At the time of this blog’s publishing, the January Nielsen monthly is six weeks away. As many are cautiously optimistic about next year, 2020 brings us a number of unknowns. But there is much that can be done to be in the best position for success.
Point-To-Point Marketing’s leadership team each provide 3 things you can be doing now to make sure you are primed for that success.
Tim Bronsil, President
#1 - Revisiting the brand’s relative advantages
Why should listeners choose you over others? Make a list of your non-preemptive attractions. How are you reinforcing these when the mic opens and in your recorded promos? Is there anything on the air which will cause proactive interference to delivering that message? When working with a client, relative advantage is the first question we pose and develop a strategy around.
#2 - What are the 2-3 things you want to be known for by the end of 2020?
Outside of your relative advantage, what attractions do you want to win in the landscape? Maybe it is a feature in the morning show, a recent music enhancement, or being the number one workday choice. Pull out a calendar and make a plan to build the steps to make these 2-3 things forefront by the end of the year. In addition to on-air, plan email communication, social posts, and station events to reinforce the attractions. Reflect every few months and take inventory on how you are doing. Constantly reflect and adjust.
#3 - Mapping your key zip codes
Look at short-term and long-term zip code trends. For PPM markets, have an understanding of where your meters have been over a six-month time period. But make sure you understand where the station and competitor meters are right now. In diary markets, constantly evaluate, but look on a longer-term basis to identify the neighborhoods and towns your jocks should be visiting and talking about. Need some mapping help? Let me know via email, I’m happy to produce a map you can blow up and put on a wall!
Susan Bacich, VP/Strategy & Audience Insights
#1 - Reflect on 2019
Look backward to go forward. What were your goals for 2019 and did you hit them? If they were met, in what ways can you sustain or continue to build upon them in the coming year? If you didn’t reach them, what factors derailed you? In what ways can you overcome those obstacles? Many times, your plans/goals may have changed due to external factors (e.g., competition, music cycle, weather, etc.). Sometimes, it’s just poor planning (have you ever noticed a recurring theme that seems to catch you off guard...every year?). Awareness of the past can help you be more nimble going forward.
#2 - Develop and map out your strategy...in pencil!
Being able to pivot quickly and embrace change are tenets that radio is known for over any other mass medium! With that, consider building a parallel marketing calendar (this past year and the upcoming year) that include events, contests, promotions, and budget (actuals and forecasted). This type of “reflection calendar” will help you see where you pivoted in 2019 and help you plan 2020 more accurately.
#3 - When it doubt, SWOT it out!
Some may think it’s the most mundane, boring business strategy still being used—but it’s still being used because it works! If you get stuck at any point during your planning process, do a SWOT analysis. Do it often and post the results everywhere you can. Your employees and decision makers need to see this—all the time. This helps prevent bad ideas that have nothing to do with your actual goals being thrust on your programming/marketing team. What are your current strengths and weaknesses? What are your current opportunities and threats? You probably already know these instinctively, but constantly seeing them is a powerful tool for your team. It also helps you shrug off bad ideas by being able to point to something that shows outsiders why you do what you do.
Tim Satterfield, VP/Digital
#1 - Review station databases for housekeeping
One of the strongest assets radio stations have are existing databases of listeners and users who have given permission to be frequently communicated with. These people are asking to be reminded about reasons to listen! However, those databases are constantly evolving as people change emails or phones, leave the market, unsubscribe, stop using the app, etc. Q1 is a great time to do a review and housekeeping of those users who are no longer valuable in order to purge from the lists. Regardless of the tool or system you use for the task, planning to get it done is the most important step.
#2 - Plan and develop seasonal and topical social profile branding
Most radio stations are good at consistently using a single primary logo on all of their social profiles. This foundational social branding increases recall and awareness, ensuring that all audiences they engage with on any platform realize they are seeing content from a station they know, love, and are interested in. But these profile images also create an opportunity to enhance users’ feelings that the station is in tune with their lifestyle by creating custom versions of the logo that reflect seasonal and/or topical markers. It can be as simple as changing the logo to green leading up to St. Patrick’s Day...or red, white, and blue for Independence Day. It could even be adding images into the primary logo design, such as a sword for the finale of GOT...or a baseball for the start of the new season. Think ahead and have fun with holidays, major national events, concerts, and festivals.
#3 - Build a bank of artist videos promoting station contesting
Most stations have artists record audio liners when they are in the building or in town for a concert that can be used to later promote the station, personalities, and programming. So why not do the same thing with video to be used on social media? One of the strongest messages a station can present on social media is the endorsement of artists they play, and video is the strongest format to deliver the message on social profiles. The videos don’t need to be long, they don’t need to be polished (although they could be), and the messages don’t need to be contest or promotion-specific (although they could be). Simply have your listeners’ favorite artists look at the lens and say, “Listen to this station for your chance to win!” or “Your first chance to win every weekday starts with the morning show!” or “You have 5 chances to win every day!” You get the idea. Get your staff in the routine of recording video liners like they do audio liners.
Rounding out the Top 10 Things you should do to ensure success in 2020 is email or call us at 513.231.0344 to learn how Point-To-Point Marketing can help you reach the right people with the right message to grow ratings and revenue.
Here’s to a strong finish to the year for your brands and continued success in 2020!
Tim Bronsil is the President of Point-To-Point Marketing