Over the last few months you’ve had the opportunity to vote for your candidates and area proposals in various elections. Soon you will have the opportunity to vote for Governor and others during the midterm elections. This process is not unlike what Nielsen diary holders do during a ratings sweep. There are some major differences however. One of the primary differences is that the voting ballot you fill out has the names and party affiliations right on it. Even with this aided recall some still have trouble recalling what some of the secondary or tertiary issues of each candidate are. Just think of how difficult it is for the average radio user to recall a multitude of details concerning their radio usage on a blank diary with no aided recall!
I have spoken with many people who have gone through this process. I am always amazed to hear what their responses have been. Here are some examples: “I wish I didn’t agree to participate in this, I can’t keep track of this,” “I listen to _ _ _ _ all the time, but I just don’t even think about it,” “I forgot to fill it out during the week so I just wung it,” “My favorite morning show left so I don’t listen to radio anymore,”
The entire diary keeping methodology has long been an anxiety filled experience of pain and pleasure and the advent of PPM has not helped much either. The good news is this, instead of fearing the system we could learn to best navigate it. Imagine for a moment if your show, your station would act like a gubernatorial candidate doing all they could to get people to remember them and their primary selling points. Usually a candidate leaves nothing to chance. They never assume that people are going to vote for them because they believe they are the best. Instead they drive home the points that make them the best over and over again. They go through all of this even though the ballot provides the voter with aided recall. With radio, you don’t have to persuade all of the people or even a majority to win, you only have to persuade the diary keepers and they are only a small fraction of the population. Again, you do this through product development and marketing. NOT by chance!
Many radio stations are still hoping for miracles to win. While I do believe in miracles, they are usually not bestowed to a radio station’s ratings. Some stations have been waiting for years wondering when their turn for rating success will happen. Remember this, if your station’s message is clear, beneficial, simplistic & credible and you follow the “candidates” model by going out and aggressively getting votes you WILL be the Commander and Chief of your market!
Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming and consultant with Wright Media Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.