Often, the best way to explain the important of research for radio stations is to compare this media to commercially sold products and how they become successful. Radio users see radio as a product that they use, it simply comes in the intangible form. We in radio often pay “lip-service” to this idea of radio being a product, but show very little if any of the characteristics of a successful product and its development. Radio stations operating in a guesswork-vacuum never find the success they long for. Since radio is a product, of an intangible nature it requires more understanding of our consumer (or listeners), than that of a tangible product.
When we see what a new grocery store or cola product does in the line of researching their potential customer, before they go to market, it draws a clear picture of how out-of-touch we can really be with our radio marketplace. It is not uncommon for a new department store or supermarket to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on focus group studies, product preference tests, isle configuration, location analysis, floor types, color coordination and yes, even music tests to determine what type of music works best in different departments. Contrast this with many radio stations in the country, where the program and music director can spend as little as 15 to 20 minutes a week sampling the music product that ends up on the station, without any testing! This 15 to 20 minutes is
then usually riddled with several interruptions, making the session even less productive.
It could be said that a radio station can model themselves after other successful stations and don’t really need the research— but did you know that even the “chain/franchise” stores that build all over the country, still do their homework and research before they go to market. Radio, as an industry, would likely produce twice as much revenue, if not more, if we relied more on research and less on radio-cloning. Coke sells millions of gallons of cola every year, with staggering profits, but they still do their research.
If every station in your market would put great effort into understanding the tendencies, likes & dislikes of their audience, shares would be much higher then what they are right now. The great news is, not all stations in your market will do this, but you can.
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 email@example.com