Targeting the PPM People: How Are They Different? Part 16: Ain't Just The Money. Many Are Saying "Hear Me, Media!"
August 6, 2012
To succeed today, stations must maximize their appeal to those who control that success:Â those who wear a PPM.Â And, no matter what Arbitron says, the PPM-friendly population, pure and simple, is nowhere close to a representative sample of the population in general.Â NuVoodoo's national study of 1000 adults 18-49 shows that there are several key differences between radio users who will agree to take the PPM and those who will not.Â This is the sixteenth article in our series discussing those differences and how they can help stations win and change the future.
First, please bear in mind that 100% of our sample are already research-receptive people: people who at least agreed to answer a few questions.Â Experience tells us that only about 30% of the population will participate in any research.Â Therefore, any information we share about “Arbitron-friendlies” should be considered in this context.Â We also know respondents are always quicker to agree to a theoretical question than to commit to the actual behavior.Â So the percentages who say they will do something are always greater than the percentages who will in fact do so.Â
Last week, we began looking at what motivates a consumer to say “Yes” to the PPM.Â We uncovered the absolutely shocking data that about nine in ten PPM Prospects say their decision to participate would be influenced by the cash payment from Arbitron.Â That means that almost all who say “Yes” have one thing in common that all who say “No” do not.Â Accordingly, PPM samples will forever be dramatically and irreparably skewed: completely over-representing consumers for whom the money made it “worth it” and completely under-representing the consumers for whom the costs outweighed the money and other benefits.
Money Doesn't Explain Everything.Â What's The X-Factor?
So, no surprise, the money is the #1 driving factor.Â But that only tells part of the story.Â Something else must be going on here.Â Some other psychographic x-factor is also motivating the decision to accept the PPM.Â How do we know this? Â Recall that we have shown, earlier in this series, that PPM Prospects tend to be more mass-media-friendly animals, tend to be much less guarded about their privacy, tend to receive and send more mass-communication, than the Non-Prospects.Â If it were only about needing the money, we would not be seeing those distinctions.Â Moreover, we have shown that, while well-heeled respondents are certainly less likely than financially-strapped respondents to accept the PPM, the slope is not extreme: plenty of upper-income people nonetheless say yes, while plenty of lower-income people still say no.Â If it were as simple as “I need these few hundred bucks and nothing else matters,” we would see a much, much steeper slope, where almost everyone on the low-income end would say yes and almost everyone on the upper end would say no.Â So what's going on here?
Here's an economist's way to think about yes/no meter decisions.Â First, we have the two easy cases: Prospects for whom the monetary benefit obviously outweighs the costs, and Non-Prospects for whom the costs obviously outweigh the monetary benefit.Â So far, so good.Â But, as economists know and relentlessly study, in nearly every consumption decision, the consumer base cannot be neatly cut into these two parts.Â For a large middle “gray area” group, there may be no obvious monetary one-way-or-the-other outweighing.Â Even when money is the overwhelming #1 driver, plenty of fence-sitting consumers, in economists' language, will evaluate the “psychic rewards” as well as the monetary benefit.Â In simplest terms, think of the psychic rewards as a tie-breaker for the fence-sitters.Â If they see the psychic rewards to them as substantial, they will tend to say “yes” more often than “no.”Â If not, they will tend to say “no” more often than yes.
And that is precisely what is happening in the PPM decision.Â We discovered last week that, while nine in ten Prospects say they are driven at least in part by the money, one in three Prospects also say they are driven at least in part by the desire to “make your voice heard by media companies.”Â So could this be the smoking gun: the key “psychic reward” x-factor that explains why some in that large gray area will wind up saying yes while others will wind up saying no?Â Could it also explain why many upper-income people, perhaps counter-intuitively, nonetheless say yes?Â Could it also partially explain what makes people in the Midwest and South more willing than Coastal types to accept the PPM?Â To confirm the smoke from this gun, we performed two tests.Â First, we broke out our PPM Prospects to look for differences along the dimensions of age and income and geography.Â And, lo and behold:
“Hear Me!” More Important To Older, or Wealthier, or Mid-American ProspectsÂ
Sure enough, lowest-income and youngest Prospects, presumably the most impoverished, are much more all about the money, while the highest-income and oldest Prospects are much more likely to factor-in the psychic benefit of Being Heard.Â (E.g.,Â The youngest Prospects are nearly five times as likely to cite money as they are to cite being heard, and the lowest-income prospects are nearly four times as likely.Â Meanwhile, the oldest and highest-income prospects are only twice as likely.)Â And also, sure enough, the most-motivated region, Midwesterners, followed by the Southerners, are more motivated by “being heard” than are Easterners and Westerners.Â Check, check and check.Â But we did say we performed two sets of tests.Â The second test will go to the real question:Â Is this additional motivation merely interesting and descriptive, or could this “Hear Me!” factor explain our findings that PPM Prospects are more into Radio than non-Prospects?Â The shocking conclusionâ€¦next week!
What this means to you
Here's our Cliff's Notes Take-away, summing up the Unified Theory of Meter Motivation.Â Learn it and live it and live long and prosper.Â
There are essentially three types of consumers who take the PPM, based on two motivations:
(1) I need the money, and that's pretty much all that matters (2/3 majority).
(2) The money is worth it to me, especially because I also get to register my opinion with Media companies (substantial minority, skewing older, richer, Mid-American).
(3) I don't care too much for money (well, this amount, anyway); I do it primarily to make my voice heard by the Media (smaller minority, again skewing older, Mid-American, and especially, richer).
And from those three MINORITY groups within the audience will come all of your success or all of your failure.Â Period.Â So, look inside your audience.Â These three types of consumers are in there right now.Â But the overwhelming majority are probably of the fourth type, those who would never accept a PPM.Â Â Are you maximizing appeal now to the kind of listener who wants to be listened to?Â Can you?Â Are you maximizing appeal to the “show me the money” PPM prospect?Â How can you?Â Young-end CHR?Â The great news is that now you can identify, profile, communicate with, and target the three key minority types within your consumer base who are, scary though it may be, the only listeners who matter.
Next Week:Â Tying it together:Â Is the “Hear Me!” meter-wearer actually different from other Radio consumers?Â How can you benefit from understanding these consumer types?