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Know More About Your Listeners

September 30, 2021

There was a time when radio stations spent a good number of resources to get to know their listeners. Whether it was auditorium tests, focus groups, or perceptual studies, they gathered important information about their likes and dislikes. More importantly, they learned how these folks felt about their station – and about the competition.

Over the past few years, these important information-gathering activities have become less common, especially in medium to small markets. At the same time, people’s audio options have exploded. The consumer has more choices, and we know less about them. This could be harmful to your station’s long-term success.

In the category of “everything old is new again,” smart broadcasters have a tool that can link the gap. For those Nielsen subscribers that are in diary markets, there is a new twist on the old diary review.

This valuable tool has become much easier for several reasons. First, the review can be done from the comfort of your desk, as it is 100% virtual – at least temporarily. No cost of traveling to Laurel or Columbia, and no days out of the office. Second, Nielsen’s software makes it easier to find out what you need to know, with excellent sorting capabilities.

Here are a few things that a diary review can teach you about your audience:

  • How do they refer to your station and to your competition? Are they writing down a slogan, frequency, call letters, or a specific show?
  • What do they think about your station and your competition? The comments page can be invaluable.
  • What else are they listening to? While not reported in the ratings, you can see and quantify how much of their audio listening is to non-radio products like SiriusXM, pureplays, and other internet offerings.

The growth and importance of this last category cannot be overstated. After my most recent review, I realized that satellite radio is something that broadcasters need to consider as a true competitor to the listeners’ ears. My client’s diary keepers recorded a great deal of listening to SiriusXM. That leads to more questions:

  • What can we do better to sway SiriusXM’s listeners back to my station?
  • Why did my listeners go there in the first place?
  • Which channels are they choosing over me?

To be clear, there is a fee for conducting a virtual diary review. However, the amount of intelligence you can gather about your station and your competition has tremendous value in building a more successful brand

If you’d like help from the Ratings Experts to maximize the value of your virtual diary review, please reach out to us here.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner