Radio’s intimate nature — one (hopefully) live person, speaking directly to one listener — has always been one of the medium’s unique calling cards. Radio’s lack of a visual element enhances “theater of the mind” imaging, adding to its power. But traditional business to consumer marketing for radio has for the most part involved mass communications, the value of which we question more than ever. So wouldn’t it make sense, if it were possible, that a one-to-one marketing strategy might be the most effective for a one-to-one medium like radio?
Rick Kash suggests in an article entitled The ‘Re-evolution’ of Demand that new media, particularly social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, might be shifting “traditional business-to-consumer marketing relationship(s)… toward a new, consumer-to-consumer marketplace. “
Kash proposes that there is more to it than the already-recognized power of the personal recommendation as a driving force in marketing. He says that identifiable though unaffiliated “passion-pockets,” or groups of consumers “unified by their strong energy behind a given product, cause or entity,” are consumers that wield great marketing force with their collective power to recommend or criticize via social networks.
Kash cites “mommy bloggers” as an example of a passion-pocket who, according to Nielsen studies, are more likely than the average woman to blog their opinions on products and services. Kash’s contention is that such a passion-pocket, unabashed about expressing itself, can actually create demand from its own one-to-one marketing via social networks and blogs.
While that kind of marketing effort might seem to be as difficult to direct as it would be to drive your car with your knees, consider how you might tap a “passion-pocket” for your radio station. What are the interests, causes, activities of your key demos? What types of promotions, services, and events can you create to serve them? Identify the areas where you can increase your station’s mindshare with your listener and engage them there with your social media.
Do that successfully and you will see them roll out your marketing plan to their friends, one-to-one.
*Fletcher Keyes is a long-time morning show personality, radio programmer and new contributor to dmr’s The End Result.