More and more gems continue to pour out of our second Technology Poll. This week's release of data from that study centers on the power and potential of email databases. Smart stations have been aggregating them for years. Now, we're really beginning to see these efforts pay off.
A couple of years ago, a client came to me with a proposal from a telemarketing firm. For a six figure fee, this company would call tens of thousands of local residents in his market in order to find as many of his station's P1s as possible. The premise was that once these big fans were located, the telemarketing firm would then send them gifts and incentives in order to cultivate their loyalty, and hopefully, encourage them to listen more often. My response to our client was that I already knew how to reach his most loyal listeners, and that I could do it for free. He gasped, and asked how this could be accomplished, and I responded that thousands of his P1s are already available to him at no cost in his database. The fact is that in just about every radio station email club, roughly three-fourths of the members are solid P1s. Stations with well-developed databases already have ready, daily access to their most loyal, passionate fans. It's just a matter of harnessing their power, and marketing to them.
As we've theorized, your database is also the "antidote" to satellite radio, iPods, Internet radio, and the other global competitors trying to fragment your audience. Why? Because it puts you in touch with local listeners - your biggest fans. They are the catalysts for growing ratings and sales. They trust you (if you don't screw that up), and they're even upbeat about receiving coupons and special sales information from your clients.
Now the trick is to invest in your database. Find out who's in there. Segment it by income, education, interest level, and spending habits. The more you can create customized lists of core listeners, the better you can please them and your clients at the same time. Now that Internet advertising spending is in vogue, stations with solid databases have the opportunity to truly cash in.
But the other side of this coin comes down to how you work it. Too often, stations relegate the creation of database emails to the end of the "To Do List." Instead, these communications with your valued P1 listeners deserve specialized time, attention, and creativity.
No one has what radio has. Even most TV networks have failed to grow their databases, believe it or not. Effort, investment, and thought can turn your email club into a source of loyalty and revenue. It just takes a little vision. Let us know how we can help.
We appreciate the 79 stations that took part in our second Technology Poll. It has obviously provided all of us with some incredibly valuable data. But like all great research, the true value is in how you apply it.