By: Brianna Wilkinson
I read an article earlier this week that sent me back in time to high school. I was living in Southern California at the time and grew up listening to what I considered the greatest radio station EVER. KROQ was a little low-powered rock station that launched the career of bands like U2 and the Police in the 80’s and shepherded in the era of grunge in the 90’s. KROQ was independently owned until it was purchased by CBS in 1986. 30 years ago, the station launched a morning show with DJ’s Kevin and Bean. The morning show was hip and cool and spring boarded careers for Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Corolla, Dr. Drew and Carson Daly to name a few. On March 18th of this year, the station now owned by Entercom, fired Kevin and the rest of his team after 30 years on the air after they finished their show. Just like that it was over. No confetti or goodbyes. They did relent and gave Kevin some air time to say goodbye after a small uproar.
Now what the outside world doesn’t see are the ratings slumps and complacency. They don’t see the cost of doing business in the number 2 market in the country that having a ratings dip of a .1 can change the complexion of your whole fiscal plan.
But it did once again bring up the topic that advertisers, retailers, and media companies go back and forth on: the perfect demo. Is it Adults 25-54, Adults 35-64, or Adults 18-34? You look at lifestyle and expendable income. You look at age and the goals are to get them young and keep them. If you google perfect age demographics it returns 8 different marketing websites on the 1st page of results telling you how to go about it. The problem is that these websites do not even consider “traditional” media a vehicle worth mentioning anymore. Social Media has become the new Cool Kid. And the median age for social media is?? Well, that depends on the app.
Marketing has its own version of ageism. Everything gets categorized and generalized: if you want to reach old people, you buy television, or if you want young people you need to find the latest and greatest edge and make it go viral.
So as the listener, my heart is broken for the end of an era. As I edge closer to being out of the magic demo of Adults 25-54, I find myself longing for a better time, as they say, when looking back on my life.
As a marketer I understand that loss does not equal profit. Changes can have a sudden effect, positive or negative, so it is necessary to keep your head above water. We can’t afford to be in the NOW. We have to keep looking forward and forecast what’s going happen regardless of any sentiment.