When I hear an ad with a familiar voice-over or memorable theme song, it triggers a memory of a product or place. When I hear the theme song for my local mall, I'm transported to the food court and my favorite stores. Every time I drive past an O'Reilly Auto Parts store, their catchy jingle plays on a loop in my head. These kinds of sonic associations are both intimate and powerful. In a crowded ad market, they are also critical to helping brands stay top of mind.
Podcasts could be the golden ticket for marketers seeking to stand out in today's cluttered media environment. On-demand audio attracts engaged consumers, features popular hosts and can build brand awareness and move products -- all highly coveted attributes. However, what podcasts don't offer is detailed intelligence on who is listening to shows and to the ads therein. In this age of data-driven ad buying, most marketers demand metrics to prove return on investment. Until the industry can produce more granular data, podcast advertising could cool, even as listening heats up.
Audio continues to burnish its reputation as the it-medium (for one take, check out New York Magazine’s recent feature on the “gold rush” of podcasting), but can this hot streak be sustained? When it comes to taking the temperature of this industry, who better to go to for insights than one of its leading voices, Radio Advertising Bureau President and CEO Erica Farber (pictured above). Of course, it is Farber’s job to advocate for the medium, and she finds that as she travels the country audio is all anyone wants to discuss, including smart speakers, podcasting, in-car audio and, yes, radio.