Are You Your Market’s VIR?


(By Marc Greenspan) As we start a new year, what are you known for? Think about the sales brand that you have for yourself or the station. How do you set yourself and your station apart from the rest of the pack? Start with your personal brand.

With so many media options for an advertiser, a great personal brand would be that of an information resource. Position yourself as the first stop for an advertiser to get information about their market and target consumers. In short, become your market’s VIR – Valuable Information Resource.

Why is having a personal brand as The Information Resource so valuable?

Right now, more than at any other time in marketing history, data is king. Companies like Google and Facebook have built their fortunes on information. They can tell potential advertisers more about who their message is reaching and how to tailor that message to a particular consumer group.

Though you may not have the depth of data resources that the tech giants possess, we can still effectively compete in our markets using readily available tools. The key here is that we do not need to be better or more info-savvy than Google. We need to be the leading voice in the radio field. It just takes a little effort.

If you subscribe to any data you can profile your station’s listeners by the following:

  • How many listeners – this is your reach.
  • Where they live – target by geography for local retailers.
  • Target demo – to match with the advertiser’s target. This includes age, gender, and ethnicity.
  • When they listen – what dayparts are strongest to deliver a message for the advertiser?

Having a well-laid-out current audience profile is extremely valuable. However, having similar data on other stations increases the odds of your personal brand becoming The Information Resource.

You can take a deeper data dive by utilizing various qualitative resources such as Nielsen Scarborough, The Media Audit, MRI-Simmons, etc. to provide clients with a sharper image of the local radio universe. While each report delivers different types of data, they all offer unique insights into listeners’ habits. This includes: 

  • Lifestyle – hobbies & passions
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Media preferences
  • Internet preferences
  • Consumer habits

Imagine going to a potential advertiser and, without ever talking about your stations, painting a clear picture of who their target consumers are. A complete consumer profile positions yourself as the Information Resource – and not just another sales rep.

The final step is effectively communicating this information. Do not overwhelm the client with tons of numbers. Just give them the data that pertains to their situation. Be sure to compile this data in an effective, digestible form. New graphic design templates can give complicated data a professional currency and an easy-to-read feel.

Lastly, know what you are talking about. Your credibility will be lost if you can’t explain the data to the advertiser or why it is important to them. Data is only as good as its source. Presenting data is only as good as the one who presents it. We are here to help you profile your stations, prepare client-ready materials, and help you position yourself as The Information Resource. That is what we do best at Research Director, Inc!

This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

Marc Greenspan is the CEO and founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or by email at [email protected]. Research Director, Inc. offers consulting services to media companies to help them grow their audience, ratings, and revenue. Read Marc’s Radio Ink archives here.


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