If you’re a Seth Godin disciple, you know about the power of marketing to your best customers – not a wide, mass audience, but that niche audience who is more likely to find you interesting and remain a loyal customer. It’s about standing out as a remarkable purple cow that builds a tribe and avoids being a meatball sundae.
So can we apply that principle to that most traditional of traditional media – radio? Of course we can. Radio gets a bad rap these days. Some will tell you that people no longer listen to radio – they either use the latest iPod, subscribe to XM Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube or surprise, the Justin Timberlake-backed newly revamped MySpace. While it’s true that terrestrial radio faces the same disrupting technologies like everything else (although 90 percent of Utahns A18+ still listen during a given week), it’s also true that radio, truly successful radio, is nothing else than about building a loyal tribe of listeners.
So good media research will tap into this knowledge. And that’s why we don’t just look at a basic radio audience ranker against A25-54, pick the top five stations and call it a day. When it’s time to tap into a loyal, engaged listening audience, we look at how efficient a station can deliver that audience. While loading in local Utah qualitative Scarborough data and evaluating a station’s social media presence, we also look at something called audience composition. We used this term in a previous blog post about the magazine industry, but it applies also to radio. We ask, how much of a given radio station’s audience is in my tribe? Is my customer more likely to be a Radio From Hell follower or a Morning Zoo junkie? A Browser or a Hannitzied rabble-rouser? Combined with original online content and the austere science of a digital platform that can profile and find your tribe, correctly tapping into local radio’s inherent fan-base can efficiently draw new and returning customers to the purple-ness of your cow.