Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frequency Is Your Friend

You know the statistics.  The average person is exposed to anywhere from 247 to 5,000 messages per day.   A person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers in his/her mind for immediate recollection.  It takes even longer to become truly familiar with, and develop an affinity for, anything new.  All of these factors played into the development of optimum efficiency scheduling (OES) for radio in the 80’s.

OES is a simple mathematic calculation:   divide the station’s weekly cume audience by the average quarter-hour (AQH) audience. The result is the turnover ratio.  Multiply that by 3.29 and you have your station’s OES number.  It was originally developed for sales as a tool to help sell more commercials and create success for advertisers.   Smart programmers started using it as a tool in calculating music rotations.    Now more than ever it is critical that you use this formula for your station promos and imaging.

Here is an OES grid calculated from the averages of the Spring Books of 11 of our Albright & O’Malley & Brenner clients:

Clearly Frequency is your friend.   In this example, a promo that airs 8 times per day Monday-Friday between 6a-7p for one week will be heard by one half of your cume three times.  That frequency barely meets the minimum for retention level.  Effective promos and imaging need to be played to be heard and absorbed.  

These important messages sell the unique differences that set your station apart from your competition.   Use them to create additional appointment listening and remind people that they need to come back time and time again or they will miss something.  Treat your promos and imaging like songs.  Develop power, medium and light messages.   Make sure the power messages are scheduled frequently enough to be absorbed, understood and effective in developing an affinity with your listeners.    Make sure your voice is heard in the clutter of messages your listeners are exposed to every day!

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