The Incredible Power of Super-Listeners

The Incredible Power of Super-Listeners

by Tracy Johnson

You probably have enough listeners. We would, of course, always like more. More is better. But I’m guessing you have enough to be #1 with your target. That’s tapping into the power of super-listeners.

The most important question is whether you have enough of these passionate fans.

What’s a Super-Listener?

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, which claims that 80% of a company’s revenue usually comes from 20% of their customers. The trend is actually changing to be even more dependent on a loyal core.

Super-consumers now represent 10% of a category’s customers and account for up 70% of sales and an even higher share of profits.

the power of the Super listener

In radio, ratings analysis shows that about 90% of your quarter-hours come from just 15-20% of your cume. Wow. Think about that.

Super-listeners are your core, the most active and loyal target listeners. It’s easier to reach and influence them because they already like you.

And it’s easier to get existing fans to spend more time (or more occasions) than recruit new fans. This means that you can dramatically increase the efficiency of advertising and promotions.

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Instead of trying to find new listeners through mass marketing or activate secondary listeners, focus on a narrow slice of your customer base.

You probably know how to find them. They should be in your database. You do have an updated, active, smart database, don’t you?

Your Database Contains Ratings Respondents

Direct (and digital) marketing are much more effective with super-listeners. And super-listeners are not only most likely to be in your database, they’re also more likely to be ratings participants. Here’s proof from NuVooDoo Media:

So your database likely contains a disproportionate amount of ratings participants. Doesn’t it make sense to love on those folks?

Marketing to Super-Listeners

Even a small increase in the efficiency of promotional spending (including advertising, promotion and marketing) can deliver dramatic ratings results when  properly managed and targeted.

This is particularly true for older, established stations. According to New Media and Marketing, established fans can be recruited to discover new uses for familiar brands and are faster to accept new offerings from companies they trust. They recommend a focused marketing approach for best results:

(Fans) are a subset of heavy users who are highly engaged with a category and a brand. They are especially interested in innovative uses for the product, and in new variations on it. Super-consumers tend to have more occasions and “jobs” for a product.

As an example: If you sell cheese, providing recipes can increase consumption dramatically from existing customers. Just showing them how to use the product leads to new usage.

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Similarly, super-listeners are activated when you provide new reasons to use your station. They already like you. Help them love you more by giving them more reasons to tune in more often.


All of this adds up to one simple conclusion: It’s more important than ever to have a direct, one-to-one relationship with your audience. Want to build a database? Contact us. I can show you how. Do you already have one but don’t know what to do with it? Contact us. We can turn on the ratings faucet for you.

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

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