Tag Archives: Trump

What Radio Can Learn From Political Strategy

Tuesdays With Coleman

Coleman Insights rarely comments on politics, but today we are going to dissect a current political strategy. The goal is to think about how it might fit into our thinking about programming and marketing initiatives executed by radio stations.

Recently Vice President Joe Biden outlined an economic proposal that will serve as a basis of his strategy for the upcoming election.

There are a couple of important strategic lessons from Biden’s move. First, in politics and radio, it is usually best to focus on the things consumers care about. Secondly, it is critical to understand how you rank with your constituency on the same issues consumers care about–the issues of importance.

Political research has been suggesting that Biden’s strengths right now are his image for “being able to deal with COVID-19” and the image for “how to deal with social justice issues,” among other political issues currently on the minds of voters. Where he has either lagged behind President Trump or been merely competitive with him has been on how voters perceive Biden in comparison to Trump on “dealing with the economy.”

One of President Trump’s perceptual strengths has been the economy. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

In marketing, there are concepts called “points of parity” and “points of difference.” The premise is that a candidate or radio station needs to win or be perceptually equal (at parity) to other stations on those issues consumers care about, the things that they value when making choices. Since the economy is always high on lists ranking issues important to voters, it is critical for a candidate to do well there. They need to have strong images for being the best candidate to deal with the economy. A candidate who loses that image will likely lose the election. If they cannot win the “good for the economy image” they must get as close to parity as possible. Without being on a level of parity, a candidate is at a big disadvantage.

Points of difference are those areas or images when one candidate or radio station has a stronger image than its competitor. However, having great image “points of difference” does not help you win elections or ratings battles if the points of difference where you win aren’t important to voters or listeners.

So, it appears Biden sees his weakness as the economy, while his “points of difference” are on other issues, like COVID-19. Biden seems to be trying to get to parity on the economy while maintaining his advantage in other areas.

Joe Biden outlines economic proposal

Vice President Biden is attempting to limit Trump’s advantage on the economy by achieving perceptual parity.

Why not focus on his strengths all the way until November 3? Perhaps Biden realizes that he cannot ride to victory just on COVID-19, especially if the economy bounces back.

There are clear analogies in radio. Radio’s most important offerings are music and talk/sports talk programming. Achieving victory or parity on images dealing with music or talk images is critical. A radio station’s points of difference are things like “entertaining morning shows,” “great contests,” “specialty programming,” etc. These programming and image strengths can be great ratings drivers.

So, in radio, when do you focus your imaging on achieving parity or victory on base Image PyramidSM images of music or talk and when do you focus on your points of difference?

Coleman Insights Image Pyramid

The Coleman Insights Image Pyramid dictates that radio stations should work on wining their base music or talk position before focusing on other layers.

For example, let’s say you program a radio station that has a dominant morning show both in ratings and image but research indicates your station’s music images are only good and not great. What do you do if a new competitor comes into the market? Where do you focus your on- and off-air imaging?  Do you double down on your morning show, the show that drives your outsized ratings? Do you continue to stay focused on the very same thing that you have been marketing for the last few years, or do you move to marketing your music identity? It likely will depend on which is more important to listeners.

If Vice President Biden’s campaign managers were advising you, they would consider which components matter most to your target audience. They would likely focus your imaging and marketing on your music, even though you previously won big by focusing on your morning show. If music is more important to the target than morning entertainment, Biden’s advisors will conclude that they cannot permit the new competitor to become the leading music station in your format and move to win or maintain parity on that music image by marketing music.

Just as political campaigns aim to gain a deeper understanding of potential voters, you should aim to gain a deeper understanding of your radio station’s target audience. Determine what matters most. Where your station is strong in areas of importance, step on the gas pedal. If your radio station is weak in areas important to the listener, set a goal of achieving parity. The other components won’t matter until your perceptions are strong enough where it matters most.

 

Coleman Insights Study Reveals Sharp Musical Divide Between Trump and Biden Supporters

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, May 19, 2020 – Consumers with a positive opinion of President Donald Trump have an overwhelming affinity for Country music. Fans of former Vice President Joe Biden favor Pop, followed closely by Hip Hop/R&B. These are among the previously unreleased findings of Coleman Insights’ second annual “Contemporary Music SuperStudy.”

The study conducted by the media research firm examines the appetite for contemporary music among 12- to 54-year-olds across the United States and Canada. The firm’s FACT360SM Strategic Music Test platform is utilized to measure the appeal of the most consumed songs of 2019 based on radio airplay, streaming and sales data, as reported by MRC Data/BDSradio.

Among consumers who have a positive opinion of President Trump, Country represents 50% of their Top 100 titles. The next-highest testing genre is Pop at 26%, the only other genre achieving a double-digit share of the Top 100 contemporary songs. This is followed by a tie between Alternative/Rock and Hip Hop/R&B (9%), Dance/Electronic (4%), Other (2%) and Latin (0%)

Meanwhile, Pop titles perform best among consumers with a positive opinion of former Vice President Joe Biden. These titles comprise 38% of their Top 100, followed closely by Hip Hop/R&B at 33%. Performance of other genres includes a tie between Alternative/Rock and Country (10%), Dance/Electronic (6%), Latin (2%) and Other (1%).

Notably, the 10% of Country titles in the Top 100 of Biden fans is similar to the 9% of R&B/Hip Hop in the Top 100 among those who view Trump positively.

The best-testing song overall among supporters of President Trump is “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, while “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran is the top pick among Biden supporters. Those two songs and three others–“Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi, “The Middle” by Zedd & Maren Morris and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake–are among the top ten songs of both groups.

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Trump and Biden supporters agree on their least favorite of 2019’s most consumed songs–“Baby Shark” by Pinkfong.

”While we are not in the business of giving political advice, there are some clear takeaways from this study for the Trump and Biden campaigns,” said Coleman Insights president Warren Kurtzman. “When considering music to use in stage entrances at rallies (if and when they return) and advertising efforts, each group of supporters has clear, distinct genre preferences. And it’s probably best for both campaigns to pass on using ’Baby Shark.’”

Coleman Insights has released findings and trends from this year’s study via webinar, on the firm’s Tuesdays With Coleman blog, at ColemanInsights.com as well as on social media including Facebook and Twitter.