Harker Research

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Radio | time tested methods

For over 20 years, our customized research has enabled radio stations to increase listenership by capitalizing on the latest listening trends. Whether testing music, morning show personalities, or interested in changing formats, our innovative research methods can help with all of your research projects. We are committed to providing relevant, reliable, and actionable answers to your issues and questions by employing these time-tested methods:

Content Evaluation with Real Time Analyzers

Our Real Time Analyzers measure the immediate response of your listeners to your on-air product. The testing is done in a focus group environment with each listener controlling a meter so that they can register their "feelings". The results, displayed in an EKG-like readout can be monitored from the viewing room. RealTime Meter Methodology combines the elements of a Focus Group, along with some realtime dialog about what listeners like and dislike about News Talk programs and Advertising Campaigns.

Music Analysis Study

An Music Analysis Study consists of carefully screened groups of targeted listeners evaluating "hooks" of songs. Each song is scored according to its familiarity, appeal, and fatigue. In addition to evaluating individual songs, a great deal can be accomplished in a Music Test. Depending on the needs of the station, we evaluate different music mixes, test marketing concepts, and other areas of concern. As one of our most widely utilized research methodologies, Harker Research is constantly working to remain ahead of the competition in providing the most reliable research and the fastest turnaround.

Call-Out Music Evaluation

While Music Tests help you assemble a music library, Call-Out is used to keep the station on track from week to week. We provide Call-Out research through our in-house Call Center and online. Targeted listeners evaluate up to 30 songs, indicating familiarity, appeal, and fatigue for each song tested.

Twenty years of experience has taught us the best methods to compile accurate and timely information. Reports can be customized according to the station's needs. Perceptual questions can also be provided as part of Call-Out research.

Strategic Market Profile

The Strategic Market Profile is the cornerstone of a station's understanding of their market. The Market Profile is a carefully designed telephone and online based quantitative study that examines the critical issues confronting a station.

Market Monitor

Market Monitoring provides custom listening data to monitor market changes. Monthly and/or quarterly reports are compiled to give each client a snapshot of listenership and momentum in each market.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are small carefully selected groups of target listeners who discuss radio stations and programming with a trained moderator. These discussion groups enable us to quickly assess changes in the market, as well as help us respond quickly to competitive moves. Focus groups serve as a quick indicator of how well marketing or programming changes are taking hold and whether fine-tuning adjustments are necessary. Focus groups can also help identify key issues and set priorities for quantitative research to maximize the value of perceptual studies. While the small sample is not designed to be extrapolated to the general population, face-to-face discussions with listeners can help us generate ideas, questions, and issues worth further investigation.

For more information, please visit our Focus Group page.

Marketing Development Study

Even in a PPM world outside marketing is critically important to the ultimate success of a radio station. Unfortunately, a great deal of a station's marketing budget is wasted with ill-conceived or poorly executed marketing. A Marketing Development Study evaluates advertising approaches and helps fine-tune a campaign to maximize its value and impact.

Sales Development Study

In the same way that a person's perception of a radio station determines his or her willingness to listen, a media buyer's perception of a radio station determines his or her willingness to buy the radio station. The Sales Development Study maximizes the station's revenue by helping you better understand what media buyers think of the station. A Sales Development Study develops a profile of the station as the buying community sees it. Aided with the information, we then help develop a strategy to capitalize on perceived strengths and minimize perceived sales weaknesses.


Issue-Out allows News and News Talk stations to examine both listenership and key issues of the day in real time. A carefully screened group of targeted listeners evaluate their interest level in current events as well as the quality of discussion for each topic. Issue-Out is conducted using a large panel of listeners recruited via telephone and interviewed online.


GenesisTM is a unique radio laboratory where new formats can be tested. A simulated listening environment pits new formats against existing formats.