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The Quest for Ratings: Understanding Your Audience

February 7, 2013

In the radio industry, we are in a constant battle for ratings. Regardless of the situation, stations are looking for effective ways to draw new and existing listening. Many stations utilize contests as a self-promotion tool, but is this your best option?

According to a study directed by Mark Kassof & Co., the answer is likely to be “no.” The survey, conducted in early January, measured the consumer opinions of on-air contests and how it affects listening. As a result, only 12 percent of those surveyed stated that they would listen to a station that they didn’t enjoy, solely for an opportunity to win a contest. Additionally, 3 percent said that contests actually make stations less interesting1.

It may be time to step back and ask, “Is this working?”.  If you’ve asked yourself this question, you may want to consider the alternative. First, I’ll set the stage by presenting an important statistic.

The “Global Online Consumer Survey,” conducted by Nielsen, reports that the utmost effective marketing tactic is word-of-mouth, or personal recommendations, with a trust rate of 90 percent (the next highest tactic possesses a 70 percent trust rate)2. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “That’s nice, but how does this apply to ratings?”

Let’s recap:

  • The goal is to improve ratings.
  • Contests are not proving to be an effective means of doing so, in most cases.
  • Consumers are extremely likely to acknowledge the preferences of their personal connections.

Considering that the end-goal is to improve our ratings, wouldn’t it make sense to ‘get under the hood’ and understand your audience? If you can completely understand who your listeners are, you can utilize the station to increase listener satisfaction, ultimately drawing the highly effective word-of-mouth recommendations.

Instead of taking a shot in the dark, research your ace in the hole. Here, at Research Director, Inc., we guide you to fully understand your audience, putting your station ratings in the palm of your hand.

-Tyler Plahanski, Production Coordinator

Cite: 1) “Contests not the ratings winner some think..” Inside Radio. (2013)  2) “In Peer Reviews We Trust: Consumer Reviews vs. Other Ad Tactics.” Flowtown. (2012): Web. 30 Jan. 2013.