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PPM: Market for Awareness or Listenership?

As the PPM ratings world dawns, one of the sayings I’m hearing a lot nowadays is this one:

“We used to market for awareness, but now we have to market for actual listenership.”


Maybe they used to market for awareness, but my clients were always marketing for actual listenership. To do otherwise is irrational at best and dumb at worst.

All manner of marketing options have the potential to influence actual listenership. And now you’ll be able to put them to the test in ways that were previously unavailable.

The key thing to understand is that marketing for radio has never, ever been about “awareness.”

And that’s because of this simple truth: “Awareness happens because listenership happens, not vice versa.”

The folks who know all about diapers are the ones who buy them. There is no knowing unless there is buying. You get it? You need to know what you know you need. This is why trial and “free samples” are such an effective (but expensive) tool in the world of consumer products. Because only trial leads to consumption.

So don’t listen to this marketing mumbo-jumbo from folks who are telling you the old tools and tactics won’t work anymore. It’s just that now, finally, those old tools and tactics can be tested.

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