Do you love me? Prove it.
February 22, 2013
By John Frost
Goodratings Strategic Service
Funny thing about we humans. We like showing people who we are, who we belong to, and what we believe in. Take a stroll through any supermarket parking lot and notice the "tribal" symbols on the cars-where they went to school, what team they root for, where their kid is an honor student, or who they voted for. We are created to be relational and we're eager to share the things that define us.
If you've ever been in Orlando, Florida you've likely seen bumper stickers all over the place for Z88.3. The question is do you see tons of stickers because the Z has a cume rating near 25 (25% of the population listens in a given week), or do they have that remarkable cume rating because you see stickers everywhere? The answer, of course, is "yes".
Some will read this Frost Advisory and think I'm suggesting that you buy a bunch of bumper stickers for your station. They would be wrong. It's much bigger and MUCH more important than that.
My brilliant friend Greg Stielstra says to increase your station's audience you need to:
- start with the right people (those receptive to your message and connected to others)
- create a system for telling their friends, and....
- make everyone's choice visible.
The third point is not just a playful little nuance about viral marketing; it reflects the much deeper psychological ramifications of what really brainy people call "social proof".
To make his point Greg often shares this very clever episode of the old Candid Camera television show.
"Social proof is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. In other words, it's the mentality that, if other people are doing it, and I trust those people, that's validation that I should also be doing it. This third-party validation can be a very powerful motivator."
Apple enables Mac fans to easily display their allegiance by creating ear pods that are distinctively white. Starbucks does the same by the distinctive design of a simple paper cup and lid. Tune in almost any sporting event and you'll see fans wearing their Cardinal red, Dodger blue, Packer green or Texas burnt orange that says, "I belong!"
The tribe that listens to our format may be the most connected of any radio format other than sports. They'll gladly show the world if we would only make it easy for them.