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How Do Advertisers Perceive Your Station?

January 9, 2014

How does the advertising community perceive your station? Do they understand who your target audience really is? Even if advertisers’ perceptions aren’t true or fair, perception becomes reality and then becomes a potential objection that you need to address.

What this really boils down to is identifying strengths and weaknesses – both of your station and your competitor(s). Your station doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Unless you’re the top dog with no one nipping at your heels, it would be a mistake to only tout your station’s strengths without acknowledging that your competitor has strengths as well. You need to position your station appropriately in the context of your particular radio market.

What does your station do better than the competition? Maybe you deliver a smaller audience, but your smaller audience is a better fit for a particular advertiser because of your listeners’ activities, buying habits, etc.

One thing to consider before you begin this exercise: Are your own salespeople’s perceptions the reality? Meaning, do you actually deliver who you claim to target? Embrace the reality of your station’s audience instead of trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

So, here are some questions to ask yourself to help align your station’s reality with advertisers’ perceptions:

  • What are your station’s strengths? How do you convey this in your sales and marketing materials? What do you do that differentiates your station from the competition based on these strengths?
  • What are you station’s weaknesses? How can you turn these weaknesses around?
  • What are your competitor’s strengths? What’s the smartest way to concede these strengths to advertisers? (“That’s true, however …”)
  • What are your competitor’s weaknesses? How can your station benefit from these weaknesses?

The concept of perception versus reality also plays into the programming side of things when you take into consideration your audience’s perceptions. Every listener has a perception of your station; each time they tune in, they expect to hear something in line with that perception. Make sure you are delivering on that promise every time you open the mic. Use qualitative data to really zero in on who your target listener is and what their interests are.

Remember never to assume that others share your knowledge about your own station because assuming … well, you know.

-Anne Doyle, Production Manager