Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: Sweet Data O’ Mine


(By Paige Nienaber) Not since my article about replacement scalpel blades in American Taxidermist has anything like my missive on digital entries from last week struck such a chord with my readers (who are primarily third-shift hotel industry desk clerks and VIP members at Plasma Alliance).

RDub with Sunday Night Slow Jams concurred that having people enter an email to win a great prize is a tragic waste, but concedes that, “I do see the power of getting that data.”

So – in September of 2022, with my last daughter heading off to college, I went into Extreme Empty Nest Syndrome and was informed by Mrs. Paige that I REALLY needed to get out of the house, so thus began Paige’s Adventure In The Gaming Industry.

The parallels between the two industries are ridiculous. And yep, it all revolves around data mining with them.

Every event they host involves handing out coupons that can be redeemed at the casino for a free drink and a free $10 bet. We probably went through 6 or 7,000 of them at the State Fair.

And the hook? To use it, you need to have a Players Club card. And with that comes signing up, and we get all your info so that we can continually market to you. A drink and a $10 bet is nothing in the grand scheme of things – and their database is over 200,000, which Carl Spackler would say is, “Not too shabby.”

So, it goes without saying that you will be at “stuff” in 2024. The best application of mining at events was done by Blue Mountain Dog Food at the Beale Street Music Fest. They had an actual team, so you might need to use proxies or clients’ teams. They:

  • Stopped you as you walked towards stage number three and asked you if you had a dog.
  • If you said “Yes”, they asked if you wanted some free dog food to take home with you.
  • You gave them ages, weights, and breeds of your dogs… and your email address. As you waited, they asked if they could take your photo and share it on Facebook… thus getting your social media.
  • You then strolled over to a table where Ziploc baggies of dog food were waiting for you.

And who doesn’t want free dog food?

I was delayed in their area for about 8 minutes. Imagine if this was a radio station in a PPM market with their speakers covering the plaza.

“But we don’t have a promo team?!” What? That’s crazy talk!  And that allows me to circle back to… casinos.

I can’t think of many stations that don’t have a gaming client or promotional partner. Cool. As a radio station, you can get them into some community events as a partner. “Come by the booth at Centennial Days this weekend and try to beat a dealer from Running Aces at Blackjack to win free bets and food from their casino!” Your voice. Their people. Their prizing. And you share the data.

BTW: used decks of cards from casinos are swag that will create a line. It’s stupid but it’s true.

Thank you to RDub for the inspiration and I hope that he considers my concept for a syndicated show: “Tuesday Late-Afternoon But Pre-Dusk Medium Tempo Jams.”

And now on with the Dumpage.

Axe Your Ex

Destroying old love letters and mementos from failed relationships has been a radio mainstay for a millennium. Shred. Dump. Shot Through The Heart. So many visual ways to do this. A guy named Chris reminds us that there are places where you can do axe throwing…

He noted that he doesn’t want to make it too creepy, so the way to do that is to have the talent handle the stories. We want to stay away from the really sad stories and focus on the guys who were simply jerks. And the five or six best stories get invited down to hurl axes at pics of their ex. Or mementos.  

Truth Or Pair

One morning show was looking for a contest that they could spike in as tickets make a reappearance in their market. Truth Or Pair was done by Mix in Cincy. They took a caller and they could ask a member of the show anything. If they balked and wouldn’t answer, the caller gets the tickets.

Or, have one of the hosts say something about themselves and a caller has to guess whether they’d actually been an Eagle Scout. As an example.


One of the stations has a tax preparer who wants a feature. As exciting as tax tips are, there could be something else.

Arithmetickets would be having the talent tell a story and the first person to do the math and call wins. For instance, “Mark invited everyone from the station over for the Super Bowl. He thought ahead and ordered 300 wings from Archies Wingapalooza. He noticed that whenever Chris went out to his car, ten wings would mysteriously vanish. So he ran over to Archies at halftime and got another 80. Chris went to his car four times and there were no wings left at the end of the game. How many wings did his freeloading coworkers eat in his living room?”

And present it as “At (client) we know that crunching numbers is hard, just like crunching wings. So leave the math to us.”

Super Troll

If you have food or beverages or a combination thereof for the Game, one way to award it/them would be to create a character named The Super Troll. He would go to the Facebook pages of followers, friends, and fans and at random grab some info, like “Grandma Susan sent everyone gift cards to Jiffy Lube for Christmas.”

Several times a day the Troll would post that info, no images, just something specific from a page. Listeners would visit your Facebook page and look to see if they’d been trolled. If I recognize “My brother-in-law came for Thanksgiving and his kid gave us all pink eye”, then I’d claim it and win.

Super Hole

97.5 The Fanatic does an event every Super Bowl Weekend that is a cornhole championship. And you have to love the name.

Playing To Your Strengths

You should always know what your advantage is over the other stations in town. And then use it. For instance, there are a lot of stations that make great videos but the Hubbard cluster in Minneapolis really stands out. They’re branded promotion has been “Double Your Paycheck” for years and here are a few from the past.

Are You Ready for Double Your Paycheck? – YouTube

Crisco’s Checks (A 2020 Double Your Paycheck Film) – YouTube

The Doubling: A Double Your Paycheck Short Film – YouTube

Pool Drinks

For one of your valued pool clients. One of the things you do when you install a pool is you show it off. You entertain. You invite people over. Your status with your friends goes up a tick. One of the things we discovered during COVID was virtual classes in stuff like yoga and cooking and… drinks. Corey Dylan started doing cocktail parties and every week taught the audience a new and obscure cocktail to tackle.

There’s a genre of cocktail called “pool drinks.” Great. In conjunction with your pool client, do mixology lessons on social media that highlight some of the creative beverages to serve when you start hosting at your pool.

The Unsung Front-Line Heroes: The People Who Deliver Pizza

In terms of the Super Bowl, one cluster is looking at having one of the talent riding along with a pizza delivery person and doing breaks and posts from places along the way.

You COULD do a competition the week before the game and every afternoon call a different company and order the same pizza. And then stopwatch their arrival time.

Your other option is to do a gallery of these over-looked employees. When the weather is terrible and people are snowed in, delivery drivers are out slogging through snow drifts and getting rewarded with a buck tip.

Paige Nienaber insults/consults more than 100 radio stations on Fun ‘N Games (Marketing & Promotions). Find him at CPR Promotions. Read Paige’s Radio Ink archives here.


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