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    Overhead Music | 3 min read

    Music Dayparting

    It isn’t enough to just know your target market in order to keep all of your customers interested using in-store music. In order to truly capture the attention of your target demographic, you need to know what they do during different parts of the day and tailor your audio programming accordingly. This practice, common to broadcasting, is called dayparting and is a valuable tactic for retailers and business owners who want to make the most of the music they play.

    What is Dayparting?

    Music Dayparting

    In its simplest form, dayparting is the process of splitting up the day into different sections or segments and tailoring what you play according to the mood or activities that take part during that time of day.

    For example, Nielson Audio splits workdays (Monday through Friday) into five separate parts for radio broadcasting purposes: the morning drive (6 to 10 a.m.), midday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), the afternoon drive (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) evenings (7 p.m.  to 12 a.m.) and overnight (12 a.m. to 6 a.m.).

    The days are split according to what people are generally doing at those times and music and programming is tailored to those activities. The names of two of the time periods alone (morning drive and afternoon drive) are indicative of what Nielson’s listeners are doing during those times.

    Unless you’re in the radio business or operate a 24-hour establishment, it isn’t likely you’ll use the same dayparting schedule standardized by Nielson. But you can still take advantage of dayparting techniques to keep your customers and clients happy and engaged.

    Using Dayparting in a Retail Setting

    First of all – know your customer base. You’ve done your market research, so you already know who you want to draw into your store. But you also have to know as much as possible about their habits and preferences.

    Let’s say you’re a clothing chain that targets trendy youths and young adults. The majority of your target market is likely to be in school on your typical weekday morning, so you may want to play tunes that skew toward the nostalgia of the upper age end of your target market and save the current chart-toppers for after-school hours when your largest customer base is ready to shop.

    Before school, school hours, after school and evenings could be how you decide to part your day for musical programming. Using this example, you could target your older customer base before school and during school hours, playing tunes for younger listeners during your late afternoon and evening shopping hours.

    Maybe you own a restaurant that strives to be the No. 1 spot for business meetings and luncheons. Your customer base is likely to be in their early 30’s to early 40’s – and they’re most likely to stop in around lunchtime.

    You could split your business day into breakfast, lunch rush, post-rush afternoons, happy hour and dinner. Unlike the retail model, you might want to use a more upbeat selection of songs for breakfast in order to get people moving, while your hits could be reserved for lunchtime hours and a more subdued, laissez-faire tone would be appropriate for happy hour or dinner.

    Creating a Dayparting Schedule

    It’s necessary to invest a certain amount of time and effort in order to create a dayparting schedule for optimizing your musical choices. Consider spending some time observing your customers’ and clients' behavior during the workday or including a music survey or questions about behavior and mood into your existing customer satisfaction survey.

    At its core, dayparting relies on knowing what your customers and clients are thinking about when they step into your store at any given time of day: what their mindset is, their needs, their preferences. You don’t have to be a mind reader to get this information, but a certain amount of psychology comes into play. If you’re not keen to spend hours analyzing your customers or barraging them with surveys, you might want to seek out an audio business that helps with dayparting services.

    Businesses that incorporate dayparting into their services (like we do at Retail Radio) already have a certain amount of insight into customer behavior and habits, so they can help you pick the right tunes for the right time of day. Of course, providing key demographic and market information is up to you in order to make the most of that service.

    Let the Professionals Part Your Day

    Utilizing a service like Retail Radio enables you to focus your efforts on running your business without taking valuable time away to play psychologist. More than that – a quality audio service will find the right music and source the appropriate licenses to make the songs available for public replay.

    Doing all of it on your own (sourcing the music, seeking out public play licenses, making sure you have the correct licenses and scheduling it all into a neatly parted schedule) can take untold hours of your time, which is better spent on keeping the business moving forward.

    By choosing to pair up with a specialized service that does most of the work, you’re guaranteed to have an extensive catalog of fully licensed music – all parted into a neat schedule that keeps your customers and clients happy and satisfied.

    The right music played at the right time can enhance a customer’s perception of your business and make their experience a positive one. Every enjoyable customer experience means an increased chance of repeat business and new customers from word of mouth. When considering pairing up with a professional service like Retail Radio, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

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