92% of listeners stay through radio spots? Who cares.

So radio holds onto more than 92% of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks.

Is this cause for celebration?

Not if the advertiser is increasingly evaluating their advertising based on its effectiveness, rather than the degree to which people hear it.

Check out these comments from Procter & Gamble:

…Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel noted that ad spending isn’t determined centrally but by individual businesses and brands. He added that the increased use of the marketing-mix modeling he first discussed three years ago is now delivering increased marketing return on investment and that the company’s brand equity measurement is up. “There has been no corporate mandate to cut ad spending as a percent of sales,” Mr. Stengel said, “only to spend all marketing money more efficiently.”

And this from TV media guru Jack Myers:

For years, TV networks have thrived on a model dependent on increased clutter, increased costs-per-thousand and offering as little information as possible on return-on-investment effectiveness. If advertisers and agencies accepted this model without debate or criticism, why change it? But the model will simply not work in the future. Advertisers are questioning the lack of research on effectiveness. They are seeking new models. They are refusing to accept 30% falloff in ratings between the first and middle commercials in a lengthy pod. Quiet acceptance of increased clutter and increased costs will no longer be standard-operating procedure in the television industry buyer-seller relationship.

Who cares if people are hearing the spots unless they’re hearing those spots and acting on them or unless their opinions and intentions are being altered in such fashion that the advertising expenditure is an investment rather than money out the window?

We need to get past the issue of whether or not listeners stay tuned through a break and focus instead on giving the advertiser what they’re paying for:

Results, not ears.

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