Charlie Sislen and the team at The Research Director have been keeping stats on diarykeepers and now PPM panelists for many years.
Here's a quick A&O recap of what they've learned and what to do about it:
How important to average quarter hour share is the proverbial "P-1" listener to the average radio station? Their findings, based on 91,409 Arbitron diaries from 297 radio station mechanicals in market sizes ranging from #1 to #253 (since all Research Director clients must also be Arbitron subscribers, the results tend to have a bias toward ratings leaders, top competitors and research savvy station and not all formats were represented (religious, non-commercial, adult urban and big band were missing from the analysis, but all other formats were represented)):
* 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. This stat from diaries, hold up in PPM as well.
* 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.
* PPM listeners are found equally in every minute of every hour, seven days a week.
There are really two ways to increase your time spent listening, by increasing the number of listening occasions (the diary 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 diarykeepers, do it in the last phase of each survey, focusing on week 4, 7, 8, 11 and 12.
* PPM rewards, instead, consistent tuning minute-by-minute and day-by-day, yet "events" still spike usage.
* 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, Sislen reports 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!
To win in the ratings, diaries or PPM....
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 reasons to tune in at specific times
increase the duration of listening
give reasons to continue listening
4. Market to develop and cultivate new listeners.
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