Marketing Evaluations, the company famous for Q Scores - that is, celebrity ratings - has come up with a different way of analyzing television programs.
They now have a metric called "Emotional Bonding Q" which they say measures a combination of likability to viewing frequency to dedication to watching future shows.
A new show like Flash Forward is a case in point with an EBQ of 139 (100 is average). While its ratings among 18-49s are far from stellar, this measure of loyalty and positive feelings suggests there's something more meaningful going on here. And it has benefit and value to advertisers.
Harry Schafer of Marketing Evaluation points out that "the lower-rated show that has a high emotional bonding with its audience will tend to be priced lower than the higher-rated show. That's just the way the business is. So if you're a media buyer and you want cost-effective buying with your clients' dollars, you [can] look for shows that connect strongly with viewers and still deliver a decent-sized audience."
Are there analogies to radio? It's hard not to wonder if EBQ scores for a popular morning show, talk host, or specialty music show wouldn't be pretty strong, in contrast to a Jack-FM or one of those juke box stations that do little to engage, but are easy to listen to in the background. The latter formats may be having more success in PPM in terms of earning big numbers, but listeners are likely to be less connected or attached to them. On the "miss a day, miss a lot" scale, they would not be likely to rate very highly.
So while cume reach and even TSL are valid metrics for gaining a basic understand of how many are listening, and on average, for how long, neither truly measures engagement, loyalty, enthusiasm, and passion.
Maybe there's an opportunity for a research company to develop an equivalent to Marketing Evaluation's EBQ for radio - a product that could be a great tie-breaker for buyers, planners, and of course, retailers.
At the end of the day, buying efficiency in the form of cost-per-point and other familiar metrics that have become the accepted norm might take a back seat to the one criterion that is most important to advertisers - results.