New Show Checklist

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According to Theodore Levitt, who was a Harvard Economics professor and editor of the Harvard Business Review, all brands go through four marketing life cycles. The cycles are: Introduction, GrowthMaturity, and Decline.

Although some will overlap, there are different priorities to address in each cycle. Let’s look at the all-important Cycle One: The New Brand.

Cycle One – Introduction

You are about to unleash a new show into your market. In this time of unprecedented change, Covid has been brutal on new shows as most people have been seeking the comfort of familiarity and nostalgia.

For most of us, mornings are the most routine time of day for all of us, and change can be unsettling, so carefully crafting a strategy is the key to debuting a successful show.

A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of your major competitors is an important first step to determining the best way to position a new show in the competitive landscape.

What’s the brand strategy? Begin the strategic process by answering these questions:

  • What does the show stand for?
  • What differentiates the show (relationship, controversial show, etc.?)
  • What’s the show plot?

Taglines are not necessary for established brands, yet they help distinguish new shows in a crowded marketplace.

Describe the roles for each player on and off-air.

Define the character for each player. Identify their primary and secondary characteristics, quirks, and flaws. Then narrow it down to the character’s essence (e.g., the single, millennial party girl or the goofy suburban dad).

Conduct a market localization exercise with longtime residents. Identify market characteristics, hot-button issues, local celebs, primary parts of the area, major employers, etc. Sum it up by outlining the market’s positives and negatives.

Soft launches are preferable to pre-hyping a new show. This goes back to Marketing 101 — not launching a product before it’s ready. As Scott Shannon once said,” Get their arms and legs in the car, then take off.”

The main mission on-air is to establish and build a relationship with the audience. Engage with listeners on the phones, online, and in-person (now that things are opening up).

Topical content gives your show a common connection with listeners. Begin developing your character by sharing your viewpoint on stories of the day. Be careful not to overshare from your personal life until listeners get to know you and care about you. Gradually share more personal stories as the show gets traction.

Introduce fun features like interactive games and one potential high tune-in benchmark.

Develop an online presence. Be active on multiple social platforms, but focus on owning the one social medium your audience primarily uses. Be sure to include a video introducing the show.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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