Genergraphics: Supercharging Radio Sales

Radio's New Revenue Opportunity

In a series of recent interviews with radio marketing directors,  Bridge Ratings Media Research learned that most companies (55%) use demographics (statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it) when marketing for increasing reach; 25% use psychographics (the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria) and 20% use some form of Genergraphics (separating the generations and their mindsets for marketing and advertising). 

Why is this important? 

In today's world of media overload, marketing messages generally do not cut through beyond "awareness" to "engagement" as much as they used to.

With so much clutter, a more focused approach to marketing/sales is needed and we're finding the genergraphic approach to marketing stimulates engagement and consumer recognition. This is because marketing messaging created with generational mindset vs demographic definition is much more effective. 

Analyst Jack Myers has released new data suggesting the potential for radio to break out of "the new normal" of the last few years' 0%-2% annual revenue growth.

Jack indicates that the growth of audio advertising will flourish at least through 2020 with "over the air broadcast" to cordon off the "lion's share of total audio spend in 2020". The number is 80% of the $20.8 billion forecast to be spent on audio advertising in 2020 leaving 20% for digital pureplays like Pandora and Spotify.

With this good news is even better news: if radio can perfect its sales approach by properly defining consumers, response to advertising will improve and increased dollars will flow.

Radio's been a fan of audience research for decades, refining it over the years to improve ratings and sales.

Audience insights through demographics brought a sophistication to radio ad buying and further improved with targeted advertising such as content and textual targeting, time targeting, sociodemographic targeting and behavioral targeting. 

Click on image to enlarge.

These tactics have been beneficial to radio, but as media consumption becomes more layered there is one definitive approach that should be given a closer look: Genergraphics - the marketing approach that combines psychographics with the sociological mindset of a specific generation.

The challenge is to shred the old school approach of demographic marketing to embrace a new, more targeted way of selling, programming and advertising.

It's time for a change.

The days of marketing to the wide 25-54 demographic or 50+ needs to be invigorated and Genergraphics is the answer.

Genergraphics® is the brainchild of Phil Goodman who also holds a process patent on Genergraphics Web sites. Phil Goodman and Craig Carapelho have brought together their experience and expertise in order to develop a full array of Genergraphics marketing services including Genergraphics Web sites, advertising and product marketing, market research, and communications consulting services. There's much to be learned here.

Logo.jpg

Generational marketing is more sophisticated and accurate in reaching consumers than common methods of dissecting a market by demographics or lesser-known psychographic analysis.

A generation is defined by the rise and fall of the birth rates by the Census Bureau.

Genergraphics and psychographics are both derived from sociology, but there is a big difference between the two. Genergraphics goes beyond an individual's personality which is pretty much determined by the age of six.  It equates to a person's mindset from their generation which is based on social circumstances of their youthful formative years (12-16 years of age).

Think about this: two people can have similar personalities but be members of different generations. 

 Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Generations can buy the same product or service but they purchase for different reasons. The number one reason many ad campaigns don't succeed as much as they should can be traced to the segmentation of consumers by demographics. The commonly-used 25-54-year-old demographic consists of three distinct generations who may like the same products and services but can be motivated to purchase for very different reasons.

Genergraphics market research does all that demographics and psychographics can do, but it goes further by revealing the "why" and "how" a generation does or does not influence another generation in buying decisions. 

Millennials.jpg

More importantly, generagraphics will show you how to sell and market to more than one generation at a time without alienating the others that purchase the same product or service.

So, radio, keep this in mind...Genergraphics keeps the research for your clients on track by following different generations through different stages of their lives. 

Keep in mind that the social and historical events that occur during a young person's formative years (12-16) will dictate how they think for the rest of their lives. 

18-24 year olds in the 80s grew up in a far different world than today's 18-24s. Someone in their formative years in 1985 was born around 1970. The culture they grew up in still guides their consumption and entertainment choices today thirty-three years later.

Marketing should vary by mindset with an understanding that each generation carries its own unique set of circumstances which shape its expectations and way of life.

Traditional media has generally depended on demographics to target its audience for both sales and product research. In this age of media bombardment, marketing messages are challenged to break through. It's  time to move to a more focused approach.

Radio has all the tools to take advantage of generational marketing. 

