29 Mar The Danger In Research
You may be doing irreparable damage to your brand by conducting “data collection” that you believe is “research”.
As budgets and staffs continue to shrink, audience research has become a luxury rather than a necessity…and with that pressure a disturbing, cost-cutting trend has emerged: “Database Research”. That term is in quotes because it’s not actually research at all; Its data collection. And its critical to understand the difference.
Using your database, with a disproportionate amount of hyper-loyal P1s, is fine for testing Morning Show benchmarks or to get a read on a promotion. But as a Strategic or Music Testing tool, its likely to do more harm than good.
Strategically, knowing the perceptions, wants, desires and expectations of ONLY your P1’s won’t help you grow your audience. It’s far more likely to send you down the path of super-serving the already converted…. to what we refer to as “the P1 spiral of death”. The logical outcome of this approach is a smaller listener base of hyper-satisfied fans. And that doesn’t help in PPM or diary methodologies.
Musically, and we know this from doing 1000s of music tests, P1s and non P1 cumers of your station have different tastes. They agree on lots of songs and DISAGREE on lots of songs. If you test an overly-heavy P1 sample from your just your database, you will end up playing the WRONG SONGS and again shrink rather than grow your audience.
Do it right or don’t do it at all
-Still employed Program Director
Yes, you can “collect data” cheaper than you can “conduct research”. You can impress your GM or “The Board” showing how you have saved some money. But the meeting when you have to explain why your audience has shrunk won’t be nearly as fun.