Maximising audience share with research

Date of publication: July 1, 1995

Author: David Rogerson

Abstract:

This paper looks at the results of several years of research delving into the elements that, in the eyes and ears of radio listeners, help make up their ideal 11 radio stations. The findings come as a result of a series of quantitative and qualitative studies designed to investigate the wants and needs of listeners and in turn, how radio stations can best go about meeting these wants and needs in an effort to build audience share. Special attention was paid to those programming elements which, when implemented as part of an overall strategic plan encompassing key marketing elements, assists stations in today's crowded radio environment to gain a competitive edge over others in the market. Specifically, the quantitative techniques involved using Quadrant’s Omnibus Studies combined with larger scale Listener Perceptual Studies, the latter of which using K-Means cluster analysis to assist in determining the appropriate segments of the market in which a particular client station should further focus their programming, marketing, and research thrust. Further quantitative techniques followed with the use of large scale Auditorium Music Studies, involving the testing of specific hook lines from music proposed to be played on the specific radio station. In each case a minimum sample of 120 respondents who fitted certain radio listening, target demographics and preferred music styles (as derived from the Listener Perceptual Studies) were recruited in order to ascertain those songs which were most popular and could therefore be played in higher rotation, versus those which were less popular and therefore should either be removed from the playlist consideration or played at lower levels of exposure on the station. Supplementing this major overview is ongoing research which is designed to update the information which has been gleaned over the past 4 years. This includes Quadrant's Compared to Five Years Ago, a quantitative study that examines radio listeners' responses to a series of programming and marketing questions with the objective to gauge how radio listening needs within demographics are/have changed over the past five years. This has assisted us, particularly in the areas of information provision, to tailor news services and community service announcements so that the information provided better suits the lifestyle needs of particular demographics, rather than trying to be a broad-based news and information supplier. In short, targeting news and information in a similar fashion to the way we go about targeting music styles to particular demographics.

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