New Generational Insights*

Millennials can’t seem to get a break. They are said to be either too lazy or too disruptive.  They are either all flocking to the suburbs, or to the city or some other various homogenization.  This 80+ million demographic is a mystery to most in marketers precisely because the vast majority of people believe that Millennials act as a monolith, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, there is a minimum of four sub-demographics that actually range wildly in values and culture  Forbes magazine offers this snapshot of three key areas-to-watch, as they intersect with tech, during these next couple quarters as they pertain to various parts of the Millennial demographic:

A. Money, Honey – Watch for an even greater intersection of Millennial behavioral trends and new scenarios around money including cryptocurrency. Crypto is very much a millennial’s game, with 17.21% of millennials claiming to own crypto, versus only 8.75% of Gen X and 2.24% of baby boomers jumping into digital currency, this new area of finance is more of an “Uber” Millennial play at the moment, not all Millennials in total.  The “Uber” Millennial is college-educated, more apt to live in a major city, and is a professional/upwardly mobile, among several other traits. This is the disruptor who is more financially stable and who is game for innovation.

B. Diversity - Race and ethnicity, not only pertaining to that steady drumbeat of diversity and inclusion, but also and missteps around this area as well as debate and conversation will grow in volume for certain segments of the Millennial audience.  While “Vice” Millennials (think hipsters, anti-mainstream, lovers of vintage) will continue to abstain from this conversation except within their own closely guarded circles, the “Culture” Millennial will see this area as a growing topic of interest but will show support via media properties (i.e. film, music videos) that address the issues rather than direct protest or organization and most of the sentiment will be expressed via Instagram.

C. Brother’s Keeper – The demand for social responsibility and identification of who stands for what will deepen, particularly when it comes to powerful corporations.  Much examination will be done out-loud via social media giving few brands time to prepare.

The debate around artificial Intelligence for good (or bad) will grow in volume within this trend segment as well. This will mostly be spearheaded by the  “Uber” Millennial, though other sub-demos of Millennials will join in freely depending upon the topic and the target.  This trend could and will impact any industry.

Gen-Y? Yes, The Echo Boomers

Gen-Y experienced 72 million births in the U.S.. They're called Echo Boomers because they are (mostly children of the Boomers coming after Generation-X. What key characteristics define this generation? One reason they are so important is because of the generation's size which is critical for a marketer to appreciate.

This generation saw events in their youths that made them cynical about job security based on how their parents lost careers in the 90's.

Tech/Web Savvy:

I’ll send you an email’.  Generation Y were born into an emerging world of technology and have grown up surrounded by smart phones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets. As a generation people are constantly plugged into technology and it becomes an essential aspect of the generations life. And they do not respond to traditional marketing methods. 

Generation Y prefer to communicate more quickly and effectively via email, social networks or text messaging as opposed to traditional means of communication. The generation are also attracted to organizations where technology is at the forefront of the companies ethos. Traditional companies are less of an attraction for the millennial generation . 

Praise-worthy

Echo Boomers need praise. They were always told how special they were when they were growing up and thus believe they are quite special. As a result they are highly confident and expect praise. This is a lesson for human resource managers and business managers: give Echo Boomers the praise they deserve.

Ambitious:

Generation Y are confident and ambitious.  Expectations typically need to be managed as Generation Y’s are confident to take on important roles within organizations as soon as they begin. As an organization the difficulty is managing these expectations without stifling creativity and development. Generation Y have high expectations of their employers and expect this to be matched. Many are not afraid to seek employment elsewhere if this ambition is not met. Unlike generations before them they are happy to change job roles more often to find the right organisation to work within.

Team Players:

Teamwork is high on the agenda of Generation Y, but they still expect structure in the workplace.

Global

Because of technology, Gen-Y are the first truly global generation. They are group-oriented, adaptable and excel at processing information quickly. It is important for marketers to speak through the tech and social media methods that this generation is so comfortable with. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of targets, the Genergraphic approach to marketing supercharges the effort and focuses the message. Position your product to reach new age groups by appealing to their core values and needs. Marketing to each generation requires different mindsets and strategies. Communicating with different generations to sell products and services can be tricky yet Genergraphics can solve the puzzle.

Genergraphics can:

• Identify strong market segments within each generation based on differences in actual consumer behavior.

• Determine future demand in a dynamic marketplace as baby boomers mature and generation x'ers and Millennials mature in their prime earning years.

• Reposition your products to meet the needs and expectations of new generations as they transition into your market's target age range.

• Enhance cross-sell opportunities by knowing the entire market basket of goods and services used by different segments within each of the generations.

