, focusing on week 4, 7, 8, 11 and 12.

* Finally, outside marketing efforts appear to have only a very small (but positive) impact on your P-1 listeners. However, your P-2, P-3 and P-4 listeners devote almost twice as many quarter hours to the average station when you do TV, telemarketing or direct mail. For example, Research Director has long reported, for example, that one station received 24% of ALL their quarter hours for the entire book in one week, the week that their full market direct mail piece hit mailboxes, for example.

To win in the ratings, as long as diaries are the scorecard..

1. Develop a relationship with and appeal to first preference listeners.

2. Recognize the impact of heavy listeners. Include them in all research and marketing efforts designed to improve TSL.

3. To improve TSL...

increase the number of listening occasions
more days
more locations
more reasons to tune in at specific times

increase the duration of listening
give reasons to continue listening
remove tune-outs

4. Market to develop and cultivate new listeners.

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