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The Midweek Motivator – 2020 Radio Wellness Check

America 2020: an era in which surface has passed for substance. It’s easy for us to believe the wrong people, take the bait and run. Well denial is a destination. So is defeatism. 

A few weeks ago our column pointed out nobody planned on a global virus but then nor did America plan on the Hong Kong Flu in 1969 / 70. Regardless, that H3N2 virus killed roughly 110,000 Americans, over a million worldwide. Some of us were little more than kids, assuming you were even alive during that era. It passed. Life went on; from NFL Football and Major League Baseball to local school and family activities. Almost nothing shut down. 

Current moment: Radio has found itself at an odd angle; covering the crisis, abiding by our states’ mandates, working with skeleton crews and hoping to inspire our Ad clients to understand the importance of either staying foreground, or losing their position on the market’s “top-of-mind-ladder.” 

Talking points for your staff: 

  • In the last 24 hours, what percentage of your weekly cumulative listeners visited the station?
  • Contrary to belief, “too much repetition” really means “too much unfamiliar music.”
  • Within your P-1 listenership (heaviest time spent listening partisans) in the event you did a Perceptual study, you should be scoring at least 80% “plays the best songs” votes.
  • Far fewer people are using Apps than we want to believe. In a recent market perceptual study in which we were engaged, only 17% reported “using frequently!”
  • In your market-regardless of size-what time is really Morning Drive? Turns out it’s not uniform across the US. For example our New York colleagues know morning drive starts at 5:00 and in metered markets, PPM proves it. Working recently in San Diego, clearly Morning Drive begins slightly later there.
  • Of all the threats to Radio in 2020, far fewer exist than we’d think. Pandora? To some degree. Sirius-XM? Far less.
  • Is there one audience-mechanics formula that matters most? Clearly: Weekly Cume, to Daily Cume, to Daily “Occasions” to TSL.

 Many among us misunderstand “marketing” and how it equates to ratings success. Consider that Dell has more computers on all the desks in all the offices of the world…not a close second. Yet in recent years, Dell’s profit is tiny (around 5%) compared to Apple, often enjoying 25% profit while having more “book value” than the U.S. Government. 

Recently someone asked me, “So Tim, what is a brand?” the best definition I’ve heard came during a call with NuVoodoo’s Leigh Jacobs who offered, “A brand is a promise, based on an experience, locked in a relationship.”