What’s Important to Likely Ratings Participants?

As we’ve shown with our Ratings Prospect Studies for a number of years now, chief among the list of what motivates someone to consent to being part of the Nielsen Audio sample, either PPM or diary, is the modest stipend provided for their participation. But, lurking behind that something-for-nothing desire is the desire to have a feeling of efficacy in shaping the media.


So, it follows that these people are the types who disproportionately like recommending things to their friends and acquaintances and are prone to seeking recommendations from friends when making choices of their own. And, in today’s Internet-connected world, they are quickly gravitating to expanding that recommendation sphere using Social Media.


Tied up within that participation in and reliance on recommendations is an outsized belief that their opinions really will have an impact. While the numbers vary somewhat between the pools of people who would likely take a diary or would allow themselves to be brought into the metered pool, the proportions are consistent.


Asking for opinions on the air, on websites and apps, plays exactly to the types of consumers with which stations need to curry favor. But, to get the benefit of the outreach, you have to be prepared for the other side of the cycle: how are you going to acknowledge the impact their opinions have had?

Radio used to get away with mail and email responses like, “Thanks for your opinion, we make sure we consider the thoughts of people like you when making decisions about our programming.” Today, consumers expect, and often demand, a more forthcoming reply. So, it’s smart to have replies designed for the typical opinions you’re likely to get via email and Social Media, so that replies can be made right away. It’s even better if those empowered to make those replies understand the commander’s intent on what to say and how to say it. Done well, these replies support and build your brand.

Website (and station app) polls about programming allow you to put a public face on consumer research you’ve conducted in the background. The results collected through the station’s website and/or apps lead to the on-air promos and positioners concerning shifts you may be making in accordance with a perceptual study.

Services like Rate The Music are really a digital extension of your request line and can’t be relied upon for music decisions. But, having that channel allows you to include promos and positioners about how listeners decide what music is played on the station. Listeners generally believe that they ought to be in charge of music that stations play – and to a large degree they are. But, radio rarely reinforces how much of a say listeners have in what’s played – and fail to get the credit from listeners for doing it.

Knowing how important it is to have their voices heard and considered among likely ratings responders, shouldn’t we all be putting more effort into communicating with those who reach out via email or Social Media? Some NuVoodoo clients have taken the initiative to reach out regularly to those who’ve been in touch with a follow-up email asking how the station is doing.

Radio has been a one-to-many medium since its early days, but digital channels are allowing us to shrink that gap considerably if we use them wisely.