2019 is poised to be the year of Audio. With 22.9% of homes using smart speakers, 33.3% of the US population engaging with podcasts, and 92% of Americans listening to radio daily, how consumers hear a brand is going to be critical going forward. How do marketers and creatives whose expertise lives in television and digital make the transition to audio? There are a few things brands need to consider:
1. Audio can no longer stand alone
The growth of smart speakers and podcasts demonstrates that consumers are looking to break up with their screens without leaving behind convenience. As this trend continues to grow, the expectations and standards of the consumer will grow along with it. Branded audio will be challenged with keeping up and offering the same experiences across all devices. Leaving an audio strategy on a special projects team is a misstep.
2. Understanding how the audio framework fits together is critical
The audio ecosystem is vast, from mobile and audio on-demand to smart speakers and radio stations, the consumer is getting audio from multiple channels today. For brands to tell their story well, it is critical to leverage a balanced audio strategy rather than focusing on a single channel.
3. Leverage branding skills and build a sonic brand
Smart speakers have brought audio back into homes providing brands the opportunity to integrate advertising messaging seamlessly into peoples’ daily life. Brands that don’t have a sonic identity will miss out on the opportunity to make an emotional connection with a consumer. Brands without a recognizable sound “personality” will be disadvantaged in building consumer connections.
4. Creatives need to be well versed in audio
Audio creative needs to be crafted for listening. Brands that take their television scripts or digital posts and turn them into audio ads miss a huge opportunity. Audio creative needs a unique, thought-out concept to maximize the investment in audio. Similar to other creative strategies, brands need audio creative drive action from the audience they’ve spent so much time targeting.