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Here comes the Post-Arbitron World

This is a true story.

It's about a sales manager for a good-sized market cluster in a good-sized market.

It's about the new station that was about to be added to this cluster and the fact that this sales manager already had six-figure commitments from advertising partners for this new station.

A new station that didn't yet exist and a new format that wasn't yet specified.

"How did you do that?" I asked him.

"Relationships," he replied.

"So in other words," I asked, "your clients have such trust in you and confidence in your ability to make their marketing investments worthwhile that they are prepared to pledge six figures in expenditures to you – without even the promise of a format?"

"That's right," he said.

"And with no ratings guarantees?"

"That's right," he said.

The post-Arbitron world is a place where what works and how well it works is vastly more important than how many ears you reach with a flaccid "impression."

The post-Arbitron world is a place where direct business and trust and relationships and commitment and common cause and marketing partnership is elevated in importance.

The post-Arbitron world is a place where rankers are diminishing in importance, because being popular is easy – being effective is much more difficult.

Are you ready for that world?

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