With all of the touchpoints available today, programmatic offers marketers an array of opportunities to engage consumers with messaging and content that’s relevant to their daily activities. Programmatic has already made waves across display, mobile, video, native and social – enabling advertisers to connect with their audience throughout their purchase process. And while these channels are certainly powerful advertising vehicles that are continuing to innovate, there’s another marketing channel on the rise that fills gaps within the customer journey and delivers emotive resonance in an immersive way: digital audio.
Because we take music with us wherever we go and because it is the soundtrack to memorable life experiences, digital audio has a unique power to forge lasting emotional connections with consumers. For advertisers, this presents a major opportunity to connect with people in a way that feels both authentic and contextually relevant.
Even better, new technology tools are making audio advertising more effective than it’s ever been before. It’s no surprise that more and more brands are discovering that audio advertising is the secret weapon they’ve been looking to add to their omnichannel campaign.
Digital is making audio advertising precise, relevant and easy to scale
What makes the space so enticing right now is how brands are using digital’s strengths to take audio advertising to the next level. While a radio advertiser in the 1990s would have been able to advertise during shows that carried a significant portion of their desired audience, they were still advertising to plenty of people outside of their target demographics. By contrast, platforms like Spotify have log-in data that allow marketers to hone on in on specific groups of users based on their age, gender and listening habits. Not only does digital allow advertisers to know they’re reaching the right people, but its reporting tools can help them understand exactly how many of those people actually listened to their ads and if they took action.
Lately, digital audio providers are beginning to allow marketers to access their inventory with the same programmatic buying tools they use to buy digital video and display. For Spotify, this means giving brands the chance to target users listening to individual playlists in almost real-time, allowing for extremely relevant advertising messages. For instance, a coffee shop can now target someone listening to their ‘Acoustic Chill’ playlist with an ad encouraging them to step out of the office for a coffee break.
Notably, the development of programmatic audio buying tools will soon make it much easier for marketers to reach their audiences at scale. In addition to being able to extend their terrestrial radio buys online, marketers are able to automatically purchase user segments across video, display and audio inventory all over the web. As more and more inventory becomes available for programmatic buying, it will only become that much easier to include audio in your programmatic media plans.
Audio ties your brand to the songs and shows your consumers love
By advertising in the middle of news, talk or music, brands can weave themselves into the routines and moments of their target customers; actively attaching themselves to the artists, songs and hosts they love.
In fact, audio advertising has been proven to shift perception and drive sales at rates that would make even the most successful marketers envious. Just two years ago, a Nielsen study found that advertisers on terrestrial radio received an average of more than $6 in brick-and-mortar retail sales for every $1 they spent. Meanwhile, Spotify reports that its ads drive 60% greater recall than a benchmark of more than 1,600 online campaigns.
The story is the same in the emerging field of podcast advertising, where publishers are connecting brands to listeners by leveraging the relationships those listeners have built with podcast personalities. In fact, according to a recent study by The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Edison Research states that podcast listeners are more likely to take action in direct response to hearing an ad during their favorite podcast, with 45% visiting a website, 42% considering a new product or service and 37% gathering more information about the product. Though programmatic podcast advertising is still in its early stages, inventory is available currently and expected to grow tremendously this year.
Turning up the volume
The best part of all of this is that the opportunity in digital audio advertising is only going to grow stronger in the coming years. As it stands, the US audience for digital radio has expanded considerably over the past three years, and it’s expected to continue climbing to a total of more than 191 million listeners by 2019. With programmatic buying tools only just beginning to scratch the surface in this medium, there’s no telling what new ways marketers will devise to reach this audience. Certainly, digital audio’s combination of emotionally engaging content, pinpoint targeting and growing scale is a mouthwatering proposition for anyone who is trying to reach consumers.
It’s important to balance your overall media mix to ensure you are telling your brand’s story across all touchpoints throughout the customer journey, including digital audio. After all, audio is a proven.
Sacha Berlik, Managing Director of EMEA,The Trade Desk.
Tel: +44 (0) 203 826 7105