Are You Doing Everything You Can?
June 22, 2015
Imagine you’ve just enjoyed a pleasant meal at a new restaurant. On your way out, you’d expect the hostess to say something like, “Thanks for joining us tonight, we hope you enjoyed your meal.” If she instead said something like, “We’re glad you came in tonight, if there’s anything we can do to make your next visit more pleasant, please let us know,” you’d probably be impressed by that as well.
You probably wouldn’t be offended if she said, “If you’d like a chance to win dinner for four, enter online at thisrestaurant.com.” But, you’d be puzzled – and maybe have second thoughts about going back – if she said, “We’re the number one restaurant in [market name] for seafood and steaks!”
The market rank of the restaurant simply isn’t relevant to your purchase decision. If the meal and the service was good, you’ll likely come back to enjoy the restaurant again. While the market rank of a radio station may be very valuable to a potential advertiser, we submit it’s irrelevant to the listener. We know some radio stations that tout their number one ranking on the air as a piece of business-to-business communication – and recognizing that they’ll have to say other things to communicate with listeners, since market rank isn’t a benefit to a listener.
Radio is unique in that it’s generally NOT consumed by groups of people. Most of us are alone – or functionally alone – when we listen to the radio. It is the first one-to-one medium. So, a worthwhile exercise is to imagine that you’re sitting with your best friend; now imagine that you repeat to your friend all of the marketing lines your station uses. If you’re imagining that your friend is calling bullshit on anything you’ve said or laughing at you, you may need to revise your marketing copy.
Consultant Gabe Hobbs points out that radio is unique in being the one medium that people almost never experience from the start. We just turn it on when we do and, generally, turn it off when we get to our destination. As a result, everything that happens on the radio needs to be able to stand alone. That secondary marketing liner may make sense as a concept combined with the other things on the station, but what if it’s the last thing a listener hears – and thus the most recent thing she remembers about your station?
Back to the restaurant analogy, the most important thing that hostess or manager can do as you’re leaving the restaurant is to acknowledge your patronage; to thank you for having chosen their place of business; to make you feel special for having gone there instead of all the other places you could have gone. With continually-expanding options of what they might want to listen to, isn’t it critically-important to make listeners feel valued and special for the time they spend with radio stations? Are you doing everything you can do communicate your appreciation of your consumers?