Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||New Study Shows AM/FM Radio is the Strongest Pre-Shopping Medium
According to Arbitron Report, Radio Holds Considerable Advantage over Satellite Radio and Internet Audio Streaming
AM/FM radio delivers the largest reach during the time periods immediately prior to peak shopping hours, it continues to dominate the audio entertainment landscape, and out-delivers web, social networking or mobile usage during the average day among Adults age 25 to 54.
These are the most notable findings of a study commissioned by Arbitron and presented at last week's Radio Show, hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau in Dallas.
Where Radio Fits: Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape examines the continued strength of AM/FM radio among Adults aged 25 to 54 and the advantages radio delivers over other media outlets. The study also looks at where consumers are accessing various media platforms and the emotional impact these media have on users.
Key findings of Where Radio Fits: Radio's Strengths in the Media Landscape:
"Radio's consistently large reach together with its ability to deliver 'the last word' during the crucial pre-shopping hours make it highly valuable for advertisers who are looking to maximize ROI in a fragmented media environment," said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc. "This study, along with the more granular data Arbitron is providing to agencies and modelers, should help reinforce radio's strength in the marketing mix."
- AM/FM radio is the strongest pre-shopping medium, reaching 31% of 25-54s during the hour before the peak shopping period (1-2PM). AM/FM Radio's reach during this crucial decision-making hour is nearly twice that of live TV (17 percent).
- AM/FM radio delivers 86 percent of the total time Adults aged 25 to 54 spend with the three main audio platforms. AM/FM Radio delivers nearly eight times more time spent than satellite radio and seventeen times more than Internet audio streaming.
- AM/FM radio is the second most widely consumed of the top media platforms. During the average day, radio reaches 59 percent of adults aged 25 to 54, second only to television, which reaches nearly 80 percent of these adults. Trailing radio are the Internet (49 percent), social networking (19 percent), mobile web/app usage (16 percent).
- AM/FM radio adds considerable reach to other media platforms. When combined with live television, radio adds an additional 14 percent reach of adults aged 25 to 54 and an additional 60 percent when combined with the Internet.
- AM/FM radio is heard by a variety of decision influencers, with 43 percent of respondents aged 25 to 54 saying they listen with their children, and 38 percent listen with their spouse or partner.
How the study was conducted
The study, conducted in conjunction with MBI Touchpoints, measured the media consumption, consumer activities, social setting, location, and mood/emotions of 2,000 persons age 18 to 64. The study was conducted in two waves from Oct 2010-March 2011 and Aug 2011-Jan 2012. Touchpoints captured its data using a proprietary mobile app for tracking consumer behavior.
(Source: Arbitron Inc., 09/21/12)
||Monthly Auto Sales Projected to Rise 11% in September
Auto sales in September are expected to increase 11 percent from a year ago, keeping the industry on roughly the same pace as in August, according to a report by J.D. Power and Associates.
The forecast puts the industry's seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate at 14.5 million. The August rate of 14.53 million was the highest of any month so far this year.
Retail sales are expected to rise 12 percent, J.D. Power said. The company increased its forecast of full-year retail sales by 200,000 light vehicles to 11.6 million, based on higher-than-expected sales in July and August. It expects total sales of 14.3 million for the year.
"Consumer willingness or need to overlook the economic uncertainty is the driving force behind the recent strength in light-vehicle sales," Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, which developed the forecast with J.D. Power, said in a statement.
"During the next few months, car buyers will be processing further economic news, additional details on the European crisis, as well as the forthcoming presidential election, likely creating an environment with higher volatility."
J.D. Power said retail sales are likely to rise in all major segments except mid-sized utility vehicles and large pickups. Small- and mid-sized cars are expected to post increases of at least 25 percent at retail.
The company said retail sales were up 15 percent in the early part of September but should level off through the end of the month.
Separately last week, Edmunds.com said it expects industry sales to reach 15 million in 2013. That is 4 percent more than its 2012 estimate of 14.4 million, which would represent a 13 percent increase from 2011 sales of 12.8 million.
"2013 will likely be the first year of non-double-digit sales growth since the recovery began in 2010," Lacey Plache, Edmunds.com's chief economist, said in a statement. "Economic uncertainty at home and spillover effects from slowing economies abroad will continue to slow the pace of American economic growth, including car sales. But many of the same positive factors in play now will continue to support car sales momentum in 2013."
