podcast advertising effectiveness

Podcast Advertising Effectiveness: Getting a Wide Angle View

As more brand advertisers discover podcasts, they are looking to get a clear view of how their campaigns are working. Unfortunately, the fragmented way many brands and agencies find themselves conducting research to measure podcast advertising effectiveness places limits on their visibility.

Unlike the direct response advertisers who paved the way for podcast advertising by showing the effectiveness of podcasts at driving sales, the brands coming into podcasting are focused on how their podcast campaign is helping to fill the upper funnel by delivering lift in awareness, as well as favorability and consideration. They use brand lift studies to determine that. 

The Current Challenge: Brand Lift Studies with Blinders On

With the current approach to brand lift studies, agencies and their advertisers aren’t getting the full picture of how their podcast campaign is performing on upper funnel metrics, what creative is working, and with whom. 

Much of this has to do with the traditional approach to brand lift studies for podcasts. Typically, brand lift studies are supplied by publishers as a value-add to the advertising buy. This works fine if the ad buy is limited to one publisher. But as more dollars are being directed to podcasting, sometimes in conjunction with other digital audio, advertisers are maximizing reach by working across several publishers.

Multiple publishers and multiple brand lift studies mean that agencies have to sort through a bevy of different datasets, frequently from different vendors. They struggle to piece together a coherent story for the advertiser. At its best, it can make brand lift studies a heavy lift.

More crucially, when these studies aren’t unified the agency lacks a single dataset with a sufficient sample size to check performance against specific demos or target audiences, by type of podcast ad, by placement to see why the campaign’s working, or why it’s not. That limits the opportunity to optimize the campaign.  

Simply put, the agency isn’t able to take the blinders off to see the full picture of the campaign and share it with their client.

The New Frontier: the Holistic Brand Lift Study

Holistic brand lift studies address the challenge by breaking down the publisher silos to the mutual benefit of agencies, advertisers and publishers.

Instead of publishers fielding individual brand lift studies, the holistic approach launches one study across all publishers. That simplifies the process for both agencies and publishers, and delivers clearer and more comprehensive insights for the advertiser. 

Among the advantages of holistic podcast advertising measurement:

  • Agencies only have to review data from a single study
  • Publisher results can be compared on a true apples-to-apples basis
  • The larger aggregate sample allows you to dig deeper into audience segments, ad creative and ad placements
  • Understanding more about the hows and whys behind the overall campaign’s performance can drive optimization and inform future campaigns for advertisers
  • Greater efficiency for publishers – rather than going to the effort of piloting their own brand lift study, they can make a contribution to the larger study
  • A holistic brand lift study opens the doors to participation among smaller publishers whose ad buy may not justify the cost of conducting a separate brand lift study
  • Finally, other digital audio like AM/FM streaming or music streaming can be measured in the same study.

The holistic brand lift study is a triple win. It represents a win for agencies; a win for brand advertisers; a win for publishers; and a big step forward for podcast advertising effectiveness measurement.

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