Refocusing a product
A BBC Radio 2 case study

Page 1: Introduction

In May 2001, at the Sony Radio Awards, Radio 2 was named Station of the Year for the second time in 3 years. This success represented a massive change in the fortunes of Radio 2, which only five or six years earlier had been seen as a station that was in decline with an image that was very negative to both journalists and potential listeners. In the mid 1990s, Radio 2 had lost touch with a broader...
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Page 2: Winning a broader audience

The American business writer Michael Porter argues that the key to ongoing business success is to win the lion’s share of the market.  If a business has the biggest market share, then its rivals must have smaller shares and will be disadvantaged in a number of ways eg their costs per unit of output will be higher.  In radio broadcasting, the most successful businesses will be the...
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Page 3: Refreshing the product

It 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...
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Page 4: Targeting the market

Once marketers are clear about the market segment at which they are aiming, they can develop targeted marketing activities.  Whilst Radio 2 has a broader popular appeal than other stations and hence appeals to a broader segment, marketers have some clear ideas about how to target marketing activities to attract a growing audience.  Marketing activities are targeted principally at 35-54...
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Page 5: Ongoing promotion

Having refreshed the product offering through the programming and presenters, marketers followed this up with a carefully thought out promotional campaign to challenge the audience’s perception of the station.  The campaign involves making the public aware of the ‘big stars’ featured on the station and also surprising the audience in order to give a fresh feel to Radio...
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Page 6: Conclusion

All the evidence suggests that Radio 2 has found the right formula in targeting the 35-54 year old segment of music listeners while at the same time retaining its traditional listeners who are fans of Terry Wogan and Jimmy Young. However, the station will continue to evolve over time to ensure that it remains relevant to its total audience.  New programming and new presenters such as the...
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