Every night, the music of Enya lulls us off to dreamland. One of our favorite songs is “The Humming.” A line from that song is “only change is here to stay.”
I’ve often written in this blog about the only constant in life is change, and that if you’re not changing your life for the better, you’re changing it for the worse, for nothing stays the same. Nothing.
Changes in Communication
Watching the Ken Burns documentary on “Country Music” it was very clear the important role that radio played in spreading the popularity of this musical genre. But that was then, today the smartphone is at the center of everyone’s life.
The latest from Edison Research now says that 88% of Americans over the age of 12 own and use a smartphone; 250 million, to be exact.
The wireless phone companies will tell you that today we use our smartphones primarily for data. Edison Research tells us that 82% of Americans are now active on social media platforms, the top three being Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
While 32% of homes in the U.S. don’t have a single AM/FM radio in them, 47% now have a smart speaker.
Today, 193 million Americans – or 68% of adults 12 years of age and older – digitally consume audio using one of these smart devices.
AM/FM radio’s last place of dominance is the vehicle dashboard. WFH (Work From Home) eliminated the need to commute for a lot of people, thereby causing them to spend less time with traditional radio in their cars.
McKinsey Global Institute says at least 20% of people currently in the WFH mode won’t ever be returning to an office after the pandemic ends. Just as alarming for radio station owners is the recent report by Edison Research that shows the percentage of people who listen to audio on their smartphone in their cars is now at 50%.
“We’re recovering to a different economy.”
-Jerome H. Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman
Before COVID-19, we already were doing video conferencing and phone calls on platforms like Go To Meeting, Face Time, WebX, or Skype. But then the world was shut down by a novel coronavirus and it was ZOOM that suddenly became the dominant platform for teaching school, conducting government, running our courts, attending church, working from home, celebrating our weddings and birthdays, and just about everything else we used to do in person.
ZOOM is the best example of how fast our world changed when COVID-19 struck.
How did ZOOM do it? By investing the time to know what their video conferencing customer wanted, knowing it better than anyone else and then delivering it best when the critical moment – a global pandemic – arrived.
“Spend a lot of time talking to customers face-to-face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.”
– H. Ross Perot
Your listeners are changing, your advertisers are changing, your world is changing. So, you’d better be listening carefully to understand how you must change to be relevant to their wants, needs and desires.
Because as Enya sings “only change is here to stay.”