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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Jennifer Williams

It was so great to see your 80/20 blog in my mailbox this morning.

I can remember when we first started the Workforce database over 13 years ago then moving to dedicate time to creating the Listener Advisory Board subset within the database.

We wrote personalized letters thanking the listeners for choosing WCSX and being a Workforce member and included special Workforce Pens and custom Listener Advisory Board Member lapel pins to wear with pride. Our team mail merged thousands of letters. We would bring stacks of the letters into the studios for the air talent to personally sign so the promo team could package and send out these gifts of thanks to the listeners.

Of course as technology advanced we were able to be more targeted with our messaging to the listener’s specific areas of interest. This 20% is the database that became the extension of our Promotion & Marketing team. We worked hard to include this wonderful listeners on the team. And without us asking, they were singing our song to family, friends and co-workers even when we weren't there to provide the music.

I've been honored to have a chance to meet hundreds of these listeners over the years and see firsthand the impact a high quality CX can have on listeners. These experiences remind me of a quote from Alan Loy McGinnis, "When someone comes along who genuinely thanks us, we will follow that person a very long way."

Thanks for reminding us all the importance of the Customer Experience.


Thank YOU, Jen. Much of how I've cobbled together my personal philosophy on 80/20 is by watching some of your great moves at CSX. The Classic Rock audience in Detroit are poster kids for how to work the "Core 20." Thanks for taking the time to comment & add to the conversation.

Tripp Eldredge

Great summary Fred. Can't be said enough. If one truly studies the analytics of sustained success, the first place you'll put your resources is on the core. Loved the infographic too.

Jennifer, what a great example of living that philosphy. You can see the secret behind your success.

By the way, Fred did a great write up of the session that we were happy to repost



Tripp, thanks for reinforcing core focus. It is a given in most businesses and industries, but still a topic of debate in the world of radio. Your DMR perspective brings credibility to that point. Thanks for taking the time to participate.

Mike Anthony

Fred -

Strategic planning meetings forever have been creating strategies to focus on the 20% heavy users and in most cases it was to own at-work listening and win the ratings game. I have directed more than my fair share of them. But there is a new 20% that needs broadcaster's attention. Actives!

In the Internet world the key is "the active user"...the ones who react to your product or service offer and spend. The big Internet sites have huge user bases but they are most concerned with the very active users inside that database. They spend their time and resources studying their behavior and actions. They assign values to these customers. It's different than core vs. cume. In this case a much higher value and attention is placed on actives than passives. The more they learn about actives, the more they can focus on content that causes commerce.

In the Internet business world the question is - what is relevant that can I share with the target user right now that is local, timely and actionable? For broadcasters the challenge is to find out who these active listeners are and obsess over them. Local, timely and actionable...not a bad guide for evaluating all content on the radio.

So broadcasters should consider that there might be a new 20% to serve. What % of your listener base is active? What are you doing for them personally right now?


Great call, Mike. Our Techsurvey7 addressed this "New 20" as you call it - those who want relationships with stations, are active in social media, and love to share. You are correct that these consumers can tip the scale in the right direction. Thanks for taking the time to offer a great viewpoint.

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These experiences remind me of a quote from Alan Loy McGinnis, "When someone comes along who genuinely thanks us, we will follow that person a very long way... Thanks for taking the time to participate.

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