`We go deeper now’: Duguay

Raymond DuguayManager, Marketing DevelopmentSociete Radio-Canada'We have a research department charged with analyzing demographic changes and developments,' Duguay says.'There are changes [with the audience,] but not to the extent of the changes in the approach of advertisers and broadcasters,' he says.'Most advertisers...

Raymond Duguay

Manager, Marketing Development

Societe Radio-Canada

‘We have a research department charged with analyzing demographic changes and developments,’ Duguay says.

‘There are changes [with the audience,] but not to the extent of the changes in the approach of advertisers and broadcasters,’ he says.

‘Most advertisers use a niche marketing or target marketing approach, and they are asking us for this sort of information.

‘Beyond saying Radio-Canada shows a reach of more than 90% of the population, the goal of our sales representatives is to help advertisers select the right program to reach the people who buy Toyotas, or Mercedes, etc.

‘Today, television has to adapt to the needs of target or niche marketing,’ Duguay says.

‘As for the quality of tv audiences, as I said earlier, you can have two broadcasters each selling a show with six grps [rating points,]‘ he says.

‘One might be charging $150, and the other, $140. Before, it was the show with the lower price that would sell.

Demographics

‘Now, we say these six grps, which is 6% of the population, represent people with higher incomes, or people who consume specific products compared to the other [show's] six grps – 20% of whom might be unemployed.

‘We go deeper than we did when the approach was strictly one of mass marketing.

‘The client wants more for his or her money,’ Duguay says.

‘If they are going to put more money into advertising orange juice, they want to be sure they’re reaching people who are potential orange juice drinkers,’ he says.

‘Television has ground to make up in the sense that target marketing or niche marketing has been around for some time.

‘One of the advantages of more detailed audience information is that we have moved away from negotiations strictly based on price.

‘The only question in the past was `Who had the lowest prices.’

‘Now, if I know my show is seen mainly by professionals, I can better justify our prices.

‘So, we are, in a sense, moving away from cost per point negotiations to negotiations based on delivering the audience the client wants. The client’s investment has to be justified.

‘I’ve seen so much contradictory evidence on zapping,’ Duguay says. ‘At this point, there’s nothing conclusive.

‘What we can say [about today's audience] is that with all the fragmentation and increase in [channel] choice, the viewer is probably much less patient,’ he says.

‘The choice [of channels] is so great, we cannot permit uneven changes or variations in the quality of the images we broadcast.

‘From the tv viewer’s perspective, it’s a question of overall environment. My personal view is that if we can offer a stable environment, the viewer will know what to expect.

More television

‘French-speaking Quebecers watch more television than people in English Canada, or those outside of Quebec.

‘Another point is that we [Quebecers] are still very attached to programs about our roots. This is something that has not changed all that much.

‘There are other changes, but they are more sporadic in nature,’ Duguay says. ‘For example, the viewing levels for women went down this fall [on Quebec tv,] but not at Radio-Canada.

‘This is only a personal opinion, but I think, in a sense, there’s a growing separation between major audience groups.

‘One [the upper] group of people is becoming increasingly educated and sophisticated, and there’s another social class where things may be getting worse.

‘There’s less and less left in the middle, in a demographic or marketing-choice sense.’