It is truly hard to believe that in just another week, we launch our 7th annual media and technology survey. Here in 2011, Techsurvey 7 continues a tradition that was started in 2005. Last year, 78 stations took part, generating more than 28,000 responses from Classic Rock, Mainstream-Active, Alternative, and Triple A stations.
Looking back on it now, I believe our company has been at the forefront of web-based research in radio, going all the way back to our first survey that was launched just after 9/11. That study helped inform our clients about the mood of their audience following the worst domestic attack on the U.S. since Pearl Harbor. That project told us that radio station databases were about much more than email blasts heralding this week’s client promotion.
When we started this journey, there was no Facebook, iPhone, or tablets. YouTube didn’t exist, nor did Twitter. It was a simpler world where satellite radio and the iPod were the big headlines.
Today, our challenge is how to incorporate all the new media and gadgets into a questionnaire that’s gotten longer while attention spans have grown shorter. But the need for this research in radio has never been more important.
As someone who sits around the conference table at more than a dozen “perceptual studies” funded by radio over the course of a year, the question paths are almost always focused on the station’s product, nearby competitors, music, and DJs. Rarely, if ever, is there time to go beyond radio, and into media, gadgets, and behavior.
Thus, Techsurvey 7. If you’re reading this blog and you’re connected with a Rock-formatted station, contact us. There’s still time to include your audience in our sample this year, and a chance for you to gain a better understanding of your opportunities, challenges, and threats.
Local radio now competes against the biggest and best companies in the world, with resources that dwarf those of most broadcasters. But there are advantages to being on the ground, with market knowledge, a local presence, great distribution, and strong brands.
In order to compete in this environment, you need to ask the right questions. Not “What’s the best testing song for our audience?” or “What prize would they like to win?”
Instead, we need to challenge ourselves to seek out new opportunities, deliver on our strengths, and help reinvent a business that sorely needs to refocus its efforts on meeting consumer needs, rather than those of Wall Street’s.