If you think listeners hang on our every word – surprise – the reality is quite different.
Listening is a Habit
Radio listening, like many things in our lives, is on auto-pilot. When someone makes listening to your radio station part of their daily habit, you’ve struck gold.
However, two years of a global pandemic changed everyone’s routines and replaced them with new ones.
People who study people’s habits, usually say that it takes at least three weeks for a person to form a new routine and COVID forced changes on all of us that lasted for two years.
Go ahead and pound your chest that your radio station has won awards for its news coverage, its public service and its ability to break new hit songs, but appreciate that listeners don’t care. What is important to them is having your radio station deliver what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it, and on the media platform they want it delivered on.
The Best Ads
It’s interesting that the ads listeners remember most are usually for products or services that have been around for decades and used the power of repetition to burn their ear worm into your brain.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean:
- I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid.
- The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup. (Oddly, the brand actually sold the rights to this 38-year old jingle for $90,000.00.)
- Plop, plop…Fizz, fizz…Oh, what a relief it is. This Alka-Seltzer ear worm was penned in 1976 and was so popular that Sammy Davis, Jr. actually recorded a version.
- I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company, it’s the real thing.
- I actually still play on my radio show, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” a song by Hillside Singers and it still makes me crave having a Coke, even though the hit record version never mentions Coca-Cola.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Your Brand Messaging
You will never be all things to all people.
If your radio station uses multiple positioning statements, I’m willing to bet that your listeners, at best, can remember only one.
Back when I started in the broadcast business, radio stations spent a lot of money promoting their air personalities; they were the draw then, and they are the draw still, maybe even more so as Fred Jacobs TechSurvey 2022 so vividly points out.
Your personalities are your brand, and unique to your radio station; coach them, grow them and promote them.
If you don’t understand the listener’s needs, from the listener’s point of view, then you’re just spinning your wheels.
Your goal is to be the radio station a listener thinks of first,
and makes a daily habit.