I believe we assume too much about the listener’s awareness of our radio station, or any radio station for that matter. I can recall a time I was with a group of people, of all ages, before and after the Michigan State football game in East Lansing Michigan. We had a great tailgating setup! Portable satellite TV with 700 channels, multiple radios, three very tasty egg dishes, BIG pot of piping hot coffee, three 12x12 pop-up tent coverings, fold-out chairs, generator, etc. It was a very fun time had by all. Our home team won so all was well!
About one hour into our tailgating gathering the subject of radio came up.
Oddly enough, I was not the one who introduced the subject. It was a friend of mine who works for AT&T. He asked how the radio industry was going and other general questions. One of the comments that I made was how radio suffers greatly form an extensive lack of top-of-mind awareness.
Soon after that comment, another friend of mine, a school teacher said, “You know, I think your right, I listen to radio all the time but right now I can’t remember the name of a single station.” At which point everyone chimed in with their story as well. One college girl, the daughter of my police officer friend said, “Wow, I can hardly believe it…I listen to the same morning show every morning and have for years and I can’t tell you their names or the name of the station, am I stupid or what?” I didn’t respond.
Out of the 30 people under those tents in East Lansing only three people could name the Frequency and the call-letters of the stations they listened to and all of them used radio.
I don’t believe any of us has a firm handle on just how unaware the average person is of the radio stations they choose to listen to. It just isn’t that consciously important to them. To them, radio is alike the ignition in your car. They turn it on and forget about it. This reality should cause us to rethink the way we communicate on the air and our marketing.