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by | Apr 25, 2019

Marshall Marketing Data

The Swiss Army Knife for TV Stations

In the 1880’s, members of the Swiss government were looking for one tool that could do many things for their soldiers.  The generals knew their soldiers needed a tool that could open canned food and also be used as a screw driver to disassemble a rifle.

The first solution was to order 15,000 knives from a German company.  Several years later, a Swiss manufacturer of surgical equipment named Karl Elsener decided to improve the knife by modifying the design in which he was able to attach twice as many tools to the knife.  It wasn’t officially referred to as a Swiss Army knife until it was used by American soldiers that couldn’t pronounce Offiziersmesser, the official name.

Having one tool that can do many things is exactly what Marshall Marketing provides for its television stations.  There are tools attached to Marshall Marketing that helps sales, promotion, and news.  Using the right tool for a specific department in the station is simply a matter of pulling data from the Marshall Marketing software.  No knives, screwdrivers, corkscrews, tweezers, or scissors are required.


All stations use social media in a variety of ways.  One Marshall Marketing station wanted to know which consumers would be motivated to choose a newscast based on a social media post.

TV SOCIAL MEDIA POST: BY AGE GENERATION

In the past 30 days, have you turned to local news coverage after seeing a Facebook post, tweet, or other social media post from a local TV station?

The promotion department discovered that Gen Xers are the generation most likely to respond to a social media post.


Another Marshall Marketing client was looking for data that could help format the newscast.  Certainly weather, traffic and crime are key components to a newscast but this station was looking deeper for topics that would appeal to viewers and attract them to their newscast.

News Elements Rated: Morning News by Age Generations

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning not at all important and 10 being very important, please rate how important ___________are when watching an early morning newscast.

The most important nugget from this question is that Millennials rank Safety Alert stories much higher than the other age generations.


Most stations that have news departments typically have one station that is its’ biggest competitor. 
Below is a look at two stations.

WATCHED 6PM NEWS

It’s a simple cross tab that identifies the reach among total adults

Usually, news viewers watch more than one station.  The Marshall Marketing software “And/Or/ Not” option allows a station to determine total viewers, viewers that DO NOT watch the main competitor, and viewers they SHARE with the main competitor.

News Viewing Segments: Total, Exclusive and Shared

In looking at the ABC station’s 24.6% total reach, 11.1% does not watch NBC while 13.5% also watches NBC.  For the NBC station’s 20.3% reach, 13.5% also watch ABC and 6.8% do not watch ABC.

The most important nugget here is that 13.5% is the battleground.  Swaying this group to watch 1-2 times more per week will result in higher rating points and more dollars for the station.


Here is look at the segments by age generation.  Note the ABC station total viewer is older than the NBC total viewer.  Also note that the “battle ground shared viewer” is younger, 51.9% are Millennials.  Most likely this group is a light news viewer.  While neither the ABC nor NBC station want to get away from its core viewer, attracting the younger shared viewer with a dedicated regular Safety Alert story segment might attract that viewer to the 6pm newscast more often.

News Viewing Segments: Total, Exclusive and Shared | By Age Generation Composition

Having the right tool at the right time is as essential to the Swiss Army in 1880 as it is to TV stations today.  Concentrating resources in one place, whether it be for soldiers to eat and take care of a rifle or for a TV station to attract viewers, format newscasts, or selling multi-screen ad solutions to advertisers, is an effective way to compete.

Investing in Marshall Marketing will produce positive results in many areas

About Bruce Hahn

For over 20 years, Bruce has been working with Marshall Marketing client stations in the design and implementation of consumer research in the TV sales process. He enjoys working with account executives and research directors at stations to increase consumer awareness and market share for advertisers.