According to a recent Forrester study:
“…emotional connection is the strongest driver of consumer loyalty towards brands” in every industry.
Go ahead, say it out loud, “…in EVERY industry.”
According to Psychology Today, “…customers primarily evaluate brands based on personal feelings and experiences (not information).”
And, “Emotional responses to ads have a greater influence on intent to buy by a factor of three to one” in the TV world.
Speaking about the effectiveness of advertising: “It’s not the content…its the emotion and its how we interact with our customers in the right contextual way at the right time in the most personalized experience...” ~ Tim Greulich of Deloitte.
Check out this ad for a used 1996 Honda Accord. It led to an auction on eBay. It’s a lesson in intrinsic value.
The winning bid was over $100,000.
I learned all of this by listening to an AdWeek webinar sometime last year.
But the point is, when are the people running radio stations going to get it?
It can’t possibly help us to sell ads that aren’t effective, yet stations do it every day.
It can’t possibly help Radio to spew chest-thumping liners about variety and quantity and exclusivity, yet I still hear them every day in every city in America and most cities abroad.
It can’t possibly help us to fire our most creative, compelling, and yes, many times most difficult and demanding (of fair wages if nothing else) air talent and replace them with some voice-tracked blather from someone who’s never even visited your town…
yet we’ve been doing exactly that for decades now.
Wait, you say. Look at Radio’s reach. This cost-cutting consolidation disease hasn’t made us sick. We’re healthy as ever.
To which I say, imagine how dominant Radio would be if those who owned the signals were not quite as greedy and shortsighted as they are.
In fact, we’ve inflicted our own injuries. We — Radio — created the demand for Spotify and Apple Music by so over-commercializing our product that even we can’t listen to it. Admit it. You don’t even listen to your own station!
Because you can’t. It’s boring. Un-listenable.
It’s filled with countless interruptions and terribly written and acted ads, and so few on-air employees say anything worth hearing that even you hit the button when they start talking. Admit it. You know I’m right.
Look, its fine if you have a big Morning Show that costs lots of money and actually provides real entertainment. But what about all of us who aren’t commuting between 6 and 8am? What about those of us who try your station in the evening because we’ve dashed out for an ice cream cone?
Your station is whatever I hear whenever I listen.
Starbucks doesn’t just have friendly barristas between 6 and 8am.
Wake up! Its not too late. Put real content back on the air in every daypart. Hire really talented people who know how to make emotional connections with millions of individual listeners.
Say something worth hearing every time a voice is heard.
Stop pretending listeners don’t notice and when they do, don’t care.
Like climate collapse, which is already happening all over the world, we don’t have to believe to make its consequences real and ever more urgent.
Because we all know how that story ends whether we read it out loud or not.