About 12 or so years ago, I was at a presentation by an advertising legend. He spoke of an YouTube campaign to launch a new model that tracked an American dude on a cross country trip living out of the car. It was innovative and fun and measurable and effective. I thought to myself at the time, ‘At last! The end of above-the-line advertising!’ I honestly thought that was the end. After all, TV and radio commercials and billboards are notoriously difficult to measure in terms of audience reach and sales conversions. So why would anybody put their money there?
Fast forward to 2019, broadcast advertising is alive and well. People often ask me why. I point to two factors. The first is that it isn’t in the marketing ecosystem’s interest to be accountable for results. Better to be nebulous. Ad agencies don’t want to be held accountable for the ROI, nor does the marketing team. The second reason is simple effort. It’s far easier to reach a million consumers in one campaign than to reach a million customers in a hundred campaigns.
I wrote the below manifesto last month. I believe that people want to move on from broadcast to more modern, innovative, and targeted forms of marketing, but they may not know how. I will unpack these one-by-one in this 9-part series.
Sponsor podcasts, not radio advertising
Create 3D animation videos, not billboards
Sell products on social media, not in stores
Advertise in online video games, not on TV
Create chatbot experiences, not SMS exchanges
Endorse YouTube celebrities, not NBA players
Build 1-1 personalized engagements, not spam
Design awesome digital customer experiences, not email blasts
Social selling, not networking events
Part 1: Sponsor podcasts, not radio advertising
Radio advertising was invented 97 years ago, in 1922, by AT&T. In those days and in the decades thereafter, corporations would sponsor television shows. Thearchivesshow spokesman Ronald Reagan advertising for General Electric Lighting in what was called G.E. Theatre. At last, there was a broadcast home for telephone services, toilet paper, and light bulbs.
Fast forward nearly a hundred years to 2019, Podcasts have now become a marketing thing with a life of its own. Many broadcasters and celebrities have podcasts now, from Joe Rogan to Michael Lewis to Trevor Noah. As often happens in life, this form of marketing has come full circle. Today, there are a couple of ways to market through podcasts.
The first is sponsored content, like the future President Reagan above. The first couple of minutes and sometimes a break in the middle of the podcast are dedicated to sponsors. Specifically, the host promotes the sponsor. This enables marketers to micro-target their audience to be more specific than 18-35 year olds, which of course have little in common.
You can create your own program on a podcast platform like Cliffcentral.com. Are you a founder of a startup? Create an entrepreneurs podcast. Run a mining supply business? Broadcast a series of interviews with mining CEOs, consultants, and investors. This would also provide the podcaster to meet possible clients face-to-face. There are a million permutations of this approach.
Another sponsorship approach is to sponsor a general podcast and agree to an interview with the host on a subject in which you are an expert. The best example I’ve seen is when the two PHD-level cancer experts from Discovery Health interviewed with on the Gareth Cliff show. It was both interesting and important information, and had nothing to do with flogging insurance products.
The point of sponsoring Podcasts and similar measurable marketing tactics is that you can both save money AND zero in on your target customer.
Kindly share your ideas and comments in the section below.