Audio Prime—Taking Audio Marketing to the Next Level

A phone with Google on the screen and a pair of earbuds next to it

I asked two friends of mine who know media and healthcare marketing and are wizzes when it comes to audio for input on this story. Alas, they were busy. Life, right?

So, I asked Professor Scott Galloway’s AI for some words I could use in this story. Because if you can’t rely on an AI trained to think like a marketing prof you follow on LinkedIn, then, well, I have no idea how you can call yourself a modern marketer. I kid. But the man-bot came through. Check it.

ProfG.AI: What do you think of audio marketing?

“Audio marketing is a powerful tool, especially in the podcasting space. It’s an intimate medium that allows for deep connections with listeners. The low cost of podcasting makes it accessible to many, but the competition is fierce. To succeed, you need to be exceptional or have a unique angle.”

I’m not sure if you use quotes when you parrot AI. But, even in a new media day, old habits die hard.

“Powerful.” “Intimate.” “Connections.” “Low-cost.” Everything you want to hear about a medium. And more. Until the end. Be exceptional or be unique.

Hits are the exception in podcasting. It’s a hit-driven medium. We conflate success with the stories of mega pods. The alphas that draw big listener numbers and drive the growing billions in podcast ad spend. But every-day success stories are as rare as seeing megalodons hunting sturgeon off the port side of your Carnival Cruise.

Like rain on your wedding day, there’s a conundrum here. We want to be quoted in stories. But we’re too busy to come up with one. We listen to big, broad pods. But we advertise in the narrow ones. Then, we draw the conclusion that audio doesn’t work. Because, our ad on a non-mega-hit podcast didn’t work.

The Next Big Thing in Audio

A few days ago, Google showed us what’s next in audio. Audio Prime if you will. We use search. We know search. We advertise on search. We know our search ads work. Search is irony free.

So, what’s Google doing with “audio” that isn’t podcasting? They’re talking your search results. If that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, pause for a moment to think about it.

You search for Taylor Swift. You get results. Google inspires you by showing you things other people search for. Now, for every one of those snippets, there’s a button. I call it, “Speak my search.” Press the button and it reads you the snippet. You can be anywhere. Be doing anything. And still be consuming media.

Not enough people are on earth to host-read every Google search result. Even if there were, like my expert friends, they’re busy. This content is not exceptional. But it’s unique. It’s uniquely relevant to every listener. The average talk length is seconds; not minutes. These micro-talks happen in real time to address someone’s immediate need.

Right time. Right moment. Right soundbite. Audio style. Actually, no. Audio Prime Style.

The Fringe Becomes Mainstream

Google has been working on this for two years. I know because I’ve been following this development for that long. I’ve presented the future of SPEAKABLE media at Vendor Days to brands and agencies who are focused on integrating the latest omnichannel widget into their digital ad tech stack hoping to ring one more drop of oil out of their well-pressed olives.

For two years, non-podcasting audio has been an outlier. A fringe idea among a pile of outliers. I get why brands and agencies don’t listen to me and every other self-biographed visionary crackpot who comes along and spews futuristic psychobabble. The likelihood these ideas become anything mainstream is wildly improbable and not a good use of time, effort, or resources.

But you ask yourself: Why is Googling hewing to audio? Well, first, because, as Prof Galloway’s bot told us, it’s powerful. It’s intimate. It connects. But I think it’s more than that.

Inspired by Gall-bot, I trained my own AI to spew stuff based on my writings. I call it Augmented Charles’s Artificial Intelligence—or Açaí for short.

Hey Açaí, What’s up with Google’s audio thingy?

“Well, let me tell you, Google is smart and they’re always on the cutting edge of advertising. Recently, they’ve had issues with ads that go beyond their own properties. But, there’s more. YouTube is dealing with ad blocking on a wide scale. It might be that even Google is seeing issues with digital ads and wants to diversify. Here, audio makes sense. If they can help marketers deliver ads in the car or at other times when they can’t see an ad, Google could open up an entire new ad market.”

Now, to be fair, my AI bot didn’t work the first few times and I then ran out of tokens. I wrote the above. That we know the AI lingo after it being mainstream for less than a year is seismic shift in media. We’re waking up to very new days in media.

That Google shows up and rolls out speakable search means auto audio is not an outlier anymore. It’s mainstream. Non-podcasting audio is prime.

  • Charles Benaiah

    Charles Benaiah is the Chief Executive Officer of Watzan and a PM360 ELITE Entrepreneur. He spends his days running Watzan and thinking about ways to use technology to connect media, doctors, and brands.

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