Dec. 17, 2020

How Does Podcast Advertising Work and Why is it Effective?

How Does Podcast Advertising Work and Why is it Effective?

With the explosive growth in the podcast ad industry, many marketers ask the question: How does podcast advertising work? From Incremental Media, Eric Smith joins us on the show today to talk about how to leverage podcast ads, why they are unique, and...

With the explosive growth in the podcast ad industry, many marketers ask the question: How does podcast advertising work? From Incremental Media, Eric Smith joins us on the show today to talk about how to leverage podcast ads, why they are unique, and some of the challenges advertisers face when they are new to the marketing channel.

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This transcript has not been edited.


[00:00:29]Heather Osgood: [00:00:29] Hello, and welcome to The Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. Thank you for joining me today on the show today, we have Eric Smith with Incremental Media. Eric has a long history in the podcast industry and he has recently joined Incremental Media and I'm excited to have him on the show today.

[00:00:48] I really felt like because of his history in this space and because of where he's at, he would be a great guest for us today. Welcome to the show, Eric.

[00:00:56] Eric Smith: [00:00:56] Thanks Heather.

[00:00:56]Heather Osgood: [00:00:56] So, yeah. So can we start by just having you tell everybody a little bit about [00:01:00] yourself and your history and what has gotten you to your position currently with Incremental Media?

[00:01:05] Eric Smith: [00:01:05] Yeah, sure. Most recently, for about five years, I was at Vox Media. Vox they own a handful of digital brands actually, right when I was leaving, they acquired New York Magazine. So they've gotten New York Mag, SB Nation, Eater, Curbed, The Verge, a handful of kind of digital first brands. And I did, a bunch of different roles there, but yeah was working across really everything they do.

[00:01:25] So custom content, high impact units, and of course podcasts. And now I've been an Incremental Media for a little over eight months. I started, back in early March, which was certainly an interesting time to start a new company, but Incremental Media specializes in offline marketing channels. Things like inserts, if you get a package and there's other offers in it, or a shared mail thing, like ValPack or Clipper, if anybody listening, lives in more of a suburban area. And then of course podcasts. So I lead, the podcast team. I'm the Director of Podcasts Media Buying.

[00:01:54] So I'm working with an array of clients, all really in the direct response space. DR is [00:02:00] all we do and all we've done for 15 years and that's how we evaluate success for our clients. So everything is focused on DR

[00:02:06] so one of the things that I thing is so fascinating that I always like to talk to people about is podcast advertising online or offline?

[00:02:13] And so obviously Incremental Media, being an offline company has established that podcasts are offline. So I'm curious, given your background, what is your perspective on podcast advertising? Do you feel like it really does fall in the offline category and is there a reason why it might fall in that category?

[00:02:32] That's a good question. And it's a nuanced answer. I would say it is offline in the sense that you don't have the same type of tracking that a Google or Facebook or somebody else is going to have. There are new measurement companies out there that I'm actually a big fan of, that help you evaluate it in a similar way.

[00:02:50]So yeah. offline marketing. I was certainly bucketed as offline marketing in the sense that you're, you have to think about it in the same way. Like we think about inserts or think about shared mail. [00:03:00] But there is a little bit, it's becoming more digital in a way that I'm actually excited about coming from more of a digital background because you can measure things in a more digital way and help people. The traditional way of measuring podcast success for anybody listening, who doesn't know, is you capture a promo code or a vanity URL, and then you use the post-purchase survey to amplify and figure out what the halo effect of podcasts was.

[00:03:21]Which is fine, but it's certainly not the most scientific way of figuring out success. like I said, some of those new digital measurement companies that, that we work with help evaluate podcasts in a way that digital marketers are more comfortable with. And it's just a little bit more precise

[00:03:36] Heather Osgood: [00:03:36] Yeah, absolutely. given the fact that you guys are so focused on offline, do