Saturday, February 23, 2008

“That’s Great! .. BUT...”

“How did they do it?” a client PD asked me last week.

“Do what?” I innocently inquired.

“How did those folks at WAXX, Eau Claire, get more than 600 of their listeners to do the questionnaire and we’re a bigger market but we only had just over 300.”

A&O client stations are competitive. I suppose that’s one reason why they hire us.

They want to have the latest intelligence and access to cutting-edge strategies and tactics. They love winning.

Rarely, however, do they have a chance to compete with each other and have every other client see the ‘score.’

And, I didn’t even know that this was a competition!

So far, more than 17,000 listeners across the U.S. and Canada have completed the “Roadmap ’08” national perceptual study (highlights of which will be unveiled at our Pre-CRS client seminar) a preliminary report on the results of the study went out to all of the stations who participated the other day.

It includes P-1 listener tracking data on more than 40 areas, from music style and genre preferences, content, information, new media usage, overall satisfaction and HD radio.

I was surprised to find that almost everyone who received it turned past the product and usage-related responses to the pages which detailed the sample sizes for each market which will allow us to break local data for out every station with at least 200 respondents. Everyone seemed to want to see how many of their listeners completed the 20 minute questionnaire compared to other cities of similar size.

The PD who made the statement’s station ranks #1 12+ and 25-54 in a situation where an aggressive direct format competitor ranks #5 in the Fall ARB survey, so I have long considered this programmer a winner and a big success I often point with pride to.

But, in his mind, he still needs to do better.

“We do contests and they do well for us, but then I see how the great Lincoln Financial Media team at KSON, San Diego, made “Double Your Paycheck” more than just a contest. They turned it into a statement of values the station stands for,” he started.

“Then, Pattison’s CJJR, Vancouver, “Tripled Your Pay” last Fall and had a terrific BBM.

“We also do a St. Jude’s Radiothon and raised lots of money for the great cause again this year, but then I saw how the Bonneville/Cincinnati crew at B-105 had their listeners pledge $415,361,” he continued.

“I look at loyalty rewards marketing stars like Larche Media/Barrie’s KICX, Morris Radio’s WIBW-FM, Topeka and Astral’s CFQX, Winnipeg driving thousands of new database signups. We, of course, do a similar program, yet I seem to run into the same 40 people who come to every remote broadcast for their ‘word on the street.’

CBS Radio’s KMPS, Seattle, continues to dominate their market by innovating. I love their new “” social network where they invite listeners to vote for their favorite songs and network with other listeners. How did they do that?”

Sensing that this very competitive programmer didn’t just want me to pat him on the back and say “hey, you’re #1, you’re clearly aware of those things other clients are doing and that’s a good thing, perhaps a bit of healthy sibling rivalry.

“You’re holding yourself to too high a standard, take it easy on yourself. You are really, really good at lots of things, but you can’t possibly be the absolute best at everything..,” so instead, I decided to simply remind him of the “Seven Magic Words,” which by the very questions he’s been asking me, whether he knows it or not, already show that he’s living them.

Being competitive myself, I wish I could say that they were my invention, but Mike O’Malley coined this useful seven word phrase years ago, when we did our first air personality seminar on the Boardwalk in Atlanta City. We called that session “Barnumizing Your Radio Station And Your Show.”

We taught attendees and still encourage our client stations to use the principles of P. T. Barnum. Never forget we’re in show business. Whatever you do, don’t just amplify it.

Explode it.

Plan each community service event, prep each content break, build each promotion, create each stunt, communicate each strategy and just when you feel that it’s your best, before finalizing it use the Seven Magic Words and see how far you can go with whatever you’re doing.

The words?

“Great! .. but what else could we do?”

Use them the next time your team brainstorms. Pretty soon, you’ll be the envy of your siblings too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It includes P-1 listener tracking data on more than 40 areas, from music style and genre preferences, content, information, new media usage, overall satisfaction and HD radio."

I'm sure those handful of HD Radio listeners are real satisfied:

“Is HD Radio Toast?”

“There are serious issues of coverage. Early adopters who bought HD radios report serious drop-outs, poor coverage, and interference. The engineers of Ibiquity may argue otherwise and defend the system, but the industry has a serious PR problem with the very people we need to get the word out on HD... In other words, everything you can find on the regular FM dial... The word has already gotten out about HD Radio. People who have already bought an HD Radio are telling others of their experience (mostly bad) and no amount of marketing will reverse this.”