If you don’t know as yet successful music programming is much more of a science than you might believe. Let’s face it getting a bunch of songs together is a pretty simple exercise but making them work for your target market and keeping those fine folk in the best of possible moods is another story altogether.

Let’s begin at the start of the day. Your store has just opened and the shelves are bristling with product. Waking every one up is a good goal so bright, tuneful, finger snapping, toe tapping sounds are the order of the day. Keep it light, fresh and appealing and run like that until around midday when you can inject a little more of the contemporary top hits of the moment approach, mixed in with some classic “golden oldies.”

From midday to 2.00pm is usually peoples lunch time and those who have to shop and get back to the office need the fillip of happy, urgent music to keep them moving along at a good pace and keep them in a positive frame of mind.

The afternoon is a more mellow and laid back time and this is the time to feature the gentler sounds, great ballads and occasionally some romance but from around 4,00pm until closing time this is when the pace can pick up again and bring the tempo back up to where it should be.

If you are using messaging to communicate with customers keep the sound bites short, uncluttered and clearly enunciated. Don’t bombard them with information. Short and sweet is the order of the day. A short message of welcome for the first hour of trading is a good start to the day and a short message regarding the closing time is also a useful inclusion near the end of the day. It creates an awareness in the customer and clears the floor by closing time so that staff can repack shelves and do the other “housekeeping” necessary. And the volume ratio of speech to music is important. Run the levels of each element on a 60/40 basis. 60% speech to 40% music. You need that higher volume for the speech in order to cut through the ambient noise and make sure that the spoken element is heard with ease.
Of course the type of music you programme depends on the demographic of your customer and the type of customer you wish to attract. It’s not rocket science but as with most things, listening to the customer as well as the department responsible for in-store marketing and design is the way to go.

Don’t just take the easy way out. Do your research and be sure that your decisions are correct. And if you are not sure ask. It’s what we do here at Future Dimensions Media and with many years’ experience of music programming under our belts we can offer you good advice.

About the author: Dalene Haugh