If there was ever a time to take advantage of this research-based lifestyle approach to marketing, it is today as digital media platforms coupled with traditional media targeting empower business to be effective communicators.

*New Generational Insights were derived from a national Bridge Ratings study fielded between March 1, 2018 through April 30, 2018 with a random sample of 4020 persons ages 6+. Sample error = +/-1.2%. Interviews were done through focus group interviews and on-line questionnaires. The sample consisted of 52% women, 48% men.

Digital Media Consumption Fatigue

Click on Image to enlarge.

The average American spends more than 15 hours consuming media every day from dozens of different sources. How much more can we consume?

In short: Our culture has reached media over-saturation. And it’s affecting the way we consume and appreciate content.

Studies show that more options actually make us less satisfied. Researchers have found those who compare and deliberate on their choices more frequently experienced much higher levels of unhappiness — even depression.

According to a new Bridge Ratings consumer study, digital media burnout has reached a tipping point. Trends suggest massive time-spent increases with digital media platforms over the last few years have created decision-stress among most Americans. 

As typical Americans expand their use of digital media to the point of saturation: 12 hours each day, usage of some platforms will diminish. We're finding that generally only three of the most-consumed digital platforms for most individuals will manage to sustain current usage levels and by the end of 2018 we will see declines in time-spent with those that don't make the cut.

What does this mean for media companies? 

As much as increased digital usage over the last ten years has created competitive headaches for legacy media such as television, print and radio, heightened competition for attention has arrived which further complicates matters.

Attention-Deficit

Digital Attention Deficit - when the amount of individual potential digital platform use exceeds daily time available.
— Dave Van Dyke, President Bridge Ratings
Thumbs Down.jpg

While in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show this year, once again Bridge Ratings conducted focus groups to learn more about consumers time spent with digital media platforms. Added to our on-line research study of 2500 persons ages 13 and older which we conducted January 2 through 12, it is becoming clear that consumers are struggling with all the media available to them.

The team at Bridge Ratings has been trending digital consumption for over ten years and with each new year we have seen increases in total time spent with digital platforms which include on-line music streaming, on-line video streaming, social media, texting and more.

It has been exhilarating to see how much time is devoted to the world of digital entertainment.

Until this year.

We have just completed our January interviews related to digital platform preferences and the results point to the first look we have had regarding consumer prioritization of digital media content.

Teens have always been early adopters of all things new and digital entertainment has been no different. What we're seeing from them in this study we conducted in January 2017 and again January 2-10, 2018 may be a harbinger of movement across all demographics. Digital Attention Deficit - when the amount of potential digital platform use exceeds traditional daily time available.

We asked our panels to prioritize the digital platforms they use on a weekly basis.

For teens, Social Media, Gaming and On-line Video streaming reign supreme.

 How to read: Digital entertainment platform preferences January 2018 v January 2017.  For teens , Gaming was the #1 most-utilized platform in 2017. in 2018 it is second.

How to read: Digital entertainment platform preferences January 2018 v January 2017. For teens, Gaming was the #1 most-utilized platform in 2017. in 2018 it is second.

For teens increased time-spent with on-line video streaming, TV on-demand and social media consume 75% of their weekly digital engagement. Reduction in Time spent is with Podcasts and texting.

Ages 18-34 Adults

Digit Entertainment Prefs 18-34.png

Millennials and adults 25-54 share similar consumption preferences when it comes to on-line streaming whether it be video or audio. As the above chart reflects young adults intend to spend more time this year with on-line video streaming likely at the expense of texting and podcast consumption.

Ages 25-54 Adults

Digit Entertainment Prefs 25-54.png

The Adults 25-54 years of age in our panels indicate more time spent this year with on-demand streaming - both audio and video with less spent with social media and podcasts among others.

Ages 55+

Digit Entertainment Prefs 55+.png

Adults 55+ and Boomers actually see themselves spending more time with social media and on-demand Television. Podcasts continue to interest this demographic and is the only one of these four age groups where podcasting retains a high degree of time spent consuming.

And while podcasting is among those activities that may experience reduced usage this year among all consumers, primary users of the platform will likely continue to consume their favorite podcasts more frequently at the expense of expanding their list of downloadable podcast content.

Social Media Fatigue Leads

While the increase in influence of social media is undeniable, the social reality is that this year, survey respondents are showing signs of dissatisfaction.
— Dave Van Dyke, President Bridge Ratings Media Research

At the heart of the increasing media fatigue is social media. 

