“My GPS is broken,” my friend Mike said to me.  “It only tells me where I’ve been, not where I’m going.”

The ratings arrive.  Our emotions react.  There is running up and down the hallways and gnashing of teeth!  DO SOMETHING!

I’ve heard some pretty wacky ways that people have reacted to ratings.  Moving the deejays’ shifts around, playing music from another format, and implementing no talk segues to sound more generic.  I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Making programming decisions based solely upon ratings is like driving with a GPS that shows only where you’ve been.

Without getting into the slippery conversation of whether ratings are accurate, data about someones’ behavior months ago won’t help you understand these essential factors in making key programming decisions:

  • what people love about your station
  • what causes tune out (i.e., what they don’t love)
  • how to design your programming and messaging to attract new listeners

On next week’s show I’ll share how to keep your eyes off the rear view mirror and on to the road where you want to go.

*Inspired by a drive with my friend Mike Blakemore using a GPS that gave directions in his own voice.