Understanding Listeners One Mobile Phone At A Time

by , Dec 16, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Ratings can tell you who listens to/watches your station, when, and for how long.

Where ratings fall short is in telling us why people tune in. Web site data pieces together part of this puzzle by telling us what people are clicking on, viewing or listening to.

But you can go a step further. With texting, you can simply, easily and quickly ask your listeners what they enjoy most about your station and then give them the information they desire. It's a way that stations can be both broadcast and narrowcast entities.

First Contact

Chances are your station is already utilizing some level of text message interaction with listeners. This could be a text-to-win promotion, text requests or comments for the morning show's Question of the Day.

Whichever of these a listener responds to will give you a great starting piece of information. They took time out of their busy day to interact with your station. Whatever got them to take that action, it's safe to say, interests them.

With this knowledge, you can begin to build a mobile relationship. Send a response message asking them if they want to receive additional information about whatever they texted about in the first place.

Segmenting The Message

In order to provide this level of specificity, you need to customize the messages you send. Don't be afraid to have too many specific mobile content streams. In fact, the more you have the better.

Mobile is a relevancy-driven medium. Text messages that are deemed irrelevant are quickly deleted and unsubscribed from. The more options you offer, the more the listener can choose what is most relevant to them.

More content streams also means more chances for non-traditional revenue. Maybe a local survey company sponsors the Question of the Day, or a local Ford dealership sponsors traffic reports. It connects advertisers with an interested audience.

Building A Listener Profile

Once a listener has opted into a specific mobile content stream, you can re-message and see what other content they like. The more interactions you have, the more data you gather. The more data you gather, the better you can serve up relevant content and present a relevant audience to advertisers.

As with listening/viewing habits, many people will fall into P1, P2 or P3 levels of mobile interaction. Some will want it all, while some will stick to messages from a particular show or type of content.

For example, prize hogs will want to know about every giveaway opportunity. Use the enticements of concerts, money and swag to set appointment listening. Some may be exclusive fans of the morning show, but if they receive a text reminder that $1000 is given away at 4:00 p.m. this week, they now have reason to tune in.

Content fans, people who want to interact with certain shows or personalities or casual viewers who can nevertheless help increase Web site traffic are other groups that you can target.

End Result

A successful text message program should do three things: open new advertising channels, increase listenership and Web site traffic and provide insight for better and more responsive programming.

If an overwhelming number of listeners want to receive traffic updates, breaking news or new music alerts, these are items you can highlight more in broadcast or on the Web. If numbers are not there for video or audio content, then those aspects can be downplayed.

Using mobile supplements the power of broadcast. It gives you a tool for one-on-one interaction to gain a better understanding of your audience -- one mobile phone at a time.

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