Improve Your Station in Less Than an Hour – Use the BCG Growth-Share Matrix

In order to do something new, we need to create capacity. One of the best ways to do that is by killing something off. The BCG Growth-Share Matrix will help you do that — and more…

BCG mini matrixBy Paul Marszalek

Nearly 50 years ago, the Boston Consulting Group developed the BCG Growth-Share Matrix, a simple tool designed to help large corporations allocate resources among different business units.

In short, the matrix helps you sort out your Cash Cows, Stars, Question Marks, and Dogs.

Cash Cows are mature initiatives that are performing well – there may not be much more growth there, but they generally need little additional investment — and they’re throwing off cash that can be invested elsewhere.

Stars are the next level — growing and showing promise — but they still need investment in hopes of becoming Cash Cows.

Question Marks are exactly that — some call them the problem child. Much more investment will be needed, and we’re not sure they’ll become stars.

Dogs. BCG defines them as having small market share in a mature industry. They may not require much additional investment, but there’s no real payoff either. They’re soaking up time and energy that could better serve a Star, Question Mark, or a new idea.

BCG Matrix

It’s not rocket science.

But BCG wouldn’t have created the matrix if we were good at addressing this issue. Too often, we get involved in new ideas and they just sort of just keep going – on and on and on. Our failure to assess prevents us from killing off under-performing initiatives and investing those resources, which include money and time, in new ideas — as well as ideas that have gained traction.

While the matrix was designed for a different set of businesses, it works perfectly for radio.

Spend an hour thinking about everything you’re doing on your radio station, and sort the various initiatives using the BCG categories. This includes specialty programming (long-form, and short-form features), your on-air promos, your library, marketing efforts (including events), digital efforts, fundraising/sales initiatives, and more.

At the very least, identify the dogs and give them the Old Yeller treatment.

Yes it will be difficult, and there will be bruised egos. But that Klezmer show has had a good 34-year run. I’m talking to you, public radio. It’s time.

Re-invest the resources in a couple of Stars, a Question Mark, and a New Idea. Those behind the promising and new ideas will love your for it — as will your audience.

Filed Under: FeaturedRadio and RecordsSteal This…


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