Seth Godin has done it again.
He has boiled down success to choosing among six different constituencies, making the point that successful organizations can be focused on any of the following groups (and this is a partial list):
- the sales force
- the stock market
- potential new customers
- existing customers
- employees or
- the regulators
While he lets the reader decide the best course of action, he leaves us with this comment about appealing to new or existing customers:
Using station databases as the primary sample source has its obvious downsides. Most respondents are very core to radio (in public radio, well more than 80% are “members” having made a financial contribution to the station that sent them our survey). These folks aren’t on the fringe, but in fact, tend to be very engaged with radio.
But isn’t that the point? While the industry continues to bat around the now-famous-but-widely-derided 93% number, the fact is that broadcast radio’s smartest course of action is to cater, serve, and elate its current customers – the ones who spend the lion’s share of their time listening to AM/FM radio, writing checks to public radio stations, and remaining loyal to broadcast radio’s shows and hosts.
The ones who have gotten away aren’t likely to be back anytime soon – or ever again.
Focusing on that 20% of reliable listeners (remember Pareto’s Principle) that generate roughly 80% of the results isn’t just a theory – it’s good business.
Too often, radio continues to fixate on attracting new audience while missing the poignant truth that current fans need to be served and satisfied while they’re still under our roof. They’re the ones who become brand ambassadors to radio’s best station and personality brands. They’re the ones we need to enchant with great content and better service.
So don’t take it from me – Seth Godin has clearly created six distinct pathways that any personality, PD, or CEO can pursue. Setting that goal as the very first step in the marketing model strikes me as a decision that needs to be made but is often overlooked.
Serve the customer.