Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Presumptions Are Holding Us Back"

Catherine Kelly, VP/Western Region for BBM Canada made that statement recently during a day-long session with the Lower Mainland media sales and buying community which was laden with thought-provoking trends and stats.

"One of the largest values with PPM data, yet largely unexplored, is the ability to really get to know your audience and how people use your media. In Radio, we’re still dealing with dayparts that were defined by a methodology designed to measure it…rather than using our new methodology to help us design better stations, campaigns and advertising.

"It is unrealistic to look at old behaviour models and expect that they will continue to apply. 18-24 is the one demo that BBM receives the most questions and concerns about – whether the market or station is measured by diary or PPM. Every research company has issues with A18-24.

"PPM has these:

• Docking – I’m out late and I don’t dock til’ tomorrow
• Females – I couldn’t find a way to wear it with my dress
• CONTACT!!!! – reaching these people is IMPOSSIBLE
• And of course…..“Uhm…I (lost it, dropped it in the toilet/pool/shower/lake, had it but can’t find it, forgot it, left it in my friends car…..)”

"This is Reality…

"The 18-24 year olds THEMSELVES drive variability in audience numbers. They go in and out of the sample quicker and more often than older more ‘stable’ panelists.

"During these years, an 18-24 can experience one or more of these, perhaps several times, all within a year:

• Leave to go to school
• Then come back to parents house for summer
• Leave again
• Get a job, quit a job
• Buy a car, write off a car, etc.

"Nevermind what they can do over the course of 7 years..

"It is often assumed that radio listening and television viewing is a daily habit with slight variability over time. However, when you look at minute, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly data for 18-24 year olds, its clear that variability is the norm for this age group.

"Other factors that contribute: Co-Listening/Co-Viewing. Don’t forget that PPM captures ‘exposure’ and that means there are instances of co-listening or viewing, that are going to occur.

"This is particularly true during ‘holiday’ periods where the likelihood of an A18-24 being in a co-viewing/listening environment increases.

"Market events affect 18-24 year olds and drive variability in audience numbers. (psst..this is true of all demos!)

"Consider the following, especially when examining this group:

• What time of year is it?
• Did this happen last year?
• What could be happening in their lives?
• Market?
• Other media?"

Some folks will say that it must be "be nice to a ratings company day" at Breakfast Blog as I recap this, since I more tend more often to tweek our associates in the media research business given my innate and deeply ingrained sympathies with our programmers, talent and sellers.

However, anyone who shares an abode with an 18-24, a teen or a 25-34 knows that what she's telling us - like it or not - has considerable inconvenient truth in it.

It's time to learn new selling strategies.


Mindy Hart said...

I really think this holds true for a lot of demographics. Predictable schedules in the lives of most of the people I know, are rare. Great thoughts.

John Shomby said...

I think this is why we see such fluctuations in morning drive these days. Excellent blog, Jaye. Thanks for the insight!

Jaye Albright said...

Actually, the thanks go to Catherine Kelly, who has been badgered by a bunch of her radio and TV clients that she felt compelled to scour their data for solid, sensible explanations.