Targeting the PPM People: How Are They Different? Next Steps: Many Ways to Max Your Meters, Part 2
September 17, 2012
No matter what Arbitron says, the PPM-friendly population, pure and simple, is nowhere close to a representative sample of the population in general. Over many weeks, this series has been discussing how stations can identify and exploit the key differences between radio users who will agree to take the PPM and those who will not. In these concluding weeks of this series, we are highlighting and reviewing some of those ideas.
Recapping our first five, from last week:
- Use every opportunity to benchmark the station as a money-saving resource. Saying yes to PPM IS about the money. Hit that same button.
- People who really love a music station or a morning show are much better PPM Prospects. To get more love, do a radio consumer research study. Not a radio station product research study.
- When researching the consumer base, identify and profile “PPM Types” that the station can market to, in what tone, and with what media.
- Ask this about everything you do, on and off air: Does this help or hurt our appeal to those in our audience who have a"Middle-American-Mindset" psychographic/personality?
- Go all-out on texting. PPM Prospects tend to be texters, and are dramatically more receptive than others to radio station texts.
And now, let's continue:
- Once you have identified and located the target types, hit that target hard with frequent, tailor-targeted direct mail and direct email. PPM Prospects = Direct Marketing’s Best Customers. One reason to love the PPM is that it provides us a more efficient way to reach the only customers who get counted! People who are open to wearing a PPM are, not surprisingly, also more open to considering what other offers may come their way. They are significantly less likely than Non-Prospects to pitch a mass-mailing pitch into the trash, or to reflexively click “delete.” This goes for both traditional direct mail and modern mass email. This greater willingness to read and consider opportunities, often in pursuit of money-saving, certainly fits the profile of someone willing to become a digital white rat, in pursuit of money-saving. So think of it this way, whenever you do a direct marketing campaign: Whatever your general read/retain/action hit-rate is for a campaign, across all recipients, it is actually much higher among exactly the mass-mailing recipients you want the most to reach. The recipients who could also be meter recipients are much more likely to read this stuff. Moreover, assuming you have done your homework and have profiled and identified the target of your mailing according to your station’s lifegroups and your market’s PPM-receptive-groups, and you are not indiscriminately mailing the market, you can afford to maximize the frequency of your messages. Which, of course, is key. Bottom line: direct marketing is an efficient investment in fishing where the fish are.
- When your station has significant appeal to parents with children at home, nurture that population and develop greater resonance and appeal with them. Again, it makes sense if you think about it. Here’s the fact: Parents with children at home are more likely to say yes to PPM than others in the same demo. And there is virtually no correlation with marital status. Single parents with children at home, married parents, cohabiting unmarried parents. Whenever a group is more likely to say “yes,” that means the potential return on investing in them is greater. Always remember to serve the parent/family angle. And remember, when we do so, that family and kids are also the most important thing in their lives. Are we reflecting that, and serving that target with adequate attention, just-like-me resonance, commitment and passion?
- Be all over social media. The PPM Prospect makes more use of social media than do other consumers. This makes sense, since we know from our other data that she is generally much more comfortable living in the digital world of today than is her demographic sister who will not be a PPM Prospect. Moreover, it fits her profile of being generally social and communicative and interested in human companionship. So this comfort on Facebook et al., together with her receptivity to ad messages, as we have discussed already, makes her the perfect target recipient of social-media marketing campaigns. And Facebook has completely resuscitated the basic “tell a friend” promotion. The potential today to use social media as a vehicle for constant widespread circulation together with tribal appeal is amazing. The window is still open for radio stations to establish social significance and brand ourselves on social platforms. But this will be a huge battleground for attention, and that window will not remain open. Are you focused on maximizing your social presence? Make sure your team includes someone with real social marketing expertise and success. And remember why you are doing this. Not to be cool anymore, like maybe when you first tiptoed into social media. Now, you need to do it in order to be square. Follow the herd. Social media is where a lot of your mainstream lives now. And PPM Prospects live there significantly more. So live there with them.
- Make sure that you are targeting, in your programming and marketing, the traditionalists who maintain a strong positive attitude about Radio. Of course, there are obvious reasons to do this already. It is much harder to turn around negative attitudes, to begin with, and anyway, the people with the most pro-Radio attitudes are the least at risk to shifting TSL to other media. But there’s an even more critical reason to pursue and embrace the traditionalist, middlebrow, safe center who still love us. It turns out that those consumers who believe in Radio and what we do, believe that stations are serving them well, and are open to forming relationships with radio stations, are also a lot more likely to join the PPM ranks than those who don’t. So, ask yourself: (1) are you staying close to the core and future core audience of the medium? Or (2) are you pursuing and appealing to a relatively radio-apathetic, not brand-bonded, consumer, who can take it or leave it? Or (3) a wannabe-leading-edge-next-big-thing consumer who is also very into new media, and isn’t high on radio in general, but will still listen to your station? And, as we said, this is not just about your future growth or erosion prospects, although those certainly are obvious. What it’s about is that consumer type (1) is simply dramatically more likely than types (2) and (3) to agree to wear a PPM. Imagine three radio stations, each one’s audience populated purely by only one of those types. Imagine that stations (2) and (3) are narrowly ahead of station (1) in “actual” listening. In the PPM-derived ratings, however, station (1) would trounce (2) and (3)! So make sure you direct yourself at all times to the Ones. When it depends on who wears the PPMs, a quarter hour from a listener who feels good about Radio simply counts for a lot more. A quarter hour, same station, same time, same demo, from a listener who doesn’t feel as good about Radio counts for a lot less. Because he is a lot less likely to say yes, and therefore to be counted.
To be continued, with more more more ways to max your meters, next week!