Opinion: Radio demographics finally coming of age

David Bray is senior vice-president of RadioWorks, a Toronto-based full service radio advertising agency. He would like to hear your thoughts/inquiries. He can be reached at (416) 469-4645 fax: (416) 469-4798 or E-mail: dhb@passport.caFor too long radio has struggled to market...

David Bray is senior vice-president of RadioWorks, a Toronto-based full service radio advertising agency. He would like to hear your thoughts/inquiries. He can be reached at (416) 469-4645 fax: (416) 469-4798 or E-mail: dhb@passport.ca

For too long radio has struggled to market its targeted audience delivery while GRoPing with simple broad demographics.

Audience measurement is finally coming of age. The release on Sept. 5 of the summer 1996 BBM Bureau of Measurement radio survey heralds the latest incarnation of single source product usage/lifestyle data.

This builds on the auspicious debut of qualitative measurement in the spring 1996 book.

Consistent methodology from market to market and book to book has afforded astute planners and sellers the opportunity to employ trending when doing strategic assessments.

More than ever, clients are demanding better definition of their target market and more effective, results-oriented media spending.

Having weathered the era of bulk buying, clients are seeking a much greater degree of specialization and expertise. It seems like the perfect time for the age-old discussion of quality versus quantity.

I won’t contend that size doesn’t matter. Still, we can now have the best of both worlds by cross referencing product usage with demographic data.

The following is brief overview of some summer 1996 bbm radio highlights with examples of how product usage has been brought into play.

Toronto:

For demonstration purposes, we took a look at station performance for a few different categories: fast food, beer, movies, video rentals, home ownership and home improvements/renovations.

For consumers who have eaten at fast-food establishments five or more times over the past month: the winner is The Mix with a 22.2% weekly reach (down from 23.4% in spring) of this defined target group.

For consumers who have drunk 13+ beers over the past week: Q107 retains a commanding lead with a 33.8% reach.

In terms of home ownership: here cfrb moves up to take the prize, reaching 23.3% (up from 21.5% in spring) of home owners in Toronto. Next comes chfi-fm with 21.9% reach.

When it comes to those who have spent $1000+ on home renovations/improvements over the past 2 years: chfi-fm is out in front with a 23.9% reach followed by cfrb’s 22.5%.

Those who have rented 5+ videos over the past month: the winner iscfny-fm with a 23.2% reach followed by The Mix at 23.0%.

Those who have gone to the movies 13+ times over the past year: cfny-fm heads the pack with a 28.0% reach (down from 30.9% in spring). Next is The Mix at 26.6%.

Vancouver:

For consumers who have eaten at fast-food establishments 5 or more times over the past month: the new leader is Z95.3 with a 37.3% reach (up from 33.0% in spring) reach of this defined target group. The Fox follows with a 22.5% reach.

For consumers who have drunk 13+ beers over the past week: cfmi-fm moves into the lead with a 31.4% reach, followed closely by the Fox at 30.0%.

For those who have rented 5+ videos over the past month: Z95.3 reigns supreme with a 31.7% reach.

In terms of home ownership: cknw comes out as the clear winner delivering a 31.4% reach.

When it comes to those who have spent $1000+ on home renovations/improvements over the past 2 years: cknw leads by a wide margin, posting a 32.1% reach.

Among those who have gone to the movies 13+ times over the past year: Z95.3 heads up the pack with a convincing 43.1% reach. Next is The Fox at 36.5%.

Calgary:

For consumers who have eaten at fast-food establishments five or more times over the past month: a record breaking debut for ckis-fm gives them the No.1 position with a 39.9% reach.

For consumers who have drunk 13+ beers over the past week: cjay-fm takes a commanding lead with a 50.5% reach followed by ckik-fm at 39.8%.

Those who have rented 5+ videos over the past month: ckis-fm explodes into the no.1 spot with a 39.1% reach.

Those who have gone to the movies 13+ times over the past year: ckis-fm once again heads up the pack with a convincing 49.8% reach. Next is cjay-fm at 38.9%.

In terms of home ownership: ckis-fm leads with a 27.8% reach followed closely by ckry-fm at 27.6%.

When it comes to those who have spent $1000+ on home renovations/improvements over the past 2 years: ckis-fm comes out on top again with a 29.9% reach.

Demographics have come of age with the introduction of this new data.

Let’s hope that the discipline of radio marketing matures quickly enough to take advantage of the strategic insights that are now being imparted.