Targeting the PPM People: How Are They Different? Next Steps: Many Ways to Max Your Meters, Part 3
September 24, 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.
- 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.
- Once you have identified and located the target types, hit that target hard with frequent, tailor-targeted direct mail and direct email.
- When your station has significant appeal to parents with children at home, nurture that population and develop greater resonance and appeal with them.
- Be all over social media.
- Make sure that you are targeting, in your programming and marketing, the traditionalists who maintain a strong positive attitude about Radio.
And now, let's continue:
- Narrowly define your money target as two particular subgroups. First, identify and profile the types who are particularly eager to make their voice heard by the radio industry. A good chunk of PPM Prospects are motivated by this desire to be heard. So what kind of folks would those be within your market/demo universe? Here are a few thought-starters that may apply: First, there are the flat-out fans of a station or show who want to vote their passion. But there are also folks who simply would like to be influencers, and want to give input all over the place. Frequent-poster types (online in general, not our sites). Tweeters unless those are too hip for your room. People who respond to customer surveys, and other similar feedback opportunities. In general, your listeners who are opinionated, empowered, and not cynical. Folks who want to have influence, believe they indeed have influence, that their input will be registered and heeded. Tend to believe in our industry's commitment to our consumers, and want to tell us how better to serve them. Who are these kinds of folks, in your particular room? What are their characteristics, and how can you serve them and reach them?
- Target meaningful, benchmarked content…both on and off-air, at the "hear me!" types. Not at all surprisingly, "hear me" types are more likely than other listeners to listen to AM Radio. Naturally, this is because AM also appeals to folks who want to be heard. But an awful lot of listeners to every music format are also the "listen to me!" type. Music stations can, with a concerted effort, earn the appeal and loyalty of these folks. Do you offer, adequately promote, and attractively package, real places for discussion for the opinionated listener to sound off, on your boards? And why should they go there instead of elsewhere? If you want to be seen as a community, are you offering the community a forum? How much of what you do off-air is about taking IN from them: surveys and opinions and having the listener's voice heard about this and that and anything else? Where is the real opinion-discussion heat, in your market and demo and format? How many meaningful, non-BS ways can you prove to your listener that her opinion has indeed made an impact, and that we continue to seek her guidance? Do you allow input, or better yet, voting, to drive some of our promotions? Your feature choices? What worthy organization in your area gets to benefit from your next big community service event? Some actual product decision with teeth? Are you doing texting polls, and are they used for maximum product-imaging? Do you have a "listener advisory panel" sign-up process? Is it just for show, or can you show how the listeners actually advise?
- Direct much of your external marketing toward the "hear me!" types. This is as straightforward as it sounds. To attract the sort of listener who wants her opinion to be heard, you might to well to adopt a "research" / "consumer needs/input" posture. "Your opinion counts!" marketing now makes more sense than ever. As much as you can, let your direct marketing be interactive: invite the consumer to give feedback, input, opinion, engagement, and interaction, and convey a sense of efficacy.
- Be there for the listener who still trusts and uses Radio as a source for some useful and valuable information. Then deliver the goods. That listener is much more likely to wear a PPM. Provide the info-inclusive music consumer, every time she tunes in, with the info she values, whether it is the economy, the traffic, or the Lady Gaga gossip. Getting benchmarked as a trusted source does require timeliness, often immediacy (a bit of a challenge with non-live shifts, but hardly impossible), and speaking the language of the listener. It's as simple as this: if they trust us to provide information, they are much more likely to trust us with information they provide.
- These are people who need people. Always communicate a human presence and warmth and conveyance of information. (And of course that is very different from "talk a lot.") In general, the less human-beingy your station sounds, the more actual listeners you need to net the same amount of meters. A PPM prospect tends to be more of a "people person," who values radio, among her listening choices today, specifically for our human-element value-added. Does not view Radio as expendable or as interchangeable with other media. And, of course, that means she will not only be more likely to wear a meter today, but to be maintaining her radio TSL tomorrow.
To be continued, with more more more ways to max your meters, next week!