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Qualitative for Programmers

Qualitative for Programmers

Qualitative research is a valuable source of information for programmers. It can help you develop more listener-friendly content.

Talking into the microphone can be a lonely experience. You know people are out there listening, but who are they? What do they like to do? Where do they hang out? According to radio consultant Ed Shane:

“Choosing an individual creates a focus of attention that helps a skilled on-air performer utilize radio’s power as a one-to-one medium. The idea of using this type of attention focus is to create a metaphor for the entire audience. Since there are no pictures, no illustrations, no printed words, radio relies upon the private link between what is broadcast and the listener’s imagination and interpretation. We ask announcers to visualise their typical listener as if that person were sitting right there in the control room. When the image is clear, we tell them, talk to that person in a natural, conversational way.” (Managing Radio, Sound Concepts, Section 2.1)

Qualitative data allows you to pinpoint listener types by daypart. For instance, how does your morning audience differ from that of other dayparts? Zeroing in on a particular daypart audience’s characteristics is a great way to develop content that will focus on what the listener wants. For example, if your audience over-indexes the market for watching HBO, you should be sure to talk about Game of Thrones on Monday.

Here are just a few questions you can answer to understand your typical listener better:

  • Do they have children?
  • What is their political party affiliation?
  • What is their education level?
  • What type of job do they have?
  • What is their household income?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What charitable organizations do they donate to?
  • Do they have pets?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What do they watch?
  • Are they movie goers?

By focusing on your listeners’ lifestyle preferences you can have a positive effect on their occasions and durations of listening.

Information about your listeners’ characteristics and interests can also help guide your promotions. Choose the restaurant that your listeners frequent the most. Are they into movies? Gardening? Bowling?

Qualitative data also includes where your listeners are – where they live, work, and what roads they travel. You can use this information to decide where to do appearances.

And then there’s your personality beyond your on-air product. Qualitative research will tell you what forms of social media your listeners use most so you’ll know how to reach them when the radio’s off. And it can guide you to share the right content. If a lot of your listeners have pets, bring on the cute cat GIFs!

If you need help mining qualitative data to your best advantage, fill in the form below and we’ll talk.

Good luck!

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