Thursday, January 17, 2008

Selling CUME

One of the BIG CHANGES we face in selling with the new PPM Ratings system is the sudden advantages we have in Cume. On the other side of those advantages is the news that the AQH numbers are not as large as they have been with the old diary system.

In Arbitron's analysis of the Houston and Philly PPM data so far we are seeing HUGE Cume numbers that are a lot higher than we are used to seeing. Just look at the comparisons from Fall 06 comparing it to the diary Cume of Summer of 06 in Houston.

For years we've sold radio a lot more on frequency than we have on reach. The focus has been on how many people will hear my spot when it runs. In working with Cume the focus is really more on how many people will MY CAMPAIGN (the whole schedule) reach.

Getting the advertisers to understand that they are reaching a ton more than they imagined is a challenge. Look at the numbers here - the Cume for every station is DOUBLE what we see in the diaries and for many stations the Cume is close to TRIPLE.

The advantage here is that radio is really a MASS MEDIA. It reaches over 90% of the market and when you look at individual stations they all reach over 450,000 in Houston. In today's crowded media landscape is there any other outlet that you can go to and reach this many people? Not many if any outside of TV and when you consider that most have over 100 channels to pick from on the cable/satellite you have to buy a lot of stations to reach the levels radio delivers.

The news here really does make RADIO a great vehicle. But, we have to change the habits of the media buying community which is pretty point/AQH driven.

Why not start selling more with Cume numbers in all your presentations now???

Even if PPM won't hit your market for a couple of years you still have a lot more diary cume than you have AQH numbers. The more you start to use the Cume numbers the more the buyers and advertisers will begin to get used to them. Explain that these Cume numbers are way under estimated and reality is a lot bigger. Add a bullet point on the Cume - even if they typically 'don't care.' The more they see it, the more they will get their arms around it when PPM is in place.

Not in a PPM market? It's still important.

As buyers in regional and national spheres begin to work with PPM they will be shifting their focus to the Cume numbers for radio. Arbitron is doing it's part by mostly publishing the Cume figures in the monthly releases to the press.

How will the buyers work with 2 different systems - PPM and Diary? Will they have one set of parameters or expectations in PPM markets and different settings for the Diary markets? Maybe, but we will probably see 1 set of standards emerge here and the bigger markets will take the lead.

The sooner we start to 'prime the pump' for selling Cume the better off we will all be. Maybe including CUME in your presentations should be your New Year's Resolution in 08.

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