“Pumpkin Spice Latte for Your Ears”
The first sip. It usually happens way too early for the haters, but she doesn’t care. It’s been a long, hot, stressful summer, and her kids have been driving her crazy home from school. She’s ready for cooler weather, warm sweaters, and fall colors. She doesn’t care if the weather is still in the 90s. That day that Starbucks announces its back, she submits her mobile order, excitedly hops into her SUV on her lunch break, and picks up her Venti. She takes a big whiff, then the first sip and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… just the feeling she wanted; comfort, relaxation, and love without judgement. It’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
That’s exactly the way your listener should feel when she listens to your station, or your show. You are “Pumpkin Spice Latte for Her Ears”. You are all that is right in the world. Many don’t understand the draw of PSL, some even make fun of it, that’s because the PSL isn’t designed for them. The PSL isn’t a drink, it’s a season, a mood, an emotion that its fans are obsessed with. No matter how crazy and out of control her life feels she can count on the PSL to calm her down and makes her life in that moment easier. She needs you to give her good news.
The latest research from Radio Ink shows that Contemporary Christian Music is the highest female dominated format in all of radio; at 60% FEMALE. It also shows she is 48 years old, not 38 like most station’s listener profiles. That’s a different life stage and generation all together. She doesn’t have “little ears” in the car. They could be in college. She is likely parenting teens and tweens. Her kids could be driving and choosing their own music. She doesn’t need Safe for Her Family. She needs you to feed her soul. She’s working. She could be head of household. She’s likely been through a divorce by 48 (50/50), and potentially remarried with a blended family. She’s juggling a lot. After work, she’s driving her teenagers to practice, going to see games, and picking up dinner. She has NO TIME to cook. She needs YOU to be PSL for her Ears, without demeaning her intelligence, insulting her life experience, and giving her more work to do.
Take a look at your on-air content: Is what you talked about today on your show comforting, and without judgement? Are you making assumptions about her life stage that are not true? Does it make her say: “ahhhhhhhh” or are you voice tracking the weather, so you sound “live and local”. (She already knows the weather, her car, Alexa, and her teenagers told her that).
Take a look at your communication: Is it simple and easy for her to interact with you? Can she text you? Send you a voice message on an app? She does not have time to pick up the phone.
Take a look at your contests: Are you making her jump through hoops to enter a contest? If she has to click more than once to enter, she’s going to skip it.
Take a look at your live remotes/events. Are they during the day so it’s more convenient for you? Or is it after work hours so it’s more convenient for HER? Are they on a weeknight while she’s attending her teenager’s baseball game/soccer game/dance class? Or is it on a weekend when her kids are with friends, and she finally can do something for HER?
Take a look at your on air lineup: Does it reflect your audience? Do you appreciate/understand the PSL? Are you 60% female?
The secret sauce in the PSL is not pumpkin. It’s the comforting emotion that it evokes for the consumer. That’s the reason that PSL fans are craving it earlier and earlier every year. You want HER to crave your radio station, show, contests, and events the same way. Be the comforting emotion that makes your listener so thrilled she posts a picture of herself enjoying your product on her Instagram…. scratch that, she’s 48 and still on Facebook.
Amanda Carroll is a nationally syndicated host with Salem Communications, Assistant Program Director and Morning Show Co-Host at The Fish Sacramento. She also runs an online platform and podcast that inspires women to live a strong and courageous life at www.getyourbraveon.info. If you’d to get her content on your radio station, email email@example.com She is also available for talent coaching and consulting. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org