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Brian Wright “Not So Loyal”

brian_wright4The radio world often gets caught up in its own echo-chamber creating inaccurate concepts that many build their foundations around. One of these miscalculations deals with the level of loyalty their audience has for their radio station. In many cases this perceived loyalty level is dramatically inflated compared to reality. This distorted view can many times lead to significant miscalculation in both strategy and the tactics to fulfill these strategies. Some of these miscalculations include but are not limited to:

e Lack of marketing [Most people know about us]

e Wide & deep playlists [Our listeners stay with us for a very long time]

e Lack of station branding [Most people know who they are listening to]

e Lack of service elements [We just gave the weather 40 minutes ago]

e Underplaying promotions [The listener must be sick of this…because I am]

e Under identification of personalities [I gave my name in the top of hour ID]

e Underestimating your competition [Our listeners are far too loyal]

The truth is this…Radio brand-loyalty if fragile at best. You have to work hard every day to hold what loyalty you have, create bigger fans and to bring new people into a listening experience. This requires all hands-on-deck and no coasting. It requires taking your miscalculated perceptions and turning them into calculated opposites. This means turning, “Most people already know who we are” into “No one knows who we are.”       

Think on these truths: P-1 (Preference 1) listeners switch around often. 30% of your P1s switch within 2 weeks, 45% switch within 4 weeks, 58% will switch at least once over 8 weeks. Many of them ultimately return but there is no guarantee when. That part depends on what you do to bring them back. In some cases there is nothing you can do about it. In today’s radio world listeners are inherently–though not maliciously–disloyal. They wash up on the shore like the tides. You can’t really prevent it from happening nor can we cause it to happen. They many times learn about stations effortlessly; of course the stronger a brand’s marketing and product, the better their chance of being a preset on a person’s radio. People don’t turn dials any more–instead they use presets–which makes it imperative for your station to be the first or second button. In the typical week your average listener will sample 7 different radio stations with 2 primary selections in which they will spend about 60% of their time with. The unawareness level of your radio station is greater than you want to believe. But you can close the gap!

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. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development 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 brian@audiencedevelopmentgroup.com

One thought on “Brian Wright “Not So Loyal”

  • Brian, thanks for your comments on “Not so loyal”. I find your thoughts to be true and correct. People in general are not loyal to anything. Not the LORD, not each other, and certainly not a radio station. The two things I believe that keep listeners tuned-in to “Christian” radio are: 1). Are you helping them to grow spiritually in their walk with the LORD, and 2). Are you making them feel good about life in general — giving hope and encouragement for a better day and a better future. Listeners have a need to hear the faith being lived out loud when they turn on the radio. If the announcer or speaker is uplifting and spiritually encouraging many will feel like you’re the real deal. Christian radio must be an instrument of helping people find God and grow closer to Him in their relationship. We should be like a vibrant and inspiring church that never closes. Not preaching to the choir but being a good friend that gets you through a bad day. Its not enough just to entertain or inform but people need an anchor to keep them steady and spiritually focused. While Christ is the Anchor but people have a need to hear a human voice that keeps them calm in the storm or looking forward on a dark day. Christian radio in general reaches more people on a daily basis than many churches reach on Sunday morning. While funny can be okay and beautiful voices can charm but being a spiritual anchor to the audience will likely win you more loyalty than sounding cool and hip. However, we shouldn’t be about loyalty, branding, or marketing (even though they are essential) but more about leading people to Jesus and keeping Believers faithful! If we are faithful do this as Christian broadcasters we will win God’s favor and the admiration of many!


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