"Any good new movies opening up this weekend?"
"Have you seen that new FJ from Toyota?"
"Are you getting Microsoft's new Vista operating system?"
"Wow - '24's' added some great new characters this season."
The sands are shifting in pop culture, and of course, radio is under pressure to figure it out and respond. Cardinal Rules like "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" are becoming obsolete as the consumer continually wants to experience something new and different.
But just because we're scanning for "what's new" doesn't mean we're leaving behind the tried-and-true, but more and more, consumers expect, and respect, venerable brands that try new and different things.
A recent study sponsored by the American Marketing Association, conducted among over 100 highly placed marketers, revealed that almost two-thirds felt their brands would benefit from marketing makeovers. And in fact, over half said their brands had been revitalized in the past two years, with 8 in 10 being redone in the last five years.
Segue to radio, and many stations haven't modernized their logos, production voices, and other familiar trappings in years. I have sat through many research studies where the first key recommendation is "stay the course" (often translated to "don't eff it up").
Yet, in a society that thrives on change and trying new things, radio often serves up the same warmed over offerings. Among young people, the appetite for change is even greater, and yet most contemporary music stations sound remarkably similar to the way they did a decade or more ago. Randy Wagner, CMO of Orbitz, advises, "If it's not broke, fix it anyway."
PPM will help foster a great sense of experimentation and change. Whether you fear and loathe the new ratings platform or decide to embrace it, a faster feedback loop, based on real behavior and real-time listening will stimulate broadcasters to throw more lines in the water, try new things, and experiment more.
Our business is in dire need of breaking things if we're going to break through yet again.