Who Wants To Be Texted? Maybe Your Metered Listener!
February 25, 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 turn to text messaging.Â Immediate, constant, personal, right in the target’s face, wherever she is.Â So who wants that kind of annoyance?Â Very few people, right?Â Well, yes, when it comes to the audience in general, but not when it comes to the audience that matters.Â The audience that meters.
Now, of course most folks today will never opt in to commercial texting.Â With every conceivable advertiser angling to get onto our cellphones, the personalized messages would bombard us more than Tom Cruise in Minority Report.Â Accordingly, you and I and most “normal folks” just say no.Â Ah, but that describes the population in general.Â On the other hand, we actually don’t care about texting the population in general.Â We care about texting the folks who might be PPM Prospects.Â And for reaching that small sub-population, texting is actually a remarkably good fit.Â People who want to be researched for money, and particularly those who are willing to wear a digital spying device, are a whole different kind of fish.Â A kind of fish who wants to be fished for.Â Charlie the Tuna.Â (as in the Star-Kist cartoon, not the legendary Boss Jock with the great pipes.)Â And that means that when we ask these fish if we can text them, they are much more likely to say yes.Â Perfect.
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.
Four Out of Nine Paid-Research Subjects Say “Yes” To Commercial Texting
In recent weeks, we have documented that your real target listener, the will-do-radio-research-for-money listener, is skipping through TV spots at alarming rates.Â Meanwhile, that same target listener is actually reading a great deal of direct mail (especially Women) and a great deal of their email.Â Probably a lot more than we might have guessed.Â But that’s because direct marketing simply lines up perfectly for reaching that particular psychographic type who will say yes to radio research for money.Â These folks are highly interactive, willingly public, and typically looking for opportunities to make or save money.Â They are also, unsurprisingly, highly interactive on social media, particularly Facebook, and are thus also ideal targets for well-engineered social-media marketing.Â It seems to follow that they would also be the kind of people who are willing to receive commercial text messages.Â And indeed they are.
As this chart shows, at least four out of nine of these respondents, with consistent numbers across the demos, do permit some commercial texting.Â Very few folks will permit everything, and that does not matter.Â In a previous column, we have shown that listeners who are receptive at all to texts, in general, are particularly receptive to texts from radio stations.Â They are interested both in informational content and in contesting.Â
Willingness to Be Texted Cuts Across All Ethnic And Geographic Groups
Basically, this kind of listener is this kind of listener across the board, regardless of ethnicity or geography.Â The Northeast, as is the case with other types of direct marketing, is somewhat less receptive, the South somewhat more, but the difference between those two regions is only 7 percent.
Tech-Friendliness Is A Bigger Factor Than Marital Status and Education
Married listeners are slightly more receptive to commercial texting than single listeners, but the singles are only seven points lower.Â Those without college degrees are slightly more receptive, but again, those who have degrees are only six points lower.Â Now look at the last group of bars on the right.Â Those bars tell us that text-friendliness is linked to tech-friendliness.Â Willingness to be texted is very strong, nearly half, among those who now own a smartphone.Â Interestingly, it is just as strong among those who do not yet, but want to, own one.Â It is not the fact of having the device.Â It is the kind of person who wants to have the device.Â Listeners who neither have nor want a smartphone, on the other hand, tend also to be a lot less interested in receiving commercial texts.
PPM Prospects Are More Likely than Other Paid Subjects to Permit Texting
Even within this radio-research-for-money world, some say no right off the bat, even to the theoretical question of interest in becoming a PPM subject.Â So now let’s compare those who say yes (the “PPM Prospects”) to those who say no.Â And we see, below, that the Prospects are particularly good texting targets.Â
Nearly half of PPM Prospects will accept text messages, more than among the non-Prospects.Â Proving once again that even within the already text-receptive research-for-money universe, the listener very most receptive to direct marketing of all kinds is the very same listener who is most inclined to accept a PPM.
The More Open A Listener Is To Texting, The More Likely He Says Yes to PPM !!
To see this point most dramatically, look at the chart below.Â We have broken out the research-friendly population into three parts:Â those who never accept texts, those who do, but not most of the time, and those who accept texting more than half of the time.Â Now, this is what we call a correlation:
No doubt about it.Â The money-for-research folks who are most receptive to texting say yes to the PPM by a 3:1 ratio, while those least receptive say yes by only a 3:2 ratio.Â In other words, clear correlation between openness to texting and openness to becoming an Arbitron statistic.
What this means to you
PPM is truly your new best friend.Â Thanks to Arbitron, we now have exactly a perfect fit between ratings-respondent mentality and media strategy.Â Direct marketing, in all its forms, is tailor-made for reaching the PPM Prospect.Â And basically for the same reasons why she is a prospect in the first place.Â Arbitron has given the industry a wonderful gift here.Â Use it.Â Build your strategy for reaching the prospect on a strong foundation of direct marketing.Â Make texting a big part of that.Â As long as you always remember to make the text content truly valuable to the recipient, not just “hooray for our side” promotional copy, you will have a tool that will never wear out and is perfectly suited to the job of reaching the target.