Surfing The Social Media Wave, Demo By Demo
March 11, 2013
As the proverbial curse says, with a wink, may we live in interesting times.Â Â This generation of radio managers is so blessed.Â Â We have to operate today with far more agility and dexterity than any generation before.Â Â The key to success and growth in the 2010’s is essentially to adapt to the times.Â Â The winners are those who understand, adjust to, work through, and actually take advantage of, this era of rapid tectonic shifting in consumer media.Â Â As programmers, we certainly get this.Â Â As sales managers, we certainly get this.Â Â As general managers, we certainly get this.Â Â
So, if our Sales and Programming success is all about taking advantage of these shifting-media times, certainly that needs to apply to our success in Marketing as well.Â Â
Sometimes, when it comes time for us to think like advertisers, unfortunately, we don’t always get this so much.Â Â When allocating their own precious and shrinking advertising/promotion budgets, far too many radio stations adhere to the same media strategy we used a decade ago.Â Â Yet, as NuVoodoo’s national studies continue to show, that old orthodoxy simply doesn’t match up with our target listeners anymore.Â Â Worse, stations that think like that are missing a unique and lucrative opportunity to take advantage of, and profit from, this era of shifting consumer-media habits.Â Â Accordingly, they could be limiting their success.Â Â
The good news about living in interesting, or tumultuous, times is that whenever the equilibrium is disturbed, there are going to interesting moments.Â Moments of imbalance before everything settles into a new equilibrium.Â Â And interesting moments present interesting opportunities.Â Â
We are living right now through one such moment.Â Â Seize this moment.Â Â And win.
Social Media today is incredibly powerful.Â Far more powerful than your competition probably thinks it is.Â Â Now eventually, probably sooner rather than later, everyone will catch on.Â Â And then the window of competitive advantage will close.Â Â
NuVoodoo’s just-completed national study of Radio listeners 18-54 gives us some hard data about the new consumer-media landscape.Â Â Data that we can use to navigate this unmapped terrain.Â Â The social media data we are uncovering, and the implications for radio’s advertising tactics, will all make complete sense when you think about it.Â Â It will all look ridiculously obvious in retrospect.Â Â Every radio station that seized this moment in 2013, and every radio station that did not, will look back on this moment years from now with a facepalm “duh.”
Last week, we showed data about Social Media and how important it has become in the listener’s daily life.Â Â Additionally, we showed that longer radio TSL correlates with greater attachment to Social.Â Â We learned that Social is particularly effective at reaching the only pool of listeners who determine our success or failure.Â Â These are the people who are willing to become radio research subjects in return for payment.Â Â This week, let’s zoom in for a close-up.Â Â Let’s look at the importance of Social Media in The Daily Life of Your Target Listener.Â Â One demo cell at a time.
Women:Â Social Now Important To ALL Ages, Extreme Attachment 18-24
Two important take-aways about women:Â One, that Social is now very well-penetrated, and significantly important in daily lives, even through the 45-54’s.Â Â And two, that there is a steady increase in attachment as the cells go younger, with passion exceptionally high among the 18-24’s.Â Â There is every reason to believe that the 25+ passion and overall attachment will grow considerably more.Â This is a common cultural pattern, where a phenomenon starts young.Â Â Less common where a phenomenon that started young has now permeated an entire population, with steadily growing attachment.Â Â It’s less common still when that is happening even while passion is still running this high young.Â Â Bet big money on the older women looking more and more like the younger ones, in the not-distant future.
Compare:Â Her Music Station:Â Consistent Importance, Regardless of Age
As this chart shows, there is no significant age skew when we ask women the importance of their favorite music radio station.Â Â All cells look reasonably healthy, with half or more scoring their station a “4” or higher on our 1-6 scale.
Or, Compare To Morning Show:Â Less Important, Consistent Older Skew
Now, by contrast, there is a consistent age skew to morning show importance among women, in the opposite direction from Social Media importance.Â Â And also far lower.Â In fact, even where morning show peaks, among the 45-54’s, Social Media already approximates or surpasses morning show in importance.
And Now the Men:Â Social Media Skews Dramatically Young; Weak On Old End
As with the women, Social Media’s daily importance has a clear age skew among men, just not the extreme passion at the young end that the women have.Â Â As with all the cells of Women, Men 18-44 are well-attached.Â Â What is different is that apathy toward Social Media, once common across all 25+, still runs high among the Men 45-54.Â Â The last dinosaurs.
A Man’s Music Station: Only Slightly Less Important Than A Woman’s
There’s a similar pattern here on music station importance to what we saw among Women.Â Â Established and not weak on the young end, and somewhat stronger as demos get older.
Morning Show Increases With Age, Much Stronger With Men 25+
Men are far more into morning shows than women.Â Â The appeal skews older, as it does among women.Â Â But is significantly weak only among the 18-24’s.Â Â For 35-44’s, it is about equal to Social Media.Â Â For 45-54’s, it is far ahead.
What this means to you
Social Media hasn’t merely “arrived.”Â It rivals, and in several demos, eclipses Radio, in its importance to the consumer’s daily life.Â Â As if that weren’t enough, it is even more important to the only people who matter.Â Â The People who Might Meter.Â
In 2013, one of the smartest decisions you can make is to commit to Social Media Marketing in a huge way.Â Â Â
Particularly for reaching Women 18-44 and Men 18-24, it would be just nuts to ignore that the Social Sphere is fast becoming their personal-media nerve center.Â Especially if you are targeting these groups, a solid, Social Media campaign, at the very center of your advertising strategy, is simply an imperative.Â Â
And the moment is NOW.Â Â Strike hard where your audience lives, and establish yourself strongly with great Social campaigns that stand out, before everybody else catches up.Â Â
Talk to expert marketing partners.Â Â Talk to your consultants.Â Â Don’t try to do this yourself.Â Â The new tool of Social Media Marketing absolutely works, but only if you use it correctly.Â Â Make sure you are working with someone who knows the ropes and what works and doesn’t work.Â Â Put together a results-oriented, thorough, ongoing, strategically-placed and scheduled, campaign.Â Â A campaign that goes much deeper and longer than just dipping your toes in the water.Â Â A campaign that gets you into completely immersed in social media.Â Because that’s where you will find your target listener.Â Â And probably not your competition.
Meanwhile, if you are targeting Men 25-44 and/or Women 45-54, by no means should you ignore social media in support of everything else you do.Â Â Those demos (okay, maybe not the Men 45+) are already increasing in attachment to the Social Sphere.Â Â Their attachment to it, and thus its value to you as an advertising medium, is only going to grow.