Targeting the PPM People: How Are They Different? Next Steps: Many Ways to Max Your Meters, Part 4
October 1, 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.]
1. Use every opportunity to benchmark the station as a money-saving resource. Saying yes to PPM IS about the money. Hit that same button.
2. 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.
3. When researching the consumer base, identify and profile "PPM Types" that the station can market to, in what tone, and with what media.
4. 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?
5. Go all-out on texting. PPM Prospects tend to be texters, and are dramatically more receptive than others to radio station texts.
6. Once you have identified and located the target types, hit that target hard with frequent, tailor-targeted direct mail and direct email.
7. When your station has significant appeal to parents with children at home, nurture that population and develop greater resonance and appeal with them.
8. Be all over social media.
9. Make sure that you are targeting, in your programming and marketing, the traditionalists who maintain a strong positive attitude about Radio.
10. 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.
11. Target meaningful, benchmarked content…both on and off-air, at the "hear me!" types.
12. Direct much of your external marketing toward the "hear me!" types.
13. Be there for the listener who still trusts and uses Radio as a source for some useful and valuable information.
14. These are people who need people. Always communicate a human presence and warmth and conveyance of information.
And now, let's continue:
15. Define the second subgroup of your money target: Identify and profile the types for whom the dollars from Arbitron are enough to make it worth months of inconvenience and intrusion. Get comfortable with this absolute fact: The economic lower end of your audience is your majority when it comes to PPM. So ask yourself: which certain parts/types of my audience would have a greater absolute need for the cash than certain other parts/types? Can you identify and define types who meet this test while also matching some of the other shared characteristics of PPM Prospects that emerge from the data? Who are those people on your lower end? What is their culture like, and how is it different from your upper-middle-class culture? What are they into? What is important in their lives? What is their communication style like? The more you understand these folks, the more likely you are to connect with them. And they hold the majority of the meters.
16. Serve your lower end consumers meaningfully, with benchmarkable content they will value. On and off air. Using your knowledge of your unique lower-end base, orient yourself to her life. Promotional events and locations that make sense for her. Prizes that make sense for her. Contests that make sense for her. Exclusive web content that makes sense for her. Personality communication that makes sense for her. Some of this is about saving money, of course, which we have discussed earlier. But that's the easier part. What else, besides saving money, will endear you to the financially-less-fortunate listener, so that she will listen, and in turn make your station financially MORE fortunate?
17. Use big-prize contesting. It has very strong appeal to and psychographic congruence with PPM Prospects. It has strong appeal to PPM Prospects, because they are money-driven, into Radio, and heavy users of all the best media for efficiently promoting contesting: direct mail, direct email, texting, social media, viral campaigns, and miscellaneous internet advertising. Cash is king, of course, but so are other big prizes. All with significantly more magnet power for a PPM Prospect than for the average radio consuming Muggle.
18. If you are a music station, do not disregard the value of information. PPM Users value Radio for information far more than other consumers. 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.
19. How many ways can you get on her smartphone? Not surprisingly, we see a strong correlation between using smartphones and saying yes to PPM, after controlling for demo/income. (I.e. a middle income 35 year old woman who has a smartphone is significantly more likely to say yes than one who does not.) Makes sense for three reasons: because of the comfort level with a portable digital device. And because most PPM Prospects do not seem to be protective of their privacy. So, think about that question, above, as a brainstorming exercise for your creative team. Obviously, our culture is moving in this direction fast, and PPM-friendly types are on the crest of this wave. The more we can use the smartphone for all kinds of promotion, product, and image-building, the more in-synch we will be, not just for the future in general, but for the PPM Prospect.
To be continued, with more more more ways to max your meters, next week!