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Time availability PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMRB   
23 May 2006

Successfully targeting the ‘cash rich’ has always been said to be made more difficult, not least because many of them are also assumed to be ‘time poor’. If that assumption is correct the consequence is that they don’t have the opportunities afforded to most others to be exposed to media and, thereby, to the blandishments of the advertiser. Even if they do find the time to get exposed to such marketing efforts the pressures on their time are such that advertising has to work extremely hard to grab their fleeting attention and thus to get its point across. However the rewards for gaining a share of such a target audience’s attention are potentially great and it’s worth the effort to find a way to achieve it.

TGI’s new Time Availability segmentation, available on the Premier survey (which focuses on the wealthier end of the social spectrum) can now provide valuable insight into who exactly fits into this key ‘cash rich/time poor’ segment of the population. Moreover it can provide a steer towards an understanding of how they might be reached via the media that they do actually have the time to embrace.

Within the universe represented on Premier TGI are 7.3m Chief Income Earners who work full time and amongst those who fit into the highest spending fifth of all Premier respondents. Almost half of this group place themselves in the two least time-available quintiles and are very much more likely to appear in the highest Liquid Asset Score segments within the survey. So it would appear to be true that those most valuable to the advertiser are also very likely to be amongst the least accessible. However, analysis of the ‘free time’ of all Chief Income Earners is highly instructive. Comparing, for instance, the time that they spend ‘at home not working or sleeping’ across the days of the week highlights just how variable it can be. Of those who claim to have less than three hours of such time a day 35% live in the London BARB region and this is the only regional sub-group in this lowest time availability segment across all seven days. In other areas of the south such as East Anglia the shortness of available time is greatest at the weekend – a situation which is at its worst in the North West. Across the middle of the country (Wales and the Midlands) that bias is reversed and appears worse on weekdays.

Cross analysing the same segment by the most exposed media quintile also reveals significant differences and indicators. Newspapers are, for instance, twice as likely to deliver the most cash rich/time poor on a Saturday as they are on a Sunday. Both magazines and cinema are 50% more effective between Monday and Saturday than they are on Sunday at delivering this audience while radio is at its strongest against this valuable niche audience across the weekend as opposed to weekdays. Perhaps unsurprisingly both Outdoor and the internet are the reverse – travel to and from the office and web access when there being the explanation. Television, amongst the same group, is at its strongest on Saturday.

Of course not all of the cash rich are time poor and neither is the reverse always true either. The key is to understand where exactly a specific target lies on the spectrum and to plan media accordingly. While the temptation to skew media towards the most difficult to reach with, hopefully, the rest being picked up automatically – what might be called ‘conversion planning’ – could be the solution. Al least now there is data to demonstrate whether it works every time or not.

Last Updated ( 23 May 2006 )
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