Though social media use remains high, a significant portion of our sample self-reports that they are not enjoying their time spent on it as much as they used to.

Daily social media usage has fallen from 70% to 63% over the last year. The most pronounced drop has been among ‘leading millennials', ‘the social media pioneers', among whom daily use of social media has fallen to 72%, from 84% last year. A decline in heavy users – defined as those that update or check their accounts more than 10 times a day – has apparently driven this overall decline. 

A third of our panelists have temporarily or permanently deactivated one or more of their social media accounts in the past year. 55% have unfriended or unfollowed friends on their platforms who have posted negatively. 

One in five ( 20%) Americans reportedly don't enjoy their time spent on social media, and 46% report spending more time on it than they would like. 

While the increase in influence of social media is undeniable, the social reality is that, this year, survey respondents are showing signs of dissatisfaction. 

Bottom Line

With social media feeding the fatigue factor among both our focus groups and on-line questionnaire participants and with a limited amount of time available each day for media consumption, there is evidence that consumers are being forced into making difficult decisions about the full array of media consumed during a typical day.

When given a choice consumers in our sample are choosing Entertainment-based platforms such as on-demand audio and video or gaming to capture what time they do have. Accentuating these types of platforms results in reduction of others as we see in the above study results comparing 2018 with 2017 digital media consumption.

With increasing sources of entertainment and greater consumer prioritizing, media companies in 2018 are faced with a new facet to competition: how compelling is your content? 

The long tail of on-demand digital entertainment has become overwhelming for many so they have become more critical in the way they spend time. 

Consumer choice related to most-used digital media platforms today is shifting more to entertainment than to information. This study confirms changes in behavior which should guide digital media content producers for the immediate future and provide a strategy for traditional (TV, radio, print) media to further engage audiences by offering exclusive - not reconditioned -  content on-line.

 

Sources: 8 in-person and on-line focus groups of 10 digital media consumers each conducted during the week of January 8, 2018 by Bridge Ratings Media Research. 2500 on-line interviews via questionnaire with persons 13-70 years of age Janurary 2-12, 2018. 

 

How On-line Playlisting Can Save Music Radio

Listening Graphic.png

For music programmers who have been utilizing on-demand streaming data to properly align their on-air music with true music consumption, here's some news: Playlisting has become the dominant way most music fans listen.

At Bridge Ratings we have been tracking music consumption through on-demand streaming services for over four years. We now share this data with our music radio clients seeking to properly align their on-air song exposure to their listeners' actual consumption.

In a typical year we process and analyze hundreds of millions of streams from across the U.S. and, more specifically, by market and station.

Over the past three years we have undertaken an analysis of music streaming consumption and learned almost immediately in the fall of 2015 that playlisting plays a significant role in the way the average person consumes music through on-demand streaming platforms.

Playlist is a term to describe a list of video or audio files that can be played back on a media player sequentially or in random order. In its most general form, an audioplaylist is simply a list of songs, but sometimes a loop.

What We've Learned

  • Among the reasons music fans use playlists when they stream: playlisting allows consumers to differentiate or accentuate favorite songs into personal rotations. 
  • In 2015 at the start of this latest three-year study, most listening was based on individual song selection, i.e. collections of songs on audio players played in a loop or random order, however as the technology of music players (smart phones, etc) and streaming platforms became more sophisticated, playlisting quickly became the primary method of listening.
  • In September 2015 70% of the song streams we analyzed were delivered from an "open source" or individual song selection method by the users. 30% came from playlist creation.
    A year later playlisting was becoming more popular as a majority of the population was participating in streamed music consumption with 43% originating from playlists.
  • By the fall of 2017, playlisting has quickly become the primary way music consumers catalog and listen to songs through streaming platforms. 

How to read: In 2015 30% of our sample created on-demand music playlists. By 2017 this number had grown to 74%.

Playlist creation has become second-nature to the majority of the millions of consumers who stream music in 2017. Knowing which songs are PLAYLISTED opens up a new era of understanding music preferences.
— Dave Van Dyke, President, Bridge Ratings

The Whys of Playlisting

As more music consumers find playlisting to be the preferred way to listen, we were curious as to why playlists are created.

Click on image to enlarge.

The nugget in this chart for programmers of music is the 45% who believe that a song placed in a playlist is more important than others that may not have been added to self-created playlists.

By identifying these playlisted songs a new hierarchy of song preference has been revealed.