To keep up with that level of demand next year, many automakers and suppliers would need to find ways to add production capacity. J.D. Power said production in North America already is "edging toward capacity constraints with various vehicle components."
(Source: Automotive News, 09/21/12)
||Testosterone Marketing Frenzy Draws Skepticism
"Are you falling asleep after dinner?"
"Do you have a decrease in libido?"
"Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?"
"It could be Low-T."
Welcome to the latest big marketing push by U.S. drug companies. In this case, it's a web page for Abbott Laboratories' Androgel, a billion-dollar selling testosterone gel used by millions of American men struggling with the symptoms of growing older that are associated with low testosterone, such as poor sex drive, weight gain and fatigue.
Androgel is one of a growing number of prescription gels, patches and injections aimed at boosting the male hormone that begins to decline after about age 40. Drugmakers and some doctors claim testosterone therapy can reverse some of the signs of aging -- even though the safety and effectiveness of such treatments is unclear.
"The problem is that we don't have any evidence that prescribing testosterone to older men with relatively low testosterone levels does any good," says Dr. Sergei Romashkan, who oversees clinical trials for the National Institute on Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health conglomerate of research centers.
Low testosterone is the latest example of a once-natural part of getting old that has become a target for medical treatment. Bladder problems, brittle bones and hot flashes have followed a similar path: from inconvenient facts of life, to ailments that can be treated with drugs. The rise of such therapies is being fueled by both demographics and industry marketing.
Baby boomers are living longer and looking for ways to deal with the infirmities of old age: Life expectancy in the U.S. today is 78 years, up from 69 years a half-century ago. And companies have stepped up their marketing to the older crowd: Spending on print and television ads promoting testosterone by firms like Abbott and Eli Lilly has risen more than 170 percent in the last three years to more than $14 million in 2011, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media.
Doctors say that's led to an increase in men seeking treatment for low testosterone. Prescriptions for the hormone have increased nearly 90 percent over the last five years, according to IMS Health. Last year, global sales reached $1.9 billion.
"People are living longer and want to be more active," says Dr. Spyros Mezitis, a hormone specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "They no longer consider that because they're older they shouldn't have sexual intercourse."
Former marathon runner Damon Lease, 50, had been complaining of low energy and depression, for which his doctor prescribed a combination of four psychiatric drugs. But since he started taking twice-a-week testosterone injections in May, he says he's been able to stop taking two of the medications and hopes to eliminate them completely. He says he has more energy, improved mood and concentration.
"I spent 27 years running long distances, I like biking, I like hiking, and I guess every guy wants to have an active sex life...I want to keep doing those things as long as I can," says Lease, who works as a software company executive. "I feel 20 years younger."
Despite its rising popularity, testosterone therapy is not completely new. Testosterone injections were long used for men with hypogonadism, a disorder defined by low testosterone caused by injury or infection to the reproductive or hormonal organs.
But the latest marketing push by drugmakers is for easy-to-use gels and patches that are aimed at a much broader population of otherwise healthy older men with low testosterone, or androgen deficiency. The condition is associated with a broad range of unpleasant symptoms ranging from insomnia to depression to erectile dysfunction. Drug companies peg this group at about 15 million American men, though federal scientists do not use such estimates.
Watson Pharmaceuticals now markets its Androderm patch, which slowly releases testosterone into the bloodstream. Abbott has its gel that can be applied to the shoulders and arms. And Eli Lilly's Axiron is an underarm gel that rolls on like deodorant. Androderm, launched last year, had $87 million in sales, and Axiron, which was launched in 2010, had sales of $48 million last year.
"All of a sudden you've got these big players with a lot of money using consumer directed marketing to change the landscape," said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, a male reproductive specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. "They see the potential, they see the market growth annually and it's very impressive."
But government researchers worry that medical treatments have gotten ahead of the science.
Male testosterone is mainly produced in the testes and affects muscle mass, sperm production and various sexual characteristics. The hormone can easily be checked with a blood test, but doctors can't agree on what constitutes a low reading in older men. Typical testosterone levels for younger men range between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, but once levels begin dropping there is little consensus on what makes a "normal number."
Some doctors believe testosterone levels below 300 lead to sexual dysfunction in older men, but the rule does not cover all cases. A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Manchester and other European institutions found that 25 percent of men with testosterone levels above that threshold had the same sexual problems used to diagnose low testosterone. Adding to the ambiguity is that testosterone levels change by the hour, so a man who takes a blood test for testosterone in the morning may get a completely different reading when tested in the afternoon.
Adding to the confusion over what defines "low testosterone," there's not much understanding of whether testosterone replacement therapy actually improves men's symptoms. Evidence of the benefits of testosterone is mixed, and the potential health risks are serious. The largest study conducted to date, a 2008 trial involving 230 patients in the Netherlands, found no improvement in muscle strength, cognitive thinking, bone density or overall quality of life among men taking testosterone. Muscle mass increased 1.2 percent, but not enough to improve physical mobility.
The National Institute on Aging is currently conducting an 800-man trial to definitively answer whether testosterone therapy improves walking ability, sexual function, energy, memory and blood cell count in men 65 years and older. But those results aren't expected until 2014.
In addition to concerns about testosterone's effectiveness, the long-term side effects of the hormone are not entirely understood because most trials to date have only followed patients for a few months. But the most serious risks include heart problems and prostate cancer. In fact, all testosterone drugs carry a warning that the hormone should not be given to men who have a personal or family history of prostate cancer.
In 2010, researchers at Boston University's school of medicine halted a large study of testosterone in senior men because patients taking the hormone were five times more likely to suffer a serious heart event, including congestive heart failure, than those taking placebos. A review of 19 testosterone trials in 2006 found that prostate cancer was significantly higher among men taking testosterone.
Also in 2006, the Endocrine Society published the first physician guidelines for prescribing testosterone for men with androgen deficiency. All six of the co-authors had received consulting fees or research funding from drug makers that market testosterone. Despite those ties, the authors took a cautious tone, stressing the difficulty of accurately diagnosing low testosterone and acknowledging that they were unable to reach an agreement about when doctors should begin therapy. They also recommend doctors have an "explicit discussion of the uncertainty about the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy."
History has shown that hormone replacement therapy can be dangerous. That hit home for women in 2002 when a landmark study shook up the conventional wisdom about the benefits of estrogen replacement therapy for menopause, the period when women stop producing eggs and the hormone estrogen. The federal study found that women taking hormone pills were more likely to suffer heart attacks, breast cancer and strokes. Doctors now generally recommend hormones only to relieve severe menopause symptoms -- in the lowest possible dose and for the shortest possible time.
In the case of testosterone, Abbott Laboratories says Androgel and other drugs like it are an important treatment option for men with low levels of the hormone. But the company acknowledges that more study is needed.
"Abbott believes that the long-term effects of testosterone replacement therapy should be studied, which is why we continually fund and support additional clinical trials, such as the National Institute of Aging's testosterone trial," the company says.
Doctors who prescribe testosterone say more men should be talking to their doctors about the hormone. "If an older man feels excessively tired or his erectile dysfunction has worsened he should be asking 'Is there something wrong with my testosterone?'" says Mezitis of Lenox Hill Hospital. "The awareness should be much broader than it is at this point."
Even critics of the testosterone craze acknowledge that the interest in anti-aging products may be inevitable as life expectancy increases. But they say doctors can do more to help seniors by focusing on lifestyle adjustments that keep them connected to their friends and family, rather than prescribing drugs.
"We really 'medicalize' seniors so much that they think the secret always has to be scientific," says Dr. Nortin Hadler of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has written four books on excessive medical care. "We need another perspective to understand the secrets to healthy aging, which by and large are not pills."
(Source: USA Today, 09/10/12)
Daily Sales Tip: When the Prospect Says 'No'
First, the prospect deserves to be sincerely thanked for his/her time and for giving you an opportunity to exchange information. A hand-written note is always appreciated and sets you apart from a vast majority of salespeople that take shortcuts.
Next, you need to stop and objectively reflect upon the circumstances that caused the prospect to say, "No, thank you." Depending upon the situation, you may have a high likelihood of landing the account sometime down the road.
Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself when debriefing each sales call:
-- Did they decline because I proposed a solution before fully exploring their needs and collaborating solutions with them?
-- Did I do my best possible job of asking questions; encouraging them to share their ideas, or did I do too much "presenting" of my ideas and possible solutions?
-- Did I adjust to their pace (faster versus slower) and to their priority (task versus relationship)?
-- Am I confident that I helped them make the best possible decision that is in their best interests?
-- By behaving respectfully and professionally, have I left the door open for doing business later if their situation changes?
-- Based on their reasoning for not buying, might the situation change in the future?
True sales masters become comfortable hearing "no," as long as they have gotten to the real reason(s) for the answer.
Source: Sales consultants Scott Zimmerman and Dr. Tony Alessandra