Club promotes loyalty, facilitates database

Ensuring customer loyalty is essential for survival in these troubled economic times.Toronto radio station 1050 CHUM, with its programming of 'great fun, great oldies' targets the 25-54 age demographic.To reward its listeners for listening longer, 1050 CHUM formed the Frequent Listener...

Ensuring customer loyalty is essential for survival in these troubled economic times.

Toronto radio station 1050 CHUM, with its programming of ‘great fun, great oldies’ targets the 25-54 age demographic.

To reward its listeners for listening longer, 1050 CHUM formed the Frequent Listener Club.

Integral component

The Frequent Listener Club is an integral part of the marketing strategy of the station, which also includes transit, tv and print advertising.

The Frequent Listener Club focusses on audience loyalty and encourages longer listening, while the other advertising lends itself to station awareness.

An important element of the Frequent Listener Club is Insider Info, the club’s full-color newsletter, which contains information on upcoming events, contests and station personalities.

Newsletter

Insider Info is one method of building personal relationships with listeners.

Published quarterly, the newsletter also offers an excellent chance for advertisers to reach the club’s members through special offers and discounts.

Contests and prizes play an important role in radio promotion, and they become more effective when combined with the Frequent Listener Club newsletter.

In order to make it easy and efficient for members to join the club, 1050 CHUM, along with Taylor-Tarpay, devised a telemarketing and database program.

Members join by simply calling 870-CLUB, an inbound telemarketing line, operated by dms, a telemarketing service bureau.

Keyed directly

The caller’s information is keyed directly into the database, thus providing less chance for error.

The line also offers members the opportunity to change the information on their address, telephone number, listening times, and so on.

In this way, the database is always kept up to date.

All new members receive a personalized membership card, embossed with their own membership number, and date of membership.

The card can be used to take advantage of special offers and discounts all year round.

Dedicated phone line

As well, 1050 CHUM has devoted a line on its interactive phone system to the Frequent Listener Club, which advises listeners how they can join the club and details the offers and discounts available.

The effect on listener loyalty has been overwhelming.

Thousands of listener letters have been received, applauding the newsletter and all of the club benefits. Listeners are attending oldies dances, turning out in droves for member-only concert events, and entering on-air contests regularly.

Ultimately, chum plans to make the club self-liquidating. Advertising revenue and the introduction of a new line of chum merchandise will be key in accomplishing that.

Only just begun

With a current membership of more than 80,000, and a weekly sign-up rate of about 150 members, there is every indication that the wave of excitement surrounding the 1050 CHUM Frequent Listening Club has not even begun to crest.

Juhani Eistrat is an account supervisor at Scarborough, Ont.-based Taylor-Tarpay Direct Advertising.