David Rogerson: On the Hobart Survey

After 12 long years, today saw the release of the first survey results for Hobart.

Hobart and Swan Hill are using the new industry approved standard for radio audience measurement in regional markets.

We caught up with Grant Broadcasters Group Content Director, David Rogerson for his take on the results and the process.

He would know, David is one of the industry members on the CRA Research Committee.

We will find out why Hobart took 12 years to get some numbers, we will talk about the powerhouse that is the ABC and more.

Blair Sullivan: Pretty happy with Ross Turner and the 7HO FM team in Hobart today?

David Rogerson: It has been an amazing effort Blair, from both On-Air and Off-Air perspective. To single out one person or group of people is very difficult.

We have got a bunch of people, our digital team, our street team ,our management team.

This is the culmination of 5 years of planning to get us where we are today. We moved buildings, put in new studios – the whole lot.

It’s just been an unbelievable result – we are so happy.

BS:  It’s the first survey in Hobart for 12 years, why so long?

DR: I think it was a number of things. I can speak as member of the CRA Research Committee, we wanted to make sure that whatever methodology that was going to be used is this market had been tested and because accuracy equals reliability of data, that was critical. And just over 18 months ago we did a number of trials around Australia to make sure that this phone base methodology stood the test of time and had the acceptance of both local advertisers, the industry itself and national advertisers. So I think that is the first point.

The second one is making sure that everyone is comfortable not only with that methodology but we also embraced the ABC and they have been an amazing partner along the way – along with ourselves and SCA.

They have each been, in the last 2 to 3 years, exceptionally good at sitting down and discussing what the key issues are and getting resolutions to it.

BS:  So during the survey window, what tactics did 7HO FM execute, what was the difference?

DR: I would actually like to say that radio was the winner today, because it is. I know that sounds like a sporty connotation doesn’t it?

We had a number of key survey tactics – Hong Kong for a Song, our Apple for a teacher promotion. Our teams were just out on the street all the time creating awareness of 7HO FM. We’ve got a great bunch of personalities on the air. We start with Mick and Jane at breakfast and across the rest of the day. Some really good people, who have been on-air for a while.

And as do our competitors. It’s a very competitive marketplace Hobart.

We just focussed on making radio and making sure we were delivering what our listeners wanted in spades. The same with our advertisers. We spent a lot of time focussing on what’s happening outside the station to ensure we delivered what was required to get the result we have today.


BS: The ABC, both ABC Local Radio and triple j  are a power house in that market, why is that do you think?

DR: I think in general across Australia Blair, the ABC is doing a pretty good job in a lot of markets. Whether it’s the major capital cities or the regional markets as well.

triple j is not the same triple j it was 3, 4 or 5 years ago. And they are a very strong competitor under 30. We again see them as great for radio, to segment the market even further. They do a very good job. The local radio stations are delivering on Adults and their sport and news coverage. They also get that halo effect from the TV as well.

So they are powerhouse and in regional markets it is an alternative for people to listen to.

In the end it is our commercial stations like 7HO FM that are delivering the numbers that clients can actually buy.

BS: So what are some of the highlights out of this survey for you?

DR: I think being the most listened to commercial station in Hobart is an amazing job.

We reach more people ten plus than the other commercial stations – we reach more people 25 to 39 – we reach more people 40-54.  More than any other station. We reach more 25-54’s.

Our adult focus for advertisers is amazing. And that’s what we call the money demographic, they’re the demographics that advertisers buy and we are ecstatic that we have been able to deliver that to the people who are supporting us.

BS: Are you happy with the way the new Regional Survey process is working?

DR: Overall this methodology continues to prove its strength.  It’s robust, it’s reliable. It’s delivering the numbers that people are expecting to see. And I think it’s a great story for radio.

I know that you and I are very passionate about radio. The time has come where I am proud to say “yes for regional markets, we have got information”  – what a great job we are doing in our cities and towns, and Hobart is a glowing example of that.

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