“It wasn’t supposed to last this long.”
These are the words of working moms. As we rapidly approach the first anniversary of COVID-19, many of them still aren’t able to send their kids back to school five days per week, which impacts everything else.
One of the many tangible results, W25-54 PUMM levels remain down 30% Year Over Year.
After the world was told to mask up and stay home last March, radio rallied and the ratings rebounded, but audiences still haven’t fully recovered.
The decades-long investment promoting multi-platform consumption on smart devices remains a work in progress, while the resilience of listening in the car and on transistor radios at-work has been on full display.
It’s a reality we should stop actively undermining as an industry and instead use it to our benefit as it provides a competitive and economic advantage against streaming platforms.
In the words of my friend and radio mentor Pat Barry who passed away from COVID-19 this weekend, “We can increase our audience and revenue – without operating costs going up.”
In addition, we know how disruptive the holidays can be to listening habits. Now, we’re facing a widespread disruption lasting 365 days and counting.
Continuing to offer “a no repeat workday” as a way to win back listening and loyalty is not enough.
According to MIT’s Sloan Management Review, “humans are cognitive misers, meaning that we use mental shortcuts to guide our judgments and decisions … once a routine in a certain store or preference for particular brand is established, it becomes habitual and is difficult to change.”
What mental shortcuts and new habits have been formed over the last 12 months away from the radio?
For those working from home, the convenience is giving way to stress related to a lack of separation between home and work. #FakeCommute and Virtual Commutes are common topics online including solutions being baked into Microsoft Teams, all designed to help re-establish those boundaries.
Radio needs to be part of these conversations with Fake Commuters, reminding them of the fun and companionship their P1 station provides. In fact, it’s great content for station emails and allows listeners to share their own experiences.
In order for radio to fully recover and grow, stations need to have better relationships with their employed heavy listeners. This endeavor is not a box to be checked or a task to be completed, it’s an ongoing and relentless pursuit just like great programming and sales.
For decades, positioning statements such as “the most music every hour” or “the no repeat workday” have helped stations define their appeal based on how they are differentiated from competitors.
As the recovery continues and radio gets started on its next 100 years, the opportunity exists for stations to be differentiated for consumers.
Consumer differentiation is about understanding their needs and communicating your value proposition.
This involves communicating the function you serve, how your brand aligns with their lifestyle and values, while also delivering an unrivaled experience for their commute and workday that’s not found anywhere else.
This strategic approach is the cornerstone of our 360° Listener Engagement Strategy.
As the recovery accelerates, we’re committed to helping you outperform the market by super serving those who matter most to your ratings and revenue.