Monday, August 20, 2007

Arbitron PPM and Great Moments in Consulting

58° - rain at 8am
left: downtown Lansing 8:10am - current image

Good Morning; another rainy day in Michigan; skies are dark.

Fall SIPs are due back today at Arbitron. Book begins one month from today. But you knew that already.

PPM lessons learned: Consultant Mike McVay and WBEB/Philadelphia PD Chris Conley have put together a list of key points of what they've learned from PPM and BBM (Canada); based upon personal experience with client stations over the past year.

Some highlights:

  • Managers should focus primarily on programming and marketing tactics that drive TSL of the heavy users of the product. In other words it’s not about “driving cume”. It’s about getting your P-1’s to make additional appointments through compelling programming and tactics. Keep them coming back!
  • Time Spent Listening is built by repeat tune-in. It’s not necessarily getting someone to stay from one quarter hour to the next, but rather getting them to come back in repeat sittings. The more occasions of listening, the longer the Time Spent Listening.
  • Fewer stop-sets that are longer make for the best Time Spent Listening.
  • Positioning remains an important part of programming. Despite the fact that the People Meter captures the station name and frequency, listeners need to know WHO they are listening to and WHERE to go back to, in order to have repeat occasions of listening.
  • No Talk Segues should make your station sound cleaner. It exaggerates your more music position. It may not increase your TSL, but it certainly enhances the music you play.
Lots more here. Kudos to McVay Media for sharing with the industry.

Meeting of the minds:
Consultant Harv Blain writes about a market visit he had last week. Also there - two other consultants who handle other stations in the six-station cluster.

The result: two very productive days to strengthen and fortify the client's cluster. Very cool. Read

Harv concludes:
"It raised the bar in strategic thinking, brainstorming, and creativity. It was something different that we all felt we should repeat."

Even from outside that market - unassociated with the stations or its competitors - wouldn't you still want to be a fly on the wall?

Similarly - when with Clear Channel a few years back - I attended a management meeting in Vail of Lee Larsen's Rocky Mountain Region - with General Managers, Sales Managers and (like me) Program Directors.

One of the programmer highlights was an informal session about finding solutions for real problems in different markets within the region.

Programmers offered their opinions and suggestions on specific situations presented by a market's OM or PD. Three or four markets left the two-hour session with some great thoughts from the collective brain trust to take back home. Time well spent by all.

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