One of the tidbits I gleaned from Gene Ashcraft of the Texas State Network, was the importance of good research. Having good numbers helped your sales pitch; but also there was something strong about saying “Arbitron says more people listen to us than to any other radio stations in Missouri, including KMOX or KCMO.” The ole “Arbitron says so” gimmick. He’d worked in local radio and knew the power association and Arbitron was the king in the radio biz.
So, I bought an Arbitron Report in the Spring of 1977. It actually was two surveys in one. The first (MoA) was the whole state of Missouri and the second (MoB) was the state without the two metro areas. That way, buyers could judge our impact “outstate” as well as the state as a whole.
How’d we do? Very well. M-S, 6a–midnight, we had a cume audience of 1,161,200 people as compared to KMOX’s 765,000. In outstate we reached 659,000; most of which KMOX and the other metro stations didn’t reach at all. We had an average share in the outstate area of 20%! That’s an astounding number, one we used in front of everyone who’d listen. The survey also broke down our impact by age, sex, dayparts, weekdays and weekends. Further it gave us an idea of our unduplicated audience–our exclusive cume; we had 200,000 people who didn’t listen anywhere else but to us! So, the only way to reach these two-hundred thousand Missourians was the Missourinet.
The Arbitron Radio book was a big help in selling. Most agencies subscribed to this research and probably received our book as well as part of their subscription. But just to make sure, I ordered boxes of the 108-page book and gave them to agencies and companies everywhere. It became my calling card. Further, it resulted in substantial new business.