Fast Forwarding Through the Funny Parts

“What’s the value of that laugh to someone selling something associated with that laugh?” – Ron Bloom

I’m all for commercial messages in podcasts. I’m all for companies using podcasts as part of their ongoing marketing efforts. Done right – along the lines of what Whirlpool is doing – it’s a great way to reach customers with more on their mind than you. Directly. More deeply than any other medium allows – aside from living with a product.

When it’s expensive to publish (traditional media) marketers have to fight for column inches with real news… or at least the society pages. In the mind of the reader, the advertisements are noise and the column inches are signal. For the marketer – it’s flipped.

Today, it’s cheap to publish. For pennies a bit you’re reading this now. There’s no reason for editorial and advertisement to be delivered in the same package. Delivery is cheap, time is expensive. When I want commercial messages I’ll ask for them. When I don’t – get out of my way.

How many times have you gone to a website hoping for a specific banner ad to be there so you could click through?

Right, you’d just go to the marketer’s site. Directly. Duh.

Chances are someone in your organization is podcasting in their off-hours – might even be a customer.

  1. Find them.
  2. Pay them to produce your company’s podcast.

This is smarter than advertising on an existing podcast for three reasons;

  1. If your product isn’t interesting enough to talk about for 20 minutes why are you selling it?
  2. Your customers are not the same as anyone else’s.
  3. Everyone has a fast forward button.

Thanks to Dave Winer for the pointer to the Business Week podcast. If you listen to it, I recommend Mark Ramsey’s conversation with Douglas Ruskoff as a chaser.

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