Time To Move Out of the Seventies

Jaye Albright, who is one of the smartest and yet most practical people in radio, makes some great points about radio stations doing phone contesting in her blog post titled “Caller #9.”

YOUR CONTESTS SUCK

Jaye is dead-on about how creatively bankrupt we are when we take the nth caller to win a contest.  She’s right.  If you haven’t read her piece yet, click this link and read it before reading the rest of this column.

When radio stations do contesting, we’re trying to achieve different things:

  • We might be trying to get people to listen more often, and stretch our time spent listening.
  • We might be working to enforce a certain image with a prize we give away (concert ticket to a particular artist’s show to reinforce our music image, or a particular lifestyle-type prize to make a statement to our target audience).
  • We might be trying to get a leg up on a competitor by giving away more stuff or better stuff than they do.

Whatever the reason, Jaye makes some great points about entertaining your fans, or at least making the experience of contesting as painless as possible.

HERE’S ANOTHER REASON TO AVOID SUCKING

I’d also like to get you to think selfishly about it.  Think about the old 80/20 rule.  No matter what those numbers are exactly, it means that a small number of our fans is responsible for delivering the lions’ share of our listening.  For whatever reason, a lot of folks who listen to our stations every now and then don’t listen very often.   However, a small number are ravenous fans.

So even aside of Jaye’s good reasons to entertain your listeners, I’d suggest you be really selfish and work to get as much listening as you can from those people who are predisposed to give it to you!  You can rationalize that doing an enticing contest might turn someone who doesn’t listen much into a fan; I’d suggest that anything’s possible, but it’s a bad risk when it’s the core of your fan base that you want to focus on getting more listening from.

So, if you’re going to be good and selfish, what’s going to make a difference for you?  You want to get your biggest fans to listen even more than they do already, and you want them to go to your website.  Regularly.

People who love your brand … listening more repeatedly … logging on to your website more repeatedly.  That’s what’s going to make a difference in your success, right?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that your website visitors are looking for deep, focused information … extra content above and beyond what they heard you say on your broadcast.  Furthermore, your social media fans are big users of your brand looking for V.I.P. treatment … they want the extra access and advance knowledge and special deals that your “ordinary” listeners don’t get.

Seems to me that those facts selfishly tie perfectly to Jaye’s urging you to upgrade the creativity of your on-air contesting, huh?

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