Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Now, Maybe We Know Why

Arbitron VP of Programming Services Gary Marince told the Jacobs Media Summer School at the Conclave in Minneapolis that the average radio listening occasion lasts ten minutes and the most frequently occurring duration is only two minutes.

Which reminded me of a presentation more than 15 years ago to A&O’s annual client seminar just before CRS in Nashville by Pierre Bouvard on what was back then a revolutionary new concept he and sales trainer Steve Marx had innovated called OES. They even wrote a book about it.

Today, Pierre is Executive Vice President, Cross-Platform Services and he previously was ARB’s Executive Vice President, Sales.

In the early 90's, he was Vice President/General Manager, Coleman Research and told us:
"Generally, Optimum Efficient Schedules are 40 to 60 spots per week. The goal of OES is to hit half your cume three or more times with ONE piece of copy. OES gets results. The reason it works: it applies programming theory to scheduling advertising on your station. In effect, it is placing a commercial into a "power current" rotation for a week. OES doesn't mean running two spots per hour from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Instead, it requires separating that one piece of copy by approximately two to three hours and blitzing the radio station with it six times in the 18 hours between 6:00 am to midnight. When scheduled properly, with good vertical and horizontal protections, there is no burnout. OES gets results for advertisers by convincing them to collapse what might otherwise be a three week budget and running it ALL in one week. Yet, when properly scheduled, it has no negative impact on programming or time spent listening. I do research among country listeners. The ONLY time I've heard them complain about commercials is one specific client - Nutri Systems - and it wasn't that they were running it too much, it was the creative hurt the image of some of the air personalities who were associating themselves with it. We hear listeners say 'why is it that only fat people work in radio?' Nutri Systems appears to realize that they hit that creative too hard and they now are changing their creative direction to compensate. Believe it or not, there is NO BURNOUT on this type of 60 to 70 spot per week schedule unless you have irritating copy. As a researcher who talks to listeners all the time, I can tell you that OES doesn't impact TSL. What it DOES impact is RESULTS. If you can convince an advertiser to try it once, they will come back to it again and again. And, they will end up spending more of the budget in radio. Because OES proves that radio works better."

Finally, I’d postulate that PPM also now shows why that math worked (and still works) so well and also why running the same spot two or three times in one hour only irritates listeners without improving results.

It increases frequency without building reach, creating burnout among that half of the audience who listens ten minutes per occasion on average rather than hitting more and more two minute drive-by listeners.

.. at least that's how it calculates on my "back of an envelope research."

1 comment:

Tom Webster said...

Well, now, not all back-of-the-envelope research is bad, Jaye. :)