Reaching PPM Prospects: Once Again, Direct Mail is Unbeaten
February 18, 2013
Over the past several weeks, we have been reporting fresh data from NuVoodoo’s just-completed nationwide study of radio listeners 18-54.Â Â We have been comparing the effectiveness of various advertising media at reaching the only pool of listeners who determine our success or failure.Â Those who are willing to become radio research subjects in return for payment.
This week, we will zero in on the particular subset of paid-radio-research subjects who matter the most:Â those who say that they would in fact agree, to wear, for several months, and have all household members wear, The Device.Â Arbitron’s PPM.Â These are the real target listeners you need to attract.Â We call them the PPM Prospects.
NuVoodoo has been researching PPM Prospects for some time now.Â We have compiled quite a lot of data on them, much of which we reported in this space throughout 2012.Â The latest findings we are about to report, from this completely new national study, emphatically corroborate what we have previously found: that there is no advertising medium more effective than direct mail for reaching these coveted PPM Prospects.
First, let’s review a couple of important reminders about these data.Â One, whenever you see behavior that doesn’t sound “typical” or “expected,” please remember that people who have passed the test of agreeing to be research subjects for money are, simply put, not typical, and thus not representative of the population as a whole.Â These are people who are probably looking for lots of opportunities to save or make a little more money.Â Â They are also highly trusting of sharing their personal information with strangers, less protective of their privacy and their time when such opportunities arise.Â That is, the inconvenience and intrusion is worth the money to them.Â Most Americans today, frankly, would not agree with that.Â So these are not “normal” people, and their apparently-unusual responses and behaviors should always be viewed through that prism.Â For example, within that already-select group, the percentage who will say “yes” to the theoretical PPM question looks very high.Â Nothing like the low percentage of the total population who will say “yes.”Â
And two, it is a well-known given that survey 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 We know, therefore, that many people who say “yes” to the theoretical question might ultimately bail before actually accepting a PPM.Â But we also know that they are infinitely more likely to accept one than the folks who say “no.”Â So they are in fact a very reliable indicator of actual PPM-wearers.
Before we zero in on the PPM Prospects, let us pull back to full sample of paid-radio-research respondents.Â What have we already learned about them?
Researchable Women, 25-54’s:Â Direct Mail Equals or Beats All Other Media
In the following chart, we break out the full sample by demos, comparing the effectiveness of five different advertising media.
Remember, this is before we narrow the sample down to the PPM Prospects.Â But the pattern is already clear.Â Paid-research Women and 25-54’s agree:Â they are more likely to actually look at a piece of direct mail, or a billboard, than they are to sit through a TV spot.Â And, among this atypical slice of the population that we care so much about, just as many are likely to read a commercial email as are likely to see a TV spot.Â No question about it.Â Perhaps among the larger population, direct marketing may not get noticed as much as TV, but among the slice we care about, direct marketing, especially a combination of regular mail and email, works best.
Direct Mail Reaches PPM Prospects Better Than Other Media
Now, let us narrow our focus.Â The following chart compares the PPM Prospects to our other paid-research respondents.Â And look what happens.
This chart tells the story of your REAL reach.Â The PPM Prospects, represented by the second, blue, bar, for each medium, are slightly more likely than the other folks to notice a billboard or an email or a newspaper ad.Â They are actually less likely than the other folks to notice a TV spot.Â And, most significantly, they are LOTS more likely to read a direct mail piece.Â Direct mail, alone, then, is the one medium that works disproportionately well on the people who are most likely to be wearing a PPM.Â So, at the end of the day, more PPM Prospects will read a piece of direct mail than will see a TV spot or a board.
Among Paid Subjects Who Reliably Watch TV Spots, PPM Yes:No Ratio is 3:2â€¦
Now, let’s turn the data around.Â Let’s say you are evaluating buying a TV campaign against buying a direct mail campaign.Â You know (A) that some researchable folks will see your TV spot.Â You know (B) that some researchable folks will see your direct mail piece.Â Right?Â Now, let’s find out the answer to this critical question:Â Among each of those two groups, your TV viewers and your direct mail readers, how many are inclined to say Yes to The Meter?Â The answer is:Â it ain’t even close.Â It’s direct mail over TV in a landslide.
Among the research-friendly population, those who watch TV spots are actually less likely than those who don’t watch TV spots to say yes to PPM.Â And among the TV-spot-watchers, PPM Prospects outnumber non-Prospects by a 3:2 ratio.Â Remember that number.
â€¦But Among Those Who Reliably Read Mail, PPM Ratio Soars Well Above 2:1!
Now, let’s change the medium from TV to Direct Mail.Â Wow.
Remember that 3:2 ratio among TV spot watchers?Â The chart above shows how Direct Mail dwarfs TV in PPM-hit-rate.Â When we change the pool from TV-spot-watchers to Direct Mail readers, that 3:2 ratio looks puny.Â Among researchable listeners who read their direct mail, the ratio who say yes vs.Â no to the PPM is far larger than 3:2.Â Significantly larger than 2:1.Â It is nearly 7:3.Â Now that’s what we call targeted efficiency.
What this means to you
It’s your advertising/promotion budget.Â And there’s probably a lot less there than you’d like, and a lot less than you had in fatter years.Â You need to spend every dollar wisely.Â And your objective is not reaching listeners in general.Â Your objective is reaching PPM Prospects.Â No medium is going to deliver them as well as Direct Mail.Â And probably for a whole lot less money, to boot.Â The fight for listener attention is a tough and potentially costly battle.Â Choose your weapons wisely.