Loyalty = Revenue
April 17, 2012
Building loyalty with your listeners is important not only on a programming front, but for building sales power in the future.
Here is an example: I am a loyal listener to my favorite radio station. Time and time again the music is good, the giveaways they do are awesome (I love Coach purses and Mac make-up) and Nikki in the afternoon is always talking about juicy gossip and I feel up to date on my Hollywood scoop when I listen to her. Well, I heard her talking about a great deal on getting hair-free (translation for the guys: this means laser hair removal) for this upcoming bathing suit season. She's been going to this new salon downtown and since they just opened, they are discounting their services. If Nikki says it's good, I bet it is. And, she's right; I really don't want to deal with shaving this summer. I think I'm going to check it out.
Now what do you think would have happened if that message had come in the form of another commercial on a station that doesn't have a Nikki? It might have worked. Even though I only sporadically check out the station, I might have heard that commercial and given the salon a try. After all, it is a product the audience is interested in and the deal is good so that alone could generate sales for the client. But, very soon Pandora will be in the game of local advertising, so what is going to differentiate a commercial on any terrestrial station and Pandora? The personal connection a local radio station can have that a Pandora cannot. Nikki can connect me in a very personal way with a great new business that is right up my alley and what they have to offer. She can tell me about it on-air, on the station website and Facebook. That's powerful. Can Pandora?
Let's take another example ... one of my favorite sites, Groupon. Groupon gives me a great deal on stuff I want to buy, on demand, easy to get, whenever I want it. This is a name I know and trust that makes my life better. Unless they really screw things up and lessen the experience, I'm used to having with them, I will be loyal to them forever ... and everybody else doing the same thing will have a hard time getting my attention.
Well, if one of my favorite radio personalities tells me about the station's half-price deal, I will go to their website and check out their deals, too, simply because it came from someone I know and like. I may actually be even more motivated to try this station's deals because they come with a personal endorsement from my favorite radio personality. I'll still use Groupon, but I'll also bookmark the station's deals (assuming they are services/products as good as Groupon's deals.) Because I feel a loyalty to my favorite personality, I'll wedge in another half-off deal site that otherwise I'd never have noticed.
The point is that in the future, sales will have to justify to a client why they should use their local radio station instead of Pandora (or other Internet sites.) Having these loyalty building elements (personalities, compelling promotions, one-on-one Facebook connection) might be the difference that makes the sale. Loyalty is a powerful thing and if we have it ... we have a valuable weapon that can mean results for clients, and that our non-terrestrial competition can't touch.