Have you ever had a friend, or even an acquaintance of yours, come up to you all excited about what they heard on the radio? Of course you have, I think we all have. Heck, I work in radio and it happens to me.
Think for a minute, why did that person pick you to tell their story to? Likely, it's because they knew you’d appreciate it, or find value in it. At some point in time, you likely shared something with them, and whatever they heard on the radio triggered a response in them to tell you about it.
That person is in your circle of influence.
If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you’ll recognize that term. Covey defines your circle of influence differently than I’m going to here. While somewhat similar, I define your circle of influence as this:
Your circle of influence is the group of people in your life who you typically interact with, are friends with on Facebook, or follow on social networks.
Sure, it includes your friends and family, but also the people whom you’ve not spoken with in months, yet keep in touch with on occasion. You’re not taken aback when they reach out to you after a long time; it’s a welcome surprise to hear from someone in your circle of influence.
Everyone has a circle of influence and that’s what makes radio so effective. Not only can it speak directly to you, but radio can also speak to your circle of influence who can then tell you about it later.
Think of it this Way
Let’s say you post on Facebook that you’re looking for a new job and ask your network to message you if anyone hears of an opportunity. You just shared something with your circle of influence.
Now, let’s say one of those folks hears a radio recruitment commercial for a position you’d be interested in applying for. That commercial triggers their memory, and they reach out to you on Facebook to let you know about the ad the heard on the radio.
You never heard it, but your circle of influence did.
Value for Advertisers
As a radio listener, your circle of influence has immense value, but what if you’re an advertiser? Take the above scenario and reverse it. Naturally, you want to see results with your radio dollars, but you’re concerned that you won’t reach enough ears to make an impact. It’s not about reaching enough people. It’s about reaching the right people.
When you advertise on the radio, you’re not just speaking to listeners currently in the market for your product or service. You’re also speaking to those people’s circle of influence.
Case in Point: Car Dealerships
I’m not currently in the market for a new car, but I know some people who are. Car dealerships understand this the best, I think. The average person buys 9.4 cars in their lifetime. Therefore, the percentage of consumers actually in the market for a vehicle at this very moment is astronomically low. Auto dealers know this, yet they’re one of the biggest sources of income for any radio station in the country. Why? Because dealerships understand the power of your circle of influence. They don’t need to reach people currently in the market for a car. They just need to reach people who know someone currently looking for a new car.
We all know that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of advertising. Radio is controlled word-of-mouth. We know people talk about things they love and hate. If we care, we share, right? Radio gives listeners the words to share with someone who cares.