Arbitron Reaching Out to Media Buying Agencies

This week I had the opportunity to meet with six Arbitron employees that have been tasked with pulling together radio insights to elevate the medium to the agency and advertiser communities.  Their job titles varied from Training Consultants to Media Insights Manager, and Manager of Marketing and Special Projects and they had a lot of questions about the day to day tasks of a media buyer, the challenges a media buyer faces when putting together media recommendations and choosing between various mediums, the relationships with radio representatives and above all what Arbitron can do to improve upon the services the company currently provides.  This group reached out to Media Works looking for someone with real-world perspective and I was happy to oblige being that I have experience in both buying radio for our clients as well as selling radio.

With so many choices an advertiser has for reaching a potential consumer, along with the latest technologies for specific target-ability it is important for a traditional medium such as radio to advocate for itself and to keep the capabilities of radio not only top of mind for decisions makers but also relevant in an ever-changing world of marketing.

Some exciting new initiatives include evolving the measurement process in diary markets with project “Leapfrog” which uses postcards sent via regular mail to invite people to participate in surveys via the website rather than paper diaries.  In the 5 tested market the result was a high proportion of registrants completing the online dairy and proportionality for 18-34 and 55+ both moved closed to 100.

Arbitron is also working on PPM panel quality initiatives such as a finer level of geographic control with Geo-Zones (now available in all PPM markets), which are clusters of zip codes nested within a sampling unit.  To improve the representation of households in a panel Arbitron is transitioning to an address based sample.  This means that if they can match an address to a phone number they will continue to call the household to participate.  Otherwise they will send a survey to the household to begin the recruitment process.  As of now approximately 1/4 of the current sample comes from an address-based sample frame.   In-person recruitment as also been implemented to recruit households that can not be reached on a land line including younger panelists and minorities.

Arbitron is also working to provide more support for radio along with industry studies that can be found by clicking on the below links:

The new home for Radio insights on the website.

The Arbitron/Katz/RAB presentation highlighting Radio’s current and future capabilities.


When making the case for radio with our clients the important things to note are the constant improvements in audience sampling and the plethora of research provided on a national level regarding radio listening along with the local research we analyze to reach our target audience with our client’s message on their favorite radio station(s).


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