Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Morning Meeting for November 4, 2009:

Helping the agency to visualize the listener

When I programmed several years ago, I would always insist that everyone in the radio station could visualize the listener, so I created "Janet, " a fictitious listener whose detailed profile was up on every wall of the radio station.  “Janet” was based on knowledge of the market and conducting a small amount of research among the P1 audience. Everyone knew "Janet" and we knew everything about her, too.  “Janet” had three kids, drove a Chrysler Town & Country, lived in a beige house and worked at the local hospital as a nurse.  She shopped at a certain grocery chain, she ate at certain restaurants, and drove certain roads.  On the weekends, "Janet" shopped certain stores, and after hours, she even slept.  The air staff knew (read: hated) “Janet,” the sales department grew to love her, and the traffic department would look at me like I had two heads.  See, "Janet" kept the air staff on message and allowed the sales staff to sell to her routine.  Some of the better sellers would even present a "Janet" power point to clients/agencies to showcase the listener profile. When used effectively, "Janet" was a marvelous sales tool.  

In many cases, the media buyer does not reside or work in your market.  The buyer has no clue what your audience looks or feels like--or values.  On paper, "Janet" was W25-54 with a HHI: $75-$100K.  In reality, she drove a certain vehicle, shopped at certain stores, used certain products, and followed certain behavioral patterns.  If you can manage to bring your listener to life, you'll probably have a more meaningful conversation with your favorite media buyer.  

As always, I welcome your thoughts.  Please e-mail me: or follow me on Twitter @BobKnightAdMan 

Next week:  Your weekly eBlast is a total piece of crap!

Bob Knight is Vice President, Advertising and Digital Media with Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing in New York and oversees the company’s advertising and HEdigital divisions, which include podcasting, webcasting, blogging; and print, electronic, and broadcast advertising and media buying. Prior to joining Harrison Edwards in 2005, Bob worked for some of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, successfully developing programming in some of the most competitive markets including Chicago and San Francisco; his stations and shows were consistently top-rated.  In addition to Bob’s work as program director and on-air personality at AMFM, Inc., Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting, Entercom, and NextMedia Group, he served as a consultant to Internet radio stations during the dot com boom. Bob’s national and regional radio commercials have won a Gold Clarion Award (AWC) and Gold “Big W” Awards (Ad Club) for commercials he produced. In 2008, Bob was named a “Rising Star Forty Under Forty” by the Business Council of Westchester and is a graduate of Leadership Westchester (Class of 2009).


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