KCRW, a Santa Monica-based radio station, not only dominates the airwaves in SoCal but provides the entire region with local deals and offers through its Fringe Benefits app. The station taps into a sea of opportunities available when you cater a mobile app to a hyperlocal community.
You can hear KCRW, the radio giant with humble post wartime beginnings, as you cruise down the SoCal coast but did you know the station could also get you the best discounts in the area? That’s because aside from airing the leading cultural/music programs in California and being a member of NPR, it promotes the biggest network of local business partnerships in Santa Monica, L.A., Orange County, and San Diego.
The KCRW Fringe Benefits app, built by Mobile Roadie, provides over 550,000 weekly listeners and anyone who owns a smartphone (yes, beach hermits have iPhones) with deals and discounts from over 1,000 local businesses. From yoga to comedy, restaurants to spas, and concerts to museums, you can find hundreds of daily offers often with a steep 15-30% discount off goods and services. The app also gives you a chance to find venues where KCRW will host performing artists and connect with other “friends with Fringe Benefits.”
A Golden (Coast of) Opportunity
While tapping into hyperlocal local businesses and communities isn’t a novel marketing tactic by any means, using a mobile app that reaches half a million dedicated listeners provides a golden opportunity. KCRW takes full advantages of not only partnerships with local businesses but also sponsorships to promote them on air. The reason? It drives more vendors and user traffic towards the Fringe Benefits app.
The app allows you to browse a vast directory of services all at the touch of your fingers. Don’t know what do or eat? Switch on your phone’s GPS and the app will show you a list of participants within a 1, 2, and 5-mile radius. As of this month, the Fringe Benefits app boasts close to 18,800 iOS downloads.
Making Waves in the Mobile App x Radio Industry
What KCRW has done already opens up possibilities for other radio stations to select a target audience or dedicated fan base and incentivize them with local deals. While many might think that KCRW took a risk by opting for a standalone travel/retail app, in reality all the radio station did was use its branding to unite businesses and customers under a user-friendly interface powered by Mobile Roadie.
That’s not all the future has in store for mobile apps and radio stations though. Beacon technology can make it possible for the station’s app to recognize a partner’s restaurant and send a push notification about drink specials when the user walks by. Geofencing can make it possible for the radio station to beam a notification to concert attendees and let them know that a golden ticket is hidden in a particular row (and that finding it means getting a chance meet the performer backstage). During tax season, a radio station can promote tax filing tips via push notifications on the app, reminding users that its sponsor and local accounting firm is available to help. The station can rull polls on the app asking which song listeners would like to hear next. The possibilities are endless!
Are you a radio station or business that could use a mobile app to find partnerships and create opportunities like KCRW did? How do you think an app could help you connect with fans? Let us know in the comments below!