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Asking Questions (1)


How do People Decide That...?

You know that many research questions ask people to rate stations on various attributes. For example:

  • Which station plays hit music only?
  • Which station is the "music machine"?
  • Which station is getting better and better?

These are very common. And if we're being smart, we will also ask people to rate how important each attribute is. After all, what benefit is it if people rate you "best for news" if news is not important to them?

Here is another kind of question you should try. You can use this in focus groups, in market studies of any kind, and even in your informal discussions with listeners. You do constantly talk to listeners and learn what they like, right?

I call these "How do you know?" or "How do you recognize?" questions.

We want to find out what things people key in on to make a decision whether a station holds an attribute or doesn't, is telling the truth or not.



  • How can you tell, by listening, that a station is telling the truth if they say they play hit music only?
  • What does a radio station have to do in order for you to agree with them if they say that they are a "music machine"?
  • As you listen to radio, what do you hear that tells you right away that a station is getting better?

It is fun to think of what you might hear, isn't it? Try it. And if you can, share with us (leaving out anything confidential) any surprises you find!