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Yearbook Jan 2019

20 yearbook 2019 Radio international Demystifying data in radio: It’s a numbers game There is so much data out there. Analytics and metrics have become part of virtually every radio discussion, writes FRED JACOBS. N umbers have always mattered, whether you’re talking quarter Fred Jacobs, founder of Jacobs hours, unsold inventory or digital downloads. Those basic numbers are understood by most people working in radio. You learn how to read a ratings book, decipher a sales spreadsheet, and track your station’s new media progress. It’s the rest of the data picture that’s flummoxing just about everyone in the media and entertainment business. There is so much data that we’re losing sight of the “metrics that matter”. No matter who you talk to, everyone has a different idea of what the numbers mean. Yes, we know where our station stands in a 25-54 year-old average rating ranker. But when we start moving into murky areas – like attribution – the conversation breaks down – not just inside the station, but also among advertisers – at both the agency and local levels. They all want a digital component to their marketing plans; the problem is, they just don’t know precisely what that means or how to measure its effectiveness. So, what can the average radio station do to close the data gap? Because many employees at stations don’t understand the data. Or they fear it. Asking the right questions The problem is, we often don’t ask the right questions. A story in the Harvard Business Review by Charles Wheelan suggests there’s truth in the data if we just frame it properly. It’s like the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. Skip the Brad Pitt Hollywood-ized production, and read it. It’s all about using data – demystifying it – to ask the right questions about the true stats that help explain what makes a great – and a mediocre – baseball player. Too many radio programmers shroud their staffers from contact with the numbers. And as a result, many personalities and even sales people don’t really understand the metrics that truly move the needle – in their livelihoods. When the reps understand the ratings and the numbers are clarified, it better informs them about why the programming director (PD) does what she does. It demystifies the audience, while creating a better sense of Too many radio programmers shroud their staf from the numbers. many personalities and sales people don’t really understand the metrics that truly move the needle Media Strategies


Yearbook Jan 2019
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