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Friday, October 12, 2012
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Better Radio Data Available Here

Wouldn't it be great if your station could hang a shingle out which says the above? Building actionable plans off precise data makes a media buyer's job easier, and this approach is growing in demand at agencies and marketing savvy companies.

Numbers don't lie. Follow data, and you will know if what's being done works (or if it doesn't). That's why media buyers are moving towards requiring buys to include "better measurement tools," as yesterday's Inside Radio newsletter states.

"Radio can no longer bluff its way through tracking campaigns. Media buyers are less willing to place money on a media that doesn't deliver data." The light showing why this publication (and the radio industry at large) doesn't understand what's being referred to when "better measurement tools" gets mentioned lies in this: PPM is not a measurement tool in the sense of what buyers of "mixed media" want. Yet, it's constantly referred to in radio as offering accountability. Example from IR: "The PPM’s more granular audience data has shown the medium in a more positive light...."

Granularity in measurement, relative to what's being pursued by new day media buyers, refers to the assembly of massive amounts of numbers that are then run through mathematical hurdles. The end result is information on product. Exposure, response, purchase, and shopping cart abandonment rates are all data-in-demand - delivered with a high degree of precision.

PPM gives the radio industry knowledge that a signal was within distance of a receiver. To describe this radio appliance as anything more just reinforces the divide between what is requested and what radio offers.

Inside Radio also carries the story of "ZipCar" pulling its radio campaign because, according to its CFO Ed Goldfinger, "...terrestrials are really hard to track...."

The message could not be more plain. Increase sales while decreasing cost per sale: Cost of Campaign/# of Sales=Cost per Sale". Study this chart until you understand what it says. If you don't get it at first glance, look again. Want it explained, call me - 440-564-7437.

Data - what's now being demanded by media buyers.

I'm not saying radio is dead; "dwindling" is more appropriate. Part of the culprit lies in the insistence of radio industry executives (and radio trade publications) that 93% of America listening to radio weekly is enough to move into the future.

How many people you reach matters less than proving what happens after the message is delivered. It's time for the radio industry to create campaigns that produce data.

Radio can no longer bluff its way through tracking campaigns. Media buyers are less willing to place money on a media that doesn't deliver data. That's a bad combination for radio sales holding onto its status quo, or depending on PPM.

If you want your station or radio group to capture better radio data, contact me. I've been doing analytics and metrics longer than anyone in radio and have all that is needed to tie your radio broadcast and web site into an accountability package - and more.

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