Most people in your town have never heard of your radio station.
That’s hard for us to grasp because we’re involved with our station every day, and almost everyone we bump into knows where we work. But our world is not their world.
I’ve written in previous Frost Advisories about social proof, the grown-up term for peer pressure. Jonah Berger’s remarkable new book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” discusses “The Power of Observability”; the easier something is to see, the more people talk about it.
Consider how the kind of car your neighbor drives is far more likely to affect your buying decision than does the toothpaste he uses. One is visible, the other is not.
It has always baffled me why Christian music stations seem content to be invisible. We have the greatest reason to reach people (see: The Great Commission), we have the most tribal format (our audience gathers without us even asking them to), and the format is about the things people care about most.
In all the years I’ve been involved with the format I have yet to see an actual plan to park the station van in front of the biggest churches on Sunday mornings. It’s the easiest possible marketing to the largest target rich environment for no more money than it would cost to drive to Dairy Queen to get a Dilly Bar.
Every station is involved in concerts but few give their listeners a way to show they are fans. Everyone has is a ticket, but tickets are not visible. But stickers, buttons and tee shirts are.
The “I Voted” sticker took a behavior that was private and made it public. Visible behavior that can influence someone else to do the same.
Those attending your concert could receive wristbands to make their station choice visible. Maybe it’s good for a free Dilly Bar! Non-commercial stations could take it a step farther by offering special wristbands for those who make a donation to support the station. It’s like advertising without an advertising budget. Every station fan is an advertisement waiting to happen.
The easier something is to see the more people will talk about it.
Berger says, “If something is built to show, it is built to grow.”