How successful are media differentiation attempts?

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Nelson-Field, Karen, Lees, Gavin, Riebe, Erica and Sharp, Byron (2010) How successful are media differentiation attempts? Marketing Bulletin, 21. pp. 1-8. ISSN 1176-645X


Radio stations promote their ability to reach particular market segments more successfully than their competitors. However, previous research has suggested that radio station sales propositions on audience composition are somewhat misleading, with audiences being far more mass than the stations claim (Nelson-Field, Lees, Riebe, & Sharp 2005). Our study extends Nelson-Field et al. (2005) to three consecutive years of data, which capture a major re-shuffle of positioning for most vehicles in the market. We found no improvement on Nelson-Field et al. (2005) in the proportion of the audience not captured in the claimed target audiences. Nor did we find a difference in the degree to which a media’s core audience varies demographically from that of competitors. These findings suggest that advertisers should look beyond sales propositions to determine whether high reach networks offer a more strategic buy irrespective of their lack of audience skew. Further research should consider the cost effectiveness of such targeting efforts.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2001 Communication and Media Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords ResPubID20603, audience research, radio
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