PPM delayed? "Be careful what you wish for!"
·Nov 28, 01:14 AM
As you’ve probably read in other trade publications (see “RAIN bookmarks” above for links to various industry news sources), responding to industry complaints about the rollout of their Personal People Meter (PPM), Arbitron has pushed back the next steps of the PPM rollout schedule by nine months.
If I may make one reasoned observation to everyone involved in the back-and-forth that lead to this outcome, it’s this: You guys are all NUTS!
Seriously, all of you should have seen this coming months ago and taken measures to head off such an outcome.
Money solves most problemsIn market research, problems with sample size and response rate can be largely solved with one simple tool: Money.
Specifically, in this case, if not enough people in a given age/sex/race cell are willing to carry a clunky-looking pager around with them 18 hours a day for several months for the compensation you’re offering their stock price took a $200 million hit yesterday (which may be a precursor of even bigger hits down the road). And that’s nothing compared to the fact that a not-insignificant portion of radio’s annual $20 billion in ad revenues is now at risk, too.
Brainpower helps tooThe other solution to problems in market research is to bring in more brainpower to figure things out.
The moment Arbitron saw the first Philadelphia PPM results, and realized that the PPM was going to say that the last 40 years’ of diary-based ratings were way off — and that stations serving minorities were going to be dinged the worst?
That’s the point in time when they should have hired on, as consultants, every smart researcher in the history of radio — Tom Birch, Bill Moyes, Jon Coleman, Larry Rosin, Mark Ramsey, maybe even me (AccuRatings, 1991-97), and ideally some market researchers with specific expertise in surveying minority consumers — to help them work on solutions.
And now that I think about it, this actually goes back to my first point. Because Arbitron was too cheap to throw around a few $2,000 bills toward consulting contracts, their stock price took a $200 million hit yesterday — and they’ve put a not-insignificant portion of radio’s annual $20 billion in ad revenues is now at risk, too.
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