Playlist Sharing

How to read: Sharing of on-demand music playlists has virtually flip-flopped since 2015 when only 25% of our sample shared their playlists with friends. By 2017, this number has increased to 72%.

Here's more from our just-released study:

  • Sharing of playlists has crossed 50% of music consumers for the first time.
  • 8 out 10 of our sample have created a playlists in the past three months
  • 63% of those who have paid subscriptions use a playlist every time they listen.
  • 59% of streamies who use playlists have listened to their favorite playlists more than 10 times.
  • The most popular playlists are genre-based.
  • 70% of streamers choose a playlist after reviewing just a few songs.
  • 90% of users create playlists for themselves.
  • 66% of playlist creators share their playlists.

How Can Music Radio Benefit?

With playlisting, Radio may be able to reach those who are light listeners or former listeners.
— Dave Van Dyke, President, Bridge Ratings

The last point on the above list is an important one for radio.

With so much playlist sharing going on, traditional radio's reach, music expertise and listener loyalty suggests that with the proper playlists and promotion/marketing radio can not only enhance its current awareness, brand-strength and listener out-reach, but radio may be able to reach those who are light listeners or former listeners.

The final part of our study asked groups of current radio listeners (1+ hrs/day), light radio listeners (1-2hrs/week) and former radio listeners if they would listen to station-created playlists of a) most popular songs for their genre and b) exclusively new music releases appropriate for the genre.

Both current and light radio listeners overwhelmingly were positive about listening to station-created music playlists. Even former radio listeners were somewhat positive, especially regarding playlists of New Releases. This may be traditional radio's route to raising awareness and brand responsiveness among former listeners to radio.

How to read: 82% of current radio listeners were somewhat likely, likely or highly likely to listen to a station-created music playlist of today's most-popular songs for that genre. All three listener-types were more favorable toward playlists featuring the Newest Releases.

Click on image to enlarge.

How To Do It

I contacted David Oxenford, partner at the law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, practicing out of its Washington, DC office to determine how a station might be able to offer playlists. His regulatory expertise includes all areas of broadcast law including the FCC’s multiple ownership limitations, the political broadcasting rules, EEO policy etc. 

David explained that stations might be able to approach custom-branded playlisting in two ways:

  1. Reach out to record labels of artists of interest and ask for direct licenses to build playlists that would include their artists. This option may be easier to accomplish if the station offers a New Release playlist every week. Labels like to have their new releases receive greater promotion from radio. Public radio has been very successful with this approach. NPR Music was achieved in the same manner. Further, if the direct license is granted for a limited time, there may not be any cost involved.
  2. Stations can go direct to on-demand streaming platforms like Spotify, and discuss how a station-branded playlist of its favorite New Releases or current hot songs can be placed on the service as "WXXX's Alternative Rock New Release Playlist".  In this scenario, stations would direct listeners on-air to Spotify and let them know the playlist is available by search.

Either example seems simple enough to accomplish. Going direct to the labels to allow a station-branded New Release playlist would fold nicely into this study's finding that offering New Release Playlists for a station's core format is preferred, even among former radio listeners.

Bottom Line?

  • The creation of on-line playlists by music consumers has grown significantly - especially in the last 12 months. 
  • They love to create them for specific lifestyle moments and to create mixes with songs that are particularly important to them.
  • They love to share playlists with friends.
  • There is evidence in our study that both current and former radio listeners would be interested in station-produced playlists, especially playlists focused on new music discovery.
  • Offering station-branded music playlists on-demand can be accomplished.
  • With radio's reach, the promotion of these playlists, steeped in radio's "music expertise" image, could enhance current listener bonding and reintroduce former listeners to a new benefit traditional radio can leverage.

With the rapid raise of playlist use by music consumers, Bridge Ratings will continue to monitor this component of consumption.

Samples
Two sample sets were used for the data in this report. A) 3600 on-demand music streamers ages 12-65, 50/50 Male/Female balance. Margin of Error +/- 1.7

B) "For the Radio-Created Playlist Preferences" portion of this report, three subsets were used: 
     1. 1041 Current radio listeners (1 hr+/day), 12-65 years of age, 53/47 Male/Female Balance  MOE +/- 3.2%
     2. 1000 Light Radio listeners (less than 2 hours per week), 12-65 49/51 Male/Female Balance   MOE +/- 3.2%
     3. 1200 Former Radio listeners, 12-65, 50/50 Male/Female Balance  MOE +/- 2.9%