My Target vs. My Cume

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My Target vs. My Cume

Post by rogerwimmer » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:51 am

Doc: I work for people who have an overall cume goal for our audience. We've spent enough money to know who is most likely to listen to us (by doing a perceptual study a few months ago). However, we're one of those stations caught in the middle of owners who refuse do buy Arbitron ratings. So, my performance as PD is judged by 6+ Cume. Our perceptual study told us to research a certain demo and gender, and then filter them by those most likely to listen to our format.

Here's my disconnect: since all I have to go on is 6+ Cume, is there a point in filtering my research through a certain age and gender? Would I be better off simply filtering them through the other part - those most likely to listen to my format?

When I run numbers both ways, I see fewer higher scoring songs by filtering through age, gender, and most likely than I do when just filtering through all ages by most likely to listen.

Since I'll never know how I am doing in my ideal target, and since I am tasked with growing overall cume, what's the right approach?

My gut says "stick with the target" if I am to believe the results of my perceptual study: that by winning with this group, I'll gain my greatest harvest. But I am open to being wrong.

Thanks for any insight you can provide! - Anonymous

Anon: First, I apologize for not answering your question sooner. I had a catastrophic computer problem and couldn’t do anything on it. It seems to be doing fine now, and on to your question . . .

Your performance is judged on a 6+ cume? I have been involved in radio research for a long time and that’s the first time I ever heard that. Does that mean the owners expect you to play music for all those people? What a joke.

I don’t know anything about your market, your radio station, or your format, so I’m a bit constrained in provides specific suggestions. However, from what you explain, I think you would be wise to “follow your gut” and stick with the target. You might be able to develop a few filters based on the music you play, but that would be a guess. The target approach will at least give you some basic direction.

Finally, any additional discussions about your situation may not be appropriate for a public column because the information is proprietary to your station. If you would like to pursue this, contact me via email ( or you can call me at my office (303.887.7846).

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Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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