The radio world often gets caught up in its own echo-chamber, creating inaccurate concepts that many build their foundations around. One of these miscalculations is radio station “loyalty.” In many cases this perceived loyalty-level is dramatically inflated compared to reality.
This distorted view can lead to significant strategic and tactical miscalculations. Some of these miscalculations include but are not limited to:
Lack of marketing [Most people know about us]
Wide & deep playlists [Our listeners stay with us for a very long time]
Lack of station branding [Most people know who they are listening to]
Lack of service elements [We just gave the weather 30 minutes ago]
Under emphasizing promotions [The listener is familiar with what we are doing]
Under identification of personalities [I gave my name in the top of hour ID]
Underestimating your competition [Our listeners are far too loyal]
The truth is this…Radio brand-loyalty if fragile at best, especially in this Covid-19, social-justice and politically hot world we are in right now. 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 never ends. This requires all hands-on-deck and no coasting. It requires taking your miscalculated perceptions and turning them into calculated perception-creators. This starts with turning, “Most people already know who we are” into “No one knows who we are.”
Think on these data-points: P-1 listeners switch around about 20% of the time. P2s switch around 50% of the time and your P3s switch around 80% of the time. 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 with the tides. They many times learn about stations effortlessly; of course the stronger a brand’s marketing and product, the better their chance of being a “go to” station of choice. 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 80% 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.