Refocusing a product
A BBC Radio 2 case study

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Page 3: Refreshing the product

Bbc Radio 2 7 Image 3It is only worth spending money on marketing a product that will attract an audience.  In the case of a radio station, the product is essentially the programmes.  Radio 2 therefore recognised the importance of making sure that marketable programmes were fitted into the key slots of its schedules.  For example, presenters such as Steve Wright and Johnnie Walker were combined with “star” presenters, such as Jonathan Ross, Mark Lamarr and Stuart Maconie.  Using this strategy it was possible to revitalise the station by concentrating marketing on the fresher programmes and also on the presenters who were most likely to attract a new audience.

Another key aspect of the product is the music played on the station: the playlist.  Radio 2’s playlist has been revamped and updated.  Traditionally, Radio 2’s playlist was firmly located in the 1950s and 1960s.  Today, Radio 2 mixes older music with contemporary music, including fresh new sounds such as Coldplay and Travis.  Radio 2’s audience and the press have responded to this innovation very favourably.  Research shows that listeners want more than just the sounds of the 1950s and 1960s.  They like a blend, including new sounds, and older listeners want to keep in touch with some of the music that their children are listening to.  The knock-on effect has been that Radio 2 has given its listeners the confidence to go out to record shops again to add to their CD collection of music.

In September 2000, Radio 2 also launched a web-site to add value to its brand by offering an extension of its activities on-line.  Within 6 months of the launch, Radio 2 was regularly achieving over 1 million page impressions each week.  This success has been driven by on-line competitions, studio web-cams, webcasts of artists such as Paul Weller and Lisa Stansfield and programme features around the web-site.

Bbc Radio 2 7 Diagram 1Refocusing the product

Radio 2 is required by its public service remit to provide for a range of groups and different tastes.  Radio 2 meets this requirement by being more than just a mainstream music station.  As well as the key day time shows, Radio 2 also has shows that cover a wide range of music from jazz to rock and roll.  In addition, the station also carries some comedy and religious programming, as well as social action campaigns.  While providing music to meet the requirements of a range of tastes, the programming includes a contemporary feel that was successfully won over a large audience.

BBC Radio 2 | Refocusing a product