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WHAT? Arbitron puts more ‘Feet on the Street’ to boost PPM survey compliance among young African-Americans and Hispanics


puts more ‘Feet on the Street’ to boost PPM survey compliance   among young African-Americans and Hispanics   In-person training program to cover top ten PPM markets by end of April 2009

Arbitron is expanding its in-person PPMTM training program designed to reach out to young African-American and Hispanic respondents in Arbitron PPM panels. Dubbed ‘Feet on the Street’, the program is scheduled to have bilingual Arbitron representatives knocking on the doors of newly-recruited Hispanics and African Americans age 18-34 in the top ten Portable People MeterTM markets by the end of April 2009.  The program’s goal: show young, ethnic respondents how easy and rewarding it can be to carry their Arbitron PPM device from ‘rise to retire’ every day.  “Your mother would want you to marry one of our ‘feet on the street’ trainers,” said Nancy Weissman, director, PPM Panel Relations, Arbitron Inc. “We’ve recruited the most charming, engaging and persuasive bilinguals to help young African-American and Hispanic respondents do a better job of carrying their meters on a daily basis.” ‘Feet on the Street’ is designed to reach out to African-American and Hispanic respondents, age 18-34, who have not developed good carry habits within the first eight days of their time on a PPM panel. If the in-tab rate during those first eight days is below a pre-set threshold, a ‘Feet on the Street’ representative will attempt to schedule the in-person visit for a time that is within the first 28 days of the respondent’s tenure in the panel.   The targeted panelist will be offered a gift card for agreeing to and keeping the appointment.  The respondent is also offered a bonus for improved performance over the next four weeks after the visit.  The Arbitron representative can also provide a travel recharger, carry accessories or even decorative ‘skins’ for the PPM itself. The trainer can
also highlight the ‘My Meter and Me’ website that allows respondents to track their compliance hours and their bonus points every day. “Our pilot tests in New York and Philadelphia showed a double-digit gain for in-tab rates among the young African-Americans and Hispanics that we visited for this extra training,” said Bob Patchen, Chief Research Officer, Arbitron Inc. “The improved in-tab rates also resulted in a large decrease in the turnover rate due to poor compliance.  We expect the net effect to be improved representation of ethnic young adults in our PPM panels.” ‘Feet on the street’ deployment schedule  The in-person training program was first deployed as a pilot in New York and Philadelphia in April 2008. It was also introduced in Dallas and San Francisco in June 2008 and in Los
Angeles during the Holiday 2008 survey period (12/11/2008-1/7/2009). Subsequent
deployments are scheduled for Houston in February 2009 (2/5-3/4), Chicago and Washington D.C. in March 2009 (3/5-4/1), and Boston and Atlanta in April 2009 (4/2-
Continuous Improvement Program
In the past year, Arbitron has introduced a number of initiatives that have had a significant positive impact on the quality of the PPM samples particularly among young and ethnic respondents, many of whom may not comply with the PPM survey tasks as readily as the general population.
Re-design box & materials (Jan 08)
New personalized website (Feb 08)
Persons 25-34 matching (Mar 08)
Meter accessories for young HHs (Mar 08)
Weekend Reminder calls (Mar 08)
In-person coaching pilot (Apr 08)
Cell-phone-only modems (Apr 08)
Meter skin test (Apr 08)
Concierge service (May 08)
Reliability Calculator (Oct 08)
Address-based cell phone sample (Nov 08)
‘Feet on Street’ expansion (Dec 08-Apr 09)

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