In the context of national contesting, he might have said, “the unexamined contest is not worth funding.”
The relentless competition for ratings and revenue requires that programmers step up their game each and every quarter, whether you’re executing national contests or competing against them.
When it comes to “text-to-win” national contests, despite overall contest entries holding steady quarter to quarter, it’s an insight that can cultivate a false sense of security.
More than 50% of players disappear from one contest to the next including the most valuable.
Your ability to engage and retain the Heavy Players who text-in weekly and the Super-Heavy Players who participate daily is critical to your overall ratings growth.
At its core, radio listening is built on daily habit formation, which makes daily cume such an important metric.
As a result, stations aren’t just driving tune-in, you’re in the habit formation and cultivation business.
When it comes to habitual listening, there are three essential ingredients.
Back in March, radio had a front row seat to witness what happens to listening when a primary trigger is removed – the daily commute.
According to research recently featured in Marketing Week, “Habits normally need a cue: that is a time, place or mood that triggers the behaviour.”
Between in-car and at-work consumption, there’s ample evidence that validates the importance of time and place as it relates to habitual consumption.
What’s not as well-known is the impact that can be generated by getting someone to think through their schedule and commit in advance to their listening behavior.
It’s been identified as implementation-intention and it has been shown to increase habit formation by 160%.
Even with the best-quarter hour by quarter-hour ratings analysis, it doesn’t mean your target listener won’t be away from the radio, sitting in a weekly staff meeting at the moment of truth.
That is why it’s so valuable to get your current and future listeners thinking about where radio in general and your station in particular fits into their day.
When you identify your anonymous contest players by name/address and invite them to declare their intent to listen, you are utilizing a proven strategy to leverage your marketing and accelerate habit formation by generating more listening occasions.
Every time a DJ says, “Caller 10 Wins” – the phone lines light up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $25 gift card to a chain restaurant or front row tickets to a sold out show. That’s the power of variable rewards and it increases habit formation by 63%.
It’s also why our Surprise & Delight touch points generate such a powerful response from listeners on social media.
If you’ve ever heard that it takes 21 days to create a habit, especially popular on self-improvement blogs and in fitness circles, that would be incorrect.
Research indicates it takes 66 days on average (8-10 weeks) for people to form a new, lasting habit. It’s not about short bursts of activity, it’s about sustained repetition hence the phrase, “Lather, Rinse, Repeat.”
The ability to develop a repeatable process that creates habit formation paired with a relentless focus on building relationships with those High Impact Listeners who have the most listening to give is a powerful combination that allows our clients to create and maximize a competitive advantage with ratings and revenue.
As listening continues to recover and parents adjust to the start of a new school year, let’s examine the strategic role of habit formation in your on-air messaging, contesting and station marketing.
Cultivation of listening habits by those with the most listening to give is not a task to be completed, but rather a relentless pursuit.
– Andrew Curran, President and COO