Thursday, September 04, 2014

Maintaining Listener Loyalty

  1. Be consistent.  Unfamiliarity is almost always a negative.  Surround it with the familiar, so it appears as a pleasant surprise, an expected part of the overall presentation.
  2. Be the soundtrack of your listener’s life.
  3. It’s a 140 character, 17 second, society.  Be brief.  Respect the listener’s time.
  4. Be a companion and friend, never an announcer.  Avoid phrase patterns and verbal crutches.
  5. Cluster music into long sets.  Control commercial content. 
  6. Hopefully, you can play fewer commercials than your direct competition.  If not, your only winning option is longer stopsets and fewer of them, placed equally on both sides of quarter hours, equidistant from each other in the hour if you’re being measured by Nielsen PPM methodology.  If it’s BBM PPM, the station with the strongest content and the least minutes of potential tune outs wins.  If it’s diaries that make up your ratings, place commercial breaks so that you hold your listener for 35 minutes, equalling four “quarter hours.”  If it’s a phone survey, top of kindness wins.  Use telephone in your contesting and have the biggest, best prizes and promotions.
  7. Two five unit breaks per hour is ideal.
  8. Count units, not minutes.  From the listener’s point of view, intros, outros, :30s, :60s, and even “mentions” are all commercials.
  9. Play only hits.  Never add a song until you believe it’s going to be a hit.
  10. Play “clutter busters” once every quarter with your staff.  Make a list of the least popular bits, benchmarks and programs you air from the talent’s perspective and then test them with listeners in an online survey or focus groups.  Drop unpopular ones.
  11. Promote, but never HYPE.  Do what you say and offer proof.
Listing these things is easy.  DOING them is hard.  Odds are, your owner or manager will expect you to win loyalty while stinting on some of them.

That's why we believe you need a consultant.  You can sometimes win while cutting a few of these corners, but if you need to constantly and predictably do so.

There's only one way to do that.

To constantly dominate a market position, be uncompromising when it comes to all listener loyalty drivers.

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