What’s In Your Wallet? A Relationship Strategy

In the midst of great performances and story telling during the iHeartRadio Music Awards last night, a MasterCard commercial also got my attention. Fittingly, it features Justin Timberlake and builds on the consistent branding they have established over the years with their Priceless campaign.

mastercardEarlier this year, MasterCard rolled out their Priceless Surprises marketing strategy that involves Surprise and Delight Moments for card holders.

Personally, when I think about credit cards, I jump to my relationship with the bank issuing the card, more than Visa or MasterCard. In a similar way, people have a favorite band or song, with the delivery platform often taking a backseat. With new audio platforms continuing to be introduced, there’s a huge opportunity for radio.

According to Raju Rajamannar, chief marketing officer at MasterCard, “It’s not just about celebrating the priceless moments in people’s lives, we want to create and surprise people with priceless experiences.”

With each new audio platform, it seems that none are trying to replicate one of radio’s biggest advantages: the relationship between the air talent and the audience. As a result, radio continues to have a huge competitive advantage in this area and when done well, stations can create case study after case study in relationship marketing.

While MasterCard is highlighting huge surprises, like Justin Timberlake coming to your door, most of the awards are much smaller, including song downloads and cupcakes. In our own work, we’ve helped stations generate tremendous engagement and buzz by reallocating existing resources. Things like movie passes, a Valentine’s Day card signed by the morning show or an invitation to take a full access tour of the station.

The key is knowing who your most valuable listeners are by name and treating them accordingly.

Appreciation Without Redemption

Have you ever found yourself unable to attend an event, but glad that you were at least invited? That’s what often happens with Surprise and Delight moments. Just because your station is holding a tailgate party before a sold-out concert, doesn’t mean that all of your best listeners are planning to come to the show. However, just by sending the invite, you strengthen the relationship.

Here’s a great example from Caitlin Whitehurst’s recent column, Shock and Awesome: Why surprise rewards work:

“In January 2010, Expedia surprised a control group of its Elite Plus members with a $100 coupon. Only 10 percent of those receiving the coupon used it, but the entire group increased its transaction with Expedia by nearly 10 percent.”

Members of the “Elite Plus” program had just a 10 percent redemption rate, yet business from the entire group still increased significantly.

Small groups matter, especially to your ratings. How does your station engage those who matter most?

DMR/Interactive designs custom strategies to identify and engage your biggest fans and amplifiers, who comprise your P1 Panelists and Diary Keepers. For more information on how you can jump start your fall ratings this summer, please contact Andrew Curran, President and COO at DMR/Interactive.

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