Strengthen and Defend the AM/FM Mothership

March 20, 2018

Just like your listeners, not all mobile users are created equal.

Mobile expectations are rapidly accelerating, while consumer loyalty and attention waiver. Reports indicate 80% of App users churn every 90 days.


It’s a daunting task to keep filling the funnel at a rate that outpaces attrition, especially when so many users don’t matter to your bottom line.

In a world of fake social media accounts and bot traffic, who are the users that actually matter to achieving your business objectives? How do you most efficiently replenish App downloads with the heavy users who will deliver the highest lifetime value?

90-95% of station revenue comes from on-air revenue. As a result, stations are increasingly using their digital assets to strengthen and defend the AM/FM mothership.

If a user downloads your App, but doesn’t have a job, it will be very difficult for them to consume enough audio to matter to your brand.

According to Matt Lawson, Director of Marketing at Google, don’t base your analytics strategy just on the existing measurement tools that you already have access to. Instead, start with your key outcomes and determine the best way to measure those goals.

Employment is the #1 driver of heavy radio listening. How is this metric being measured among users who are downloading your App and interacting with your online platforms? From a ratings standpoint, Nielsen is measuring employed listening. On the digital side, the measurement tools are the easy part. The bigger challenge is to identify the overall strategy that serves the mothership.

App That’s More Popular than Uber or AirBnB

Hilton Hotels and Resorts has a long history of innovation from offering the first television in rooms to being the first on-site airport hotel.

According to Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s Chief Marketing Officer, “Having a history of being good at firsts doesn’t keep you there.” The goal is to be “constantly raising the bar, not bumping into it.”

Hilton wants their best customers to have frictionless travel moments. Since we live on our mobile devices, why should the experience at their hotels be any different?

From advance online check-in, where you can select the location of your room to using your phone to unlocking the door without first stopping at the front desk to pickup your key, the app has you covered. Not to mention the lowest rates available anywhere online.

Providing a frictionless travel experience was brought to life with the Stop Clicking Around marketing campaign.


The results include 90+% retention rate for their App (when the average retention is 20%). In addition, the App’s rating went from 1.5 stars to 4.7 stars.

In fact, it’s the No. 1-rated hospitality app in the Apple Store, ranking higher than any competitor, third-party booking site or anyone else in hospitality, including Uber.

The success is not just limited to their app. According to Christopher J. Nassetta, President & Chief Executive Officer of Hilton, during a recent earnings report, “We feel great about our set up for 2018 and our ability to continue delivering record-setting results.”

Infinite Choice is an Illusion

Despite more than 2 million Apps available for download, when it comes to actual usage, infinite choice is an illusion. 90% of sessions involve using three or fewer apps with Facebook, text messaging and Amazon being consistently ranked at the top.

In addition, heavy mobile users – the top 10% overall – tap and swipe their screens a remarkable 5,427 times per day and spend 3.75 hours on their screen.

Despite this significant amount of daily consumption, the average mobile session lasts less than two minutes.

How Does Your Brand Stand Out?

In a hectic, fast paced world, people seek out familiarity and brands they know and trust. Fortunately, not all listeners are created equal so you can be selective about who you recruit and engage.

Although infinite choice remains an illusion, the power of heavy users is real. The top 10% of mobile phone users consume 50% more screen time than average users. In a similar way, your heavy P1s dominate your listening with 2-3% of your cume generating 50% of your total quarter hours.

As a result, there’s a great opportunity to recruit and engage the employed, heavy users who have the most listening to give and will generate the biggest impact on your ratings and revenue.

This mothership strategy encourages investment in new digital and mobile platforms, while recognizing that our core listeners continue to overwhelmingly seek us out on the radio, especially during their commute and at work.

Therefore, while we make our content conveniently accessible across platforms and on our App, the primary role of these digital initiatives is to compliment and enhance our core on-air business.

DMR/Interactive’s 360° Listener Engagement Strategy brings the mothership strategy to life by incorporating station digital initiatives within an overall marketing strategy that generates Top Of Mind Awareness and occasions with those employed, heavy listeners who matter most to your ratings and revenue.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thanks for working to drive radio forward.

Andrew Curran, President and COO


Easy Targets: Lessons from Airbnb and Uber

February 21, 2018

In our mobile world, if Airbnb and Uber are two of the winners, then hotels and taxi cabs are the easy-to-identify losers. However, nothing is quite so simple.

In fact, having just returned from Nashville following another vibrant CRS, they can’t build hotels fast enough. Same is true in many other places.

In fact, having just returned from Nashville following another vibrant CRS, down there and in many other markets, they can’t build hotels fast enough.

According to a recent article in The Atlantic, it’s not hotels that have suffered the most, but rather a different group that previously flew under the radar. Renters.

As you know from experience, business travelers prefer to stay in hotels. During the great recession, business travel slumped and hotel construction was hard to get financed. In the mean time, usage of “private accommodations” (Airbnb) surged. According to MoffettNathanson, between 2010 and 2015, the share of American travelers using these accommodations quadrupled.

By expanding the number of available beds in high demand markets, hotel prices have been stable, while occupancy rates are high. Travelers, hotel operators and Airbnb hosts all win.

The downside comes into sight, when you’re looking for an apartment or condo in a high demand neighborhood. Property owners no longer need to sell or turn in the lease, which reduces turnover and inventory.

More demand with lower supply equals higher prices.

Looking at Uber, it’s easy to think of taxis as being the easy target. However, a recent New York Times article reports that there’s another victim: public transit.

Based on a recent U.C. Davis study, between 49% and 61% of all ride hailing users would not have made the trip or would have walked, biked or used mass transit if a ride-hailing app was not available.

Uber is actually contributing to traffic problems with more cars on the road and reducing ridership on public transit. Certainly not what comes to mind, when I see taxi drivers queued up at the airport and everyone is using their phone to find their Uber/Lyft driver.

Where Radio Fits In

Pandora has long championed itself as the heir apparent to AM/FM radio.  However, as CDs get set to go away this summer at Best Buy and CD players have been removed from new cars including Honda Civics, it appears that physical music collections are the real endangered species.

Meanwhile, AM/FM Radio has a listening advantage of 720,000,000,000 minutes per month over pure-play streams according to Nielsen Audio’s Comparative Metrics Report.

That’s billions with a “B” and it’s driven by employed listeners who earn a paycheck and have money to spend with our advertisers.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thanks for working to drive radio forward.

Andrew Curran, President and COO


The Facebook Manifesto: What It Means to Station Content

January 22, 2018

Have you seen the Post from Mark Zuckerberg? In recent years, stations have finally begun to establish their social media strategy and along comes this torpedo.

Image courtesy: DigiDay.com

According to Zuckerberg, “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent … public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Without calling your baby ugly, he’s calling your baby ugly. After all, organic content by stations on Facebook has never been about creating community and fostering conversations among listeners.

Instead stations blast out content simply to fulfill internal posting mandates, stations sell their organic posts to advertisers, and random videos are posted in a hopeless attempt to go viral. Exceptions are few and far between as we were discussing back in 2012.

Mark continues, “Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other.”

He continues, “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.

Facebook redefining the rules is hardly new, after all it’s Mark’s world and we’re all just along for the ride when it comes to social media. That’s why we believe your digital and social strategy should be centered on an enduring principle such as the role employment plays in heavy listening rather than chasing likes, posting just to be prolific or trying to go viral.

In addition, if you’re waiting to be thanked for all the free on-air promotion and publicity that AM/FM Radio has provided Facebook over the years, easily valued in hundreds of millions of dollars, don’t hold your breath.

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

At DMR/Interactive we are excited about these changes. There’s a great opportunity for stations to adjust priorities away from creating underperforming Facebook posts and instead repurpose staff time and efforts to drive on-air ratings and revenue.

1. For most stations, Facebook owns the relationship and access to the listener. Stockpiling Facebook likes was the priority early on instead of collecting listener data and getting to know these employed listeners by name, especially the in-demo Super-Fans in your Hot ZIPs. In fact, we’ve used ads on Facebook to capture opt-in contact permission on millions of employed, heavy listeners, so our clients can stay in touch with them, even when Facebook rewrites the rules. Just remember your ABC’s. Always Be Collecting Data.

2. If it wasn’t a relevant organic post, simply spending money to boost it won’t help. There will be a temptation by stations to simply put a little money behind your organic posts in an effort to delay the inevitable and avoid revamping your current strategy. Of all the constraints station employees face, having too much to do and not enough time to do it, is close to the top of the list. Don’t miss a great opportunity to free-up their time.

What to do instead?

3. Surprise and Delight your in-demo contest winners in your Hot ZIPs. Stations roll out the red carpet for advertisers, but are mostly indifferent when a winner comes in to pick up a prize. A handwritten note, a quick tour of the station and an invitation to take a picture in the studio (using their phone) are all things these most valuable listeners will remember and share, especially on Facebook of all places! PromoSuite Next makes it easy for your station to implement this strategy.

Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla of social media and your last organic post has not yet been written. However your organic strategy needs to keep pace with the times.

As Mark mentions in his post, it will take several months to fully roll these changes out, so let’s talk about how to best leverage Facebook in your next marketing campaign and how to further optimize your organic strategy.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thanks for working to drive radio forward.

Andrew Curran, President and COO