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Radio, It Begins with a Problem…

Why does any consumer behave in the way that she does?

It’s because she has a problem and she wants a solution.  And the more effective, convenient, and simple that solution is, the more she will gravitate towards it.

A “problem” doesn’t necessarily mean some vexing dilemma.  It could be as simple as the desire to hear a familiar voice on the way to work.

The great thing about technology is that it creatively enables a whole host of problems to be solved in clever and powerful ways.

Take something as simple as Netflix.  Want a huge selection of movies on-demand without having to leave the house?  Stream them at home via Netflix. Huge problem solved.

Take Nest.  It’s a thermostat for your home that learns your behaviors and anticipates them without you having to fiddle with the settings.  It also reports on energy usage so you can economize more effectively.  And, of course, it’s connected to a mobile app to give you the option of regular monitoring or tweaking.  If your problem is high energy costs, then Nest may solve your problem.

Take the Nike Fuel Band. Wear it on your wrist and it will track your daily activity and measure that activity against your goals, reporting your progress on (you guessed it) a mobile app.  Want to be more active and be held to your own standard?  The Nike Fuel Band can solve that problem.

So what does all this have to do with radio?

Anything radio creates across any platform isn’t simply the distribution of content in numerous places.  It’s a solution to a problem.

If we think about our challenge that way – what problem are we solving? – then we’re in a better solution to address the interests of our consumers in an age when the solutions to almost any problem involve multiple platforms and technologies.

So if you’re creating an app or a mobile site or a new feature, aim higher. Solve a problem.

Suppose you’re a Sports statio.  You might ask:

  1. How do consumers want to interact with my station, and how can I enable that?

  2. What sports-related services can I provide that aren’t already commodities?

  3. How can consumers get closer to their favorite talents?

  4. What will fans pay for?

  5. What problems do sports fans have, and how can my platforms solve them?

  6. How can fans interact with each other in the presence of my brand?

  7. What new value can my brand bring to the lives of sports fans to make those lives better?

  8. How can my app help fans root for their local teams?

  9. Etc.

What about a music station?

  1. What would consumers like my station to do that it can only do via technology?

  2. How would they like to interact with the music?

  3. How would they like to interact with each other in the presence of my brand?

  4. How can they get closer to the personalities?

  5. What will fans pay for?

  6. Etc.

It’s not about us and our content.  It’s about consumers and what problems and desires and passions they already have.

Even if they don’t realize it yet.

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