Specialty TV services get a boost from data

Canada's specialty services, whose sales representatives have a different story to tell than those at conventional tv networks, are getting a boost from data collected by PMB Print Measurement Bureau.In addition to detailed data on demographics and media habits, the pmb...

Canada’s specialty services, whose sales representatives have a different story to tell than those at conventional tv networks, are getting a boost from data collected by PMB Print Measurement Bureau.

In addition to detailed data on demographics and media habits, the pmb survey collects product consumption data that allow specialty services to demonstrate how their viewers compare to non-viewers in the consumption of over 1,100 products and services.

Diana Hansen, marketing manager at CBC Newsworld, says the qualitative data collected by pmb give Newsworld a selling edge.

‘It allows us to qualify our audience,’ Hansen says. ‘Instead of having just a 25-54 audience, we are able to show that one in four new car buyers is a Newsworld viewer.

‘Our sales reps can bring this information to the [media] planners to prove that Newsworld is a good buy,’ she says.

A member of pmb for only two months, Newsworld recently picked up a $60,000 Chrysler campaign that Hansen attributes in large part to the use of pmb data.

‘We were able to show we had the type of viewer they were looking for – influential, affluent and in the car market,’ Hansen says.

Dave Kirkwood, director of sales and marketing at MuchMusic, says the data collected by pmb in many ways legitimize commonly held assumptions about MuchMusic viewers.

Greater consumption

‘In most cases, our audiences consume more of almost everything than the general public and even more than the same demographic that doesn’t watch MuchMusic,’ Kirkwood says.

pmb data show that MuchMusic viewers in the 12-34 age group are 49% more likely to attend movies twice a month than non-viewers, Kirkwood says.

As well, he says, the 18-34 age group is 83% more likely to use acne medication. ‘That’s because they eat more chocolate bars. We get them both ways,’ he laughs.

Not all of the findings, however, confirm the obvious.

Survey

Kirkwood says when MuchMusic was asked by an agency to do a product usage survey on home improvement, it found that its 18-34 audience was more likely to engage in home improvements than was the 18-34 audience of tsn.

Tim Wilson, research manager at TSN The Sports Network, says pmb data are a vital complement to other sources of audience research.

‘I would argue that it’s almost as important as the basic A.C. Nielsen people meters,’ Wilson says. ‘It goes beyond sex and age to give us a very detailed look at our viewer from all angles.’

‘The key thing is, even if the tsn question was not included [in the PMB survey], we would still be using it because it allows us to find out who our clients’ customers are,’ he says.

The company frequently sends prospective clients an analysis of their target group based on pmb data, making as many links to tsn as possible, Wilson says.

While he declined to name any specific advertisers that had been won over by the data, Wilson says the strategy has been ‘very successful.’

Another reason tsn relies so heavily on the pmb data is the sample size of the survey, he says.

‘Over 3,000 respondents say they watch tsn,’ Wilson says.

‘Even the heaviest viewers, those that say they watch tsn over six hours a week, gives us 1,000 to play around with,’ he says. ‘That really gives us good information – better than any custom survey we could do.’

The pmb methodology of audience measurement, in which respondents are asked to recall their tuning habits, also appears to provide the specialty services more favorable results than the diary method used by BBM Bureau of Measurement or the people meters used by A.C. Nielsen, Kirkwood says.

‘When we rationalized the audience with pmb, we got much better results,’ Kirkwood says. ‘Especially with teens and 18-34 year olds, there is a co-operation problem [in recording their viewing choices],’ he says.

As well, Kirkwood says university campuses, where a large proportion of MuchMusic’s viewers reside, are not eligible for people meters because they are not considered a permanent household.

Overall, representatives of MuchMusic, tsn and CBC Newsworld say they are being well served by the pmb survey. (ytv does not currently subscribe). But there is always room for improvement.

tsn says it would like pmb to start measuring purchase influence. For example, how much influence the female head of the household has on the purchase of a car, or how much influence the male head of the household has on the purchase of groceries.

Wilson explains: ‘We skew male. For products that women buy, obviously there’s a reluctance to advertise them on tsn.

‘It’s important to find out just how much influence men have, even though he may not go out and buy it,’ he says.

‘If he’s making the brand decision, you want to speak to the person who has the most influence.’