The folks at Arbitron tell me there are more radio stations in the
good ole’ USA categorized as “religious” than any other format.
They also tell me “religious” radio stations have fewer listeners
than any other format.
So, what’s going on here?
My brilliant friend Scott Valentine of Spirit 105.3 in Seattle
recently told me this story:
"Have you heard the story of the Hot Rod Race with Fords and
Lincoln's setting the pace?" That is how the song “Hot Rod Lincoln”
begins, written about a race on "Grapevine Hill." It was Charlie's
hit. I remember the concert; The house was packed, I mean really
packed! Charlie performed his hit to thundering applause!
Encouraged, he played another song, then several more because of
his encouraging fans. The promoter was sweating bullets as we were
not looking at Charlie's fans on the front row, we were watching
people leave out the EXITS in droves until a vast emptiness hung in
the air. The venue was empty except for Charlie and his small and
vocal audience. The people who applaud your talent the most and
loudest may really be a distraction from a much bigger, even
God-sized, opportunity. So, always look to the back of the room to
see how you're really doing!”
Almost every day decisions are being made based upon seemingly
innocent sentences that start with phrases like.....
“I know I’m not the target but.....”
“I know it’s not real research but.....”
“I know my wife/my husband/my chiropractor is not the target but
they don’t like it when we.....”
Don’t listen. Focus only on your station’s target audience, not
just the noisy ones in the front row (or inside the building). And
counter-intuitively, the more you focus on the right target—the
target rich environment--the larger your audience will be.
Seth Godin puts it this way, “It’s impossible to make art for
everyone. There are too many conflicting goals and there is far too
much noise. Art for everyone is mediocre, bland, and ineffective.
If you don’t pinpoint your audience, you end up making your art for
the the loudest, crankiest critics. And that’s a waste. Instead,
focus on the audience you choose, and listen to them, to the
exclusion of all others. Go ahead and make this sort of customers
happy, and the others can go pound sand.”
John is a partner in Goodratings
Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc
jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities,
Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year
broadcast career. John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in