Reason Not Awareness

“Baby just give me one reason – Give me just one reason why.” -Tracy Chapman

It’s challenging to change your way of thinking, especially after many years, but that’s where we are on the topic of awareness. We can’t help believing that if people were just aware of the station, or any other product for that matter, they’d listen/buy. We put our hearts and soul into the station, so we have to feel that way. You know, build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, and all that.

But through the people meter, and research, we’re seeing that people aren’t always looking around for that next great radio station, so awareness alone doesn’t motivate them after all. If we want people to listen, we have to give them a relevant reason to do so.  Awareness is only valuable when accompanied by motivation.

And that’s where it gets tricky. Most people already have a set of radio stations they use, and aren’t in the market for a new one, so our reason has to be relevant and in context with their existing choices. You have habits. From the coffee you buy to the computers you use, you get used to something, and it’s a difficult task to get you to change. The same is true of listeners, especially with something as personal as their radio stations.

The first step is to abandon the awareness thinking. Only then can we start thinking about why someone should start listening. We’ve got to give them a reason, and as Tracy Chapman says, just one reason, to switch. So it’d better be a good reason, with an emotional connection to the listener. Because people generally make choices based on emotional motivation rather than pure logic.

But that’s another story for another time. Right now, just understand the difference between awareness and reason. Being aware doesn’t motivate change, having a meaningful reason does.