Your Database is Even More Important Than You Think

420 years ago, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with using the phrase “knowledge is power.” Given the comparatively small size of Nielsen’s samples and the limited universe of people who are likely to carry a meter or return a diary, it’s critical to know as much as possible about not only those in the Nielsen sample today, but also those are most likely to participate.

35 years ago, Kevin Bacon said (in the movie Diner), “Do you ever get the feeling that there’s something going on that we don’t know about?” Given the higher radio usage and greater interest in stations among likely ratings respondents, your database already favors those who are now or may in the future end up in the ratings pool.

Whether it’s the usage-based ratings of PPM or the recall-based system of diaries, NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study IX shows that about half of those likely to participate in the ratings have signed up for some type of direct, on-going digital contact with a local radio station.

In other words, those in your database have an outsized chance of being GOLD for your station – if not now, then possibly at some point. If you’re not using your database, what’s stopping you? It takes a plan of regular communication and some person-hours to maintain the database. Text or email? Why not both? They’re good for different things. Which Social Media platform? Why not all the major platforms? They, too, are good for different things.

Every day, managers struggle with getting the things done that are (or at least seem) urgent versus finding time to work on the things that are important. Building, maintaining and communicating with your database is important. Find the time or find someone who has time to help you get it done.

Always be recruiting new members into your database. Offering a big prize will get more furious registration than an information-based offer, but every additional record in your database is valuable. As with service elements, the best time to promote database registration is right after you’ve announced how those who are in your database got word of a contest or concert a little early (or some other small advantage).

Don’t make it too complicated to sign up. Each additional piece of required information risks scaring away a potential registration. Past NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Studies have shown that requiring home address drops potential registration by about half. Zip Code is less scary for new registrants, but allows you powerful insights.

Be sure there are benefits for signing up. Too many stations ask listeners to sign up for their text messages or follow them on Social Media with no mention of a benefit. “What’s in it for me?” To be welcome, communications should be worthwhile for the recipient and occur often enough to be expected – while staying short of becoming annoying.

It takes time and on-going effort, but these tactical communications stand an outsized chance of connecting you with listeners who may lift your AQH in the future.