In NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study Fifteen we asked about the most desirable elements to have in a radio station direct mail piece. We showed the details in the first installment of our spring webinar series that we finished up last week. If you missed it, a recording of 20 Things to Put Your Station on Top of the 2020 Ratings lives at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.
While the contest prize being offered and how to win it ranked at the top, asking for feedback and suggestions to make the station better stirred significant interest among those who matter most to us: the ones likely to participate in the ratings. Being able to make suggestions to a station is of little interest to the great bulk of our sample who’d never participate with Nielsen (the PPM and Diary “No’s”), but it’s tempting catnip for those likely to play the ratings game (the ratings likelies).
This finding supports what we’ve seen when we’ve conducted deeper dives into the motivations of likely diary keepers and meter wearers. We know that the top reasons for participating in the ratings always revolve around money and possible prizes. But, even among these money-motivated folks, some also want the chance to vote for a favorite station or have an impact on what they hear on the radio. Giving them the opportunity to weigh in on your programming is just good business.
We’ve always liked RateTheMusic as a way to let interested audience members have a say. We also advise completely ignoring the results of such “testing,” since you can’t control who gets into that panel (music label interns, interns at competing stations, etc.). Having a visible channel by which people believe they can influence your programming is a positive, however. You can credit that channel for changes you’re making in your rotations due to your actual music testing (using a carefully screened sample, of course).
We love stations that set up listener advisory boards and other mechanisms to solicit feedback. In addition to a prominent link to submit comments through station websites and apps, we think it’s just good business to have a way to capture opinions from any visitors to your website or app – a link saying, “How are we doing?” The questions within can be completely self-serving and biased: “How do you feel about the WXXX Commercial-Free Workday Kickoff every weekday at 8 AM?” The point isn’t to get accurate information. The point is to make the connection with the audience.
While folks setting up a sound system at a station appearance need to work to eliminate feedback, getting feedback from listeners is always a benefit.