Tag Archives: friction

Reducing Friction On Your Radio Station – Part 2

Tuesdays With Coleman

Where do you go when it’s time to brainstorm and talk shop?

Recently, the Coleman Insights brain trust found itself where it often does on a random Friday afternoon.


Just before the server took our orders, I noticed our dining musical accompaniment featured the ambient beats of “Jive Talkin’”, which had seamlessly faded into “Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn.

“Huh”, I remarked. “Disco Friday at Chili’s”.

Donna Summer came on after Cheryl. It was indeed Disco Friday.

This led to a conversation my colleague Jessica relayed to me later in the week, during which she was asked, “Does any radio station play disco anymore? And if so, who would?”

As you know, if you’re on the hunt for an all-disco station, it’s gonna be slim pickins on the prairie. That doesn’t mean there aren’t stations that play disco titles. Where would you hear it?

Last week’s blog discussed obstacles to the customer experience, sometimes referred to as friction. I mentioned some of the ways radio stations have traditionally dealt with listeners, and whether some should be re-examined in 2018.

Another kind of friction can occur when expectations of the brand don’t mesh with what the brand is delivering.

Does a little disco make sense on a Classic Hits station? Adult Contemporary? Adult Hits?

The answer could be yes in all those instances, but it could be tough to determine how much to play. Does the market see disco as a fit with your brand? Does it work with the core sounds you’re playing on the station? Or, should it perhaps be relegated to a specialty show or not played at all?

A Classic Rock station’s core may be 60s and 70s Classic Rock. How far this station can deviate from that core differs by station and market. Is the spice 70s and 80s Pop? Can it delve into 90s Alternative Rock?

How much can a Hot Adult Contemporary station rooted in contemporary sounds play in the 80s or 90s? How does it mesh with popularity and brand perception?

Zappos used to sell only shoes. Now, they sell shoes, clothes and accessories. This isn’t unusual for a shoe brand, but if they started selling televisions that may cause some friction.

In 1990 Coors figured they’d get in the water business because, you know, the water in their beer was so good.

Didn’t work.

Cartoon Network was known for showing kid-oriented cartoons but had developed a more adult slate of programming at night. Research guided them to spin their “Adult Swim” into its own network. This allowed each network to stay in its lane. Same with Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

Research can help answer questions like these. When brands have a clear understanding of their core proposition, they can better focus on delivering their product and know how to explain it to current and potential customers. They know what lanes to stay in, where there’s room to add spice to the recipe and which spices to add. We use measurements such as Fit and Compatibility to assist our clients in this process.

Aim for a focused, cohesive, consistent product.

Aim to reduce friction.

Reducing Friction On Your Radio Station – Part 1

Tuesdays With Coleman

Friction is a hot buzzword in marketing these days. It refers to obstacles in the customer experience.

Can’t find the “submit” button on a form? Friction.

Pop-ups getting in the way on a website? Friction.

Getting charged unexpected fees? Very irritating friction.

Are you adding friction to your radio station?

How much has changed in the ways radio station personnel deal with listeners?

Still asking for caller 9 to win a pair of tickets to the home show, only for the listeners to get a busy signal?

When a listener wins from a town an hour away from your studios, do you tell them you’ll mail the prize or do you tell them they have to pick it up because “that’s the policy”?

Do you make fun of “prize pigs” and tell them they can only win every 60 days, essentially inviting them to listen to another station? Or, do you celebrate people who are actively engaged with your content?

When a listener makes a request, do you tell them, “I’ll see what I can do”, or “I’ll get that right on for you” or “It’s coming up” (even though it isn’t coming up for 15 hours)?

Does your website make it easy to connect with the team, from the General Manager to the jocks? Is there an easy way for them to provide feedback?

Are you engaging with your audience on social media or using it as an advertisement, leaving their comments hanging?

Are you only allowing people within your metro to stream the station (and is that worth it)?

Are you paying attention to the spots and promos on the stream? Is it playing the same PSA over and over again, making it unlistenable?

What do Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom, and your radio station have in common?

They are all brands.

What if you treated your listeners the way those brands treat their customers?

Strong brands research, develop a plan from the findings and execute the plan.

Friction is the enemy of plan execution.

Next week in Part 2 of “Reducing Friction on Your Radio Station”, we’ll discuss how radio stations can reduce friction by utilizing research to present a more cohesive product.