PPM: Don’t Give up on Radio

   by David Queamante

In a recent poll on HispanicAd.com roughly 45% of respondents admitted that they would consider reducing Radio spending, or changing their station selection as a result of the current turmoil surrounding PPM; specifically top stations such as Univision and SBS not encoding PPM signals.

45 Percent!

I’m beyond disappointed at these results. As advertising and media professionals, our clients expect us to make the decisions that are the best for their business, not simply what is easiest for us to calculate. Making any budget adjustments as a result of ratings availability is tantamount to admitting that Arbitron, Univision and SBS are in the driver’s seat when it comes to crafting media plans rather than the agencies. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to consider adjusting radio budgets, such as the ubiquitous iPod, and now the increased prevalence of streaming options such as Pandora on portable devices, but if we’re advocating any adjustments to our radio budgets, our rationale should be based on the changed usage across the medium, and not the escalating political squabbles between station groups and the ratings service.

Naturally, it’s harder to make informed decisions in the absence of ratings data, but the job of a media professional has only ever started with the numbers. If planning and buying were as easy as simply buying whatever had the highest ratings, then our media jobs would have been automated, and our profession folded up a decade ago.

In the Hispanic marketplace, operating without hard data is a matter of course, but when we gather the courage and creativity to surmount that challenge, the most innovative print, mobile and non-traditional media plans are conceived. Why would the same passion and creativity not apply when the subject changes to radio? Let’s face it, PPM may not be accurate, diary wasn’t accurate, and until we can survey every single media user, the next advances in media measurement won’t be perfect either; this isn’t a reason to doubt a medium that HAS proven to work in the past. A visit to any bustling remote, a packed Cinco de Mayo event, or a standing-room-only station concert proves that Radio is still viable, and the top stations can still draw listeners and drive traffic. As media professionals should have the confidence to step up, use the insights we’ve gleaned and our experiences in the industry to guide us when the way is unclear, to continue to lead our clients with the best media solutions despite the challenges we’ve always faced.

by David Queamante

Queamante is the Media Touchpoint Manager at Creative Civilization, you can email him at dq********@cr******************.com

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