The radio world often gets caught up in its own echo-chamber creating inaccurate concepts that many build their foundations on. One of these miscalculations is the level of listener loyalty. In many cases this perceived loyalty level is dramatically inflated compared to reality. This distorted view can lead to significant miscalculation in both strategy and the tactics to fulfill these strategies. Some of these miscalculations include but are not limited to:
a Lack of marketing [Most people know about us]
a Wide & deep playlists [Our listeners stay with us for a very long time]
a Lack of station branding [Most people know who they are listening to]
a Lack of service elements [We just gave the weather 40 minutes ago]
a Underplaying promotions [The listener must be sick of this…because I am]
a Under identification of personalities [I gave my name in the top of hour ID]
a Underestimating your competition [Our listeners are far too loyal]
The truth is this…radio brand-loyalty if fragile. 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 winners. 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. They will listen to 2-3 other radio stations every week and spend 4-5 hours with other media platforms, other than yours. 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. Though you can’t always prevent this from happening remember, the stronger a brand’s marketing and product, the better the chance of their return. 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, non P1 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 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.