Hi Lizzy, tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at CodeAudio.
As General Manager of CodeAudio, I am building an offering dedicated to best in class Audio and Voice advertising that brands can leverage to help their businesses grow. We know that brands need help creating and finding their voice (pun intended) in this medium, figuring out ways to connect effectively with listeners across all platforms by understanding them better, and finally, by connecting what they do in audio to other channels.
The world is moving quickly and people want to listen and consume content seamlessly across devices, apps, and products, and audio is a daily method by which people consume content, and we don’t see this slowing down (rather we see it picking up from adoption of new audio formats), so we know that this will continue to be a priority for brands in 2020 and beyond.
At CodeAudio, which Marketing, Sales and Communication tools do you work with?
I love this question – because we’re constantly searching for new tools (some still in beta) as well as established tools for Marketing and Sales. We use trusted tools like Salesforce every day, and also use tools that are brand new to market that focus on one specific sector of the audio ecosystem.
For example, I just started a new trial for a Podcast AI tool that tells us which podcasts our client’s competitors are spending in, a great tool for Sales prospecting and ad spend intelligence. The audio landscape is both established (in some ways) yet completely ripe for new entrants to help us with Marketing/Sales, so I’m very excited for new tools to come to market that we can continue trialing and being first movers with to help our clients become smarter and more effective in audio.
Audio Marketing is a disruptive ecosystem. How do you analyze your product’s viability and its acceptance among customers?
We are constantly doing internal and external research to create white space for ourselves within this ecosystem, and there’s no shortage of white space right now – whether it’s within Audio books, Voice AI, Podcasts, and more. One of the ways that we analyze our offering is by surveying internal teams at SocialCode as well as their clients, developing hypotheses for what they need to drive greater performance, gauging interest from existing clients or partners across the CodeAudio and SocialCode family, signing on brave test partners, then testing, learning, repeating, and refining. And we’re doing this over and over again.
We also don’t get stuck or bogged down on something when it doesn’t work – i.e a test fails or never gets off the ground, or doesn’t perform, we move on after figuring out WHY it didn’t work. We’re fortunate that since we’re part of SocialCode we know that certain products we’re developing for CodeAudio that are within or attached to our own proprietary tools and technologies are already differentiated because these clients have never heard of them, and are in fact asking about how we can do something that others cant right now, can’t test what they want to test now.
How do you help businesses simplify various Audio Marketing campaigns cutting through barriers in multi-channel messaging platforms?
This is both simple and difficult to answer given the multitude of access points (platforms, devices, and OS that people use daily to access audio content) but I’ll take the simple route to try and keep this answer short and sweet. The audio marketplace is both incredibly fragmented- but also simple to navigate for ad opportunities – because monetization has not scaled yet to meet the fragmentation of listenership. So, we bring our CodeAudio ethos to life here – which is – understand the listener better than anyone else. This is so important, because Podcasts, for example, are the most intimate media channel that exists today. So intimate that listeners often feel as though they are close friends with a host that they’ve been listening to for years.
By taking a listener-centric approach to every decision we make for a brand, we simplify the Marketing and Advertising strategy in audio, while making it as effective as it can be. Do listeners want to watch a pre-roll video ad before listening to a morning news or politics podcast? No – so we don’t buy ad formats this way. Would a listener be as enthusiastic about trying new vitamins or nutritional supplements from someone they don’t actually know – like a producer over a host? No. Finally – would a first-time listener of an ad be more likely to purchase a new product if given a unique offer after hearing or seeing the ad a few times across their daily media channels? Most likely. These are just a few examples of ways that we simplify the ecosystem and drive better performance for our clients.
Tell us how to optimize digital Audio Marketing campaign management to grow a business. What are the various ways marketers can create compelling audio-based storytelling?
Find a way (in audio) for your brand to grow and progress with your customers/as your customers do. This may sound and feel a little different for an online framing company vs a QSR business, but storytelling that connects to your offering and what you’re selling can be just as easy and effective for both businesses.
For example, we recently had the idea to launch a new line of menu items for a QSR restaurant week by week by integrating the menu items into a new podcast (with new episodes that dropped each week). The idea was that the hosts would test and try new menu items together- straying from their typical order as each new menu item became available, and discuss what they liked or didn’t like about each item together on the show. This is an authentic way to storytell, bring customers and listeners along with you, and grow a business through trial at the same time.
When you look back into the past, which audio content platforms and tools do you really miss having or working with?
Nothing comes to mind here – in fact, I often think about how much room we still have to grow within audio content management platforms and tools.
One epic moment from the decade (2011-2019) that changed your outlook into tech landscape –
In 2013 I went to a thought leadership event with my clients at the time (an auto client) hosted by Google at their NYC offices in Chelsea. We had the unique opportunity to preview and try Google Glass before Glass was released to the public. We were told at the time that Google Glass had the ability to change our lives as we knew it – how people accessed and processed information, searched and found things, etc. Then obviously – Glass never took off. This was a major learning moment for me – as I realized that tech has to be seamless, additive to our lives and so easy to use its second nature.
When I think about the ease and simplicity of airpods and how that has impacted my life and compare that to Glass I realize that not all shiny new tech is here to stay, and to be more skeptical of any new tech or product that claims to be life-changing. It also taught me that nothing happens overnight. It helps explain why audio has had a resurgence of sorts now – despite the medium being around for a very long time. Tech has been a big part of the audio resurgence, and I’m excited to see how audio becomes available in new internet-connected devices that have yet to been released to the market yet.
What are your predictions for your industry and technology markets for 2020-2024?
Storytelling and commerce will become even more connected, making it easier for one click or one statement purchase to be enabled directly within/from audio. Data will become even more controversial – we will start to see leading audio companies and platforms take a stand on whether or not they work with third-party measurement tools – including those that match the IP address to other consumer data points.
Content (stories) will be available in different formats (books, video, audio) and people will consume them on their preferred platforms as they fit into their daily schedule. You may start your day listening to a “show” on a smart device in your home with voice, continue that same experience in your ear pods, but finish with the Video format in the evening on a television screen.
Niche Live experiences (from people, talent, hosts, musicians) will become even more popular than they already are – but in smaller, more intimate or exclusive venues that are complementary or additive to the live event or experience.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Marketing and media expert. Experience working for some of the world’s largest and fastest growing media planning and buying agencies. Currently pioneering new solutions within the Audio & Podcast industry.
SocialCode is comprised of 300+ smart, innovative, passionate, accountable and humble professionals solving big challenges to power smarter, more profitable brands. We are pioneers in technology and engineering, product management, data science, marketing, media and analytics. We are driven by our vision and values, and invest deeply in developing our people to create the greatest long-term value and impact on our clients.