An Ear for Loyalty

Discussion
Apr 03, 2006
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By John Hennessy, Vice President, Concept Shopping, Inc.

(www.conceptshopping.com)


Radio cooking shows are gaining fans. “It’s not like TV, where there’s a celebrity chef and you feel like you could never get through to them,” said Talma Guy who is one of those hooked on radio cooking shows. “I feel like the people on the radio, I know them.”


Radio requires involvement and imagination. Fans say it’s easier to cook and listen than cook and watch.


Apple began offering a classification of food-related podcasts in 2005 through its iTunes service. Their list of such shows has grown to more than 350. These include podcasts with names like, “Biker Billy Cooks with Fire,” “Caviar et Ravioli” and “The African Culinary Network.”


The podcasts are produced by chefs, food journalists and marketers. Also included are amateurs with a passion for food.


From one of these amateur podcasts, Ali Herndon Ortega’s “Cheap Recipes for Cheap Students,” I learned how to prepare spicy Ramen stew. The show describes itself as “Totally half-baked concoctions created by students at a desperately hungry and poor moment.” That’s narrowcasting! 


Moderator’s Comment: How can retailers use the prevalence of online and portable audio to better connect with customers?


A couple of ways to inform, entertain and differentiate would be to include mp3s on your web page covering topics as different as:



  • Stories of new and different products you make or carry. Where those products are sourced. How you discovered them. How they are used. What they are
    compared to.

  • Wellness-related stories, such as the benefits of increasing produce consumption.

  • Entertaining product use stories, such as Sony’s Aibo robots being modified and used in soccer tournaments on college campuses. Or Frisbee golf, course
    setup and rules of play.

  • And, of course, recipes and meal preparation.


Use audio content to connect with and enlighten the owners of the nearly 25-million mp3 players sold in 2005 (according to the Consumer Electronics Association).
It’s a great opportunity for you to get into the heads of your customers. (I couldn’t resist).

John Hennessy – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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10 Comments on "An Ear for Loyalty"


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Matt Werhner
Guest
Matt Werhner
14 years 11 months ago

Sponsoring the podcasts that appeal to your specific customer base makes perfect sense. In turn, offer a replay of the show on the company website. Add the specific recipe that was featured in the podcast as well as similar recipes with similar ingredients. Depending on the growth and length of this trend, weekly or daily webcasts could be created to drive more website traffic and increase loyalty.

Kai Clarke
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

This demonstrates but one more way to effectively target users who enjoy listening as well as watching. The key here is not to become concerned about which segment is better (whether they would rather listen than watch, or watch than listen) but that they enjoy listening. In the car, podcasting, online, or even available as a download for their MP3 players, the smart retailer will take advantage of all of the media opportunities which are available, and maximize these. The true key to success will be making all of the information, recipes and discussion topics available in all formats (online, podcasts, and in-print as an online archive). This is great target marketing to differentiate your audience and the products and services which might appeal to them, using the latest technologies available!

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

It’s worthwhile to use podcastng because the cost is minimal. It would also pay to put the transcript text online, since some people would rather read the words than spend the time listening. And it’s easier to get accessed in a Google search if the text is also online. People thought it was odd that Edgar Bergen was a radio ventriloquist, but his ratings were excellent.

Stephan Kouzomis
Guest
Stephan Kouzomis
14 years 11 months ago

Technology and broadcast media are at the retailers’ finger tips!

Retailers, become creative and commit to establishing the point of difference for your shopper base by partnering with such cooking radio programs.

Yes, the use of iPods may be more challenging, but if your shopper segment(s) warrants this activity, fabulous.

Most importantly, the ability to sponsor, or have one’s own radio and/or ‘on need’ programs could be a very strong Brand builder for the retailers’ business equity.

Just keep in mind, knowing one’s shoppers’ needs and wants starts this valuable effort! Hmmmmm

David Zahn
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

Anything that allows the user to connect with the retailer/manufacturer/brand in a way that allows them to meet their lifestyle needs, and do so on the spot when they can act upon it (and if you are before the TV, chances are you cannot cook while you watch), makes great sense. Radio does not permit the visual observation of what it “should” look like, but by being able to “rewind” and “re-hear” aspects of the directions as you cook or bake makes great sense.

The “portability” of the radio/podcast broadcast allows for the instructions to be heard and followed more readily while in the kitchen than having to keep one eye on the TV and one eye on the stove.

Phyllis Palmer
Guest
Phyllis Palmer
14 years 11 months ago

In the early ’80’s, Muriel Stevens had a long running radio cooking show in Las Vegas that I religiously tuned into. Her longevity with that show was testament to its popularity. With all the time that we spend in the car these days, I feel it’s a NEW natural. The Podcast is an exciting way of bringing today’s technology into play.

David Livingston
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

I might be old fashioned but I love radio cooking shows. They are especially interesting when I am listening to them while working in various regions of the country. These shows are an excellent way for independent grocers to advertise. The chef will often mention where the best place is to buy certain unique products.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

What a lot of good, sensible, achievable suggestions. My only question is about a possible mismatch between the people listening and their willingness/ability to cook. But maybe this is a good way to get them going.

Karin Miller
Guest
Karin Miller
14 years 11 months ago

Regarding cooking radio, 3 of our major news/talk stations in Los Angeles (AM 640, 790, 1070) carry weekend cooking shows. All are a combination of host monologues, guest interviews and listener questions. Other weekend topics include law, financial, travel, health, and computer call-in shows. Of course, political topics are the main focus during the week with UFOs filling the night owl time slots. Most hosts are offering podcasts.

Most retailers and suppliers have not made an effort to bring genuinely interesting content to their customers in the venues that were available pre-podcast.

A notable exception is Design Within Reach. Their e-newsletter, which obviously has a lot of thought put into it, is a must-read and this has helped establish them as experts in their field. I could imagine DWR developing an interesting series of brand-building, educational podcasts about modern design that their customers would want (and probably be willing to pay for).

Jerry Tutunjian
Guest
Jerry Tutunjian
14 years 11 months ago

The following idea would be particularly useful in mid- to small-sized cities. The retailer can invite a local radio personality, who has a food show, to locate at the supermarket for a day or two. The program is then broadcast from the store. Shoppers can stop and ask questions; chat with the radio host. This would create a lively buzz which radio listeners would also hear. The store would, of course, get lots of mention throughout the program. With all the electronic gizmos available, this can be done with inexpensive “remote” technology. The host can give awards, make health tips, advise on how to make a certain dish . . .

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