The New 88.5 Invests in Marketing and Research In Expansion Effort

As KCSN and KSBR combine to create LA’s New 88-5, they’re not just winging it – an advertising campaign has been launched on the heels of a perceptual study from Edison Research…

harcourt billboardBy Paul Marszalek

Even though the signal footprint of The New 88.5 is dramatic, covering the Valley through Orange County, the players involved know that building an audience will be a long haul.

The idea of spending scarce resources on promotion is generally anathema to Public Media – usually out of fear of backlash from donating members who think the money should be spent on the service.

Kudos then go to GM/PD Sky Daniels for not only putting money into an awareness campaign, but also a precursor perceptual study that helped point the station in the right direction.

That study, executed by Edison Research, suggested a tagline of “You Deserve Better Radio.”

Edison zeroed in on 20 zip codes in LA and Orange County, and focused on 35-64 year-olds within. 48% of the respondents collectively seemed to say “Radio isn’t as good as it used to be. It doesn’t speak to me anymore.”

Said Daniels, “That jumped out of the survey, alarmingly. But in the case of 88.5 FM, we saw opportunity. This station was built upon the premise that there was a disenfranchised audience that once had a deeper relationship with progressive radio. Some pundits have deemed it ‘bragging,’ but we are simply saying that the listener deserves better radio. Provocative? Yes. But the only way to determine if 88.5 FM, in fact, does provide ‘better’ radio is to sample us. I’ll take that bet.”

selected Edison slide

A slide from the Edison project that showed significant dissatisfaction with radio.

Awareness for the station is problem one – especially in Orange County.

Drivers may see one of 30 outdoor billboards in Los Angeles and Orange County. In South Orange County, it will be transit — bus boards — as billboards are prohibited in most municipalities there. The station will also provide gas pump video at 45 stations, and there will be digital outreach via Facebook, YouTube pre-rolls, and the like.
While robust when measured against most public media spends, in Los Angeles, it’s easy to get lost with a spend of this size. That said, instead of waiting possibly years for word-of-mouth to deliver ears, The New 88.5 FM is wise to seed the market and create some talk.

Filed Under: Actual NewsFeaturedNewsRadio and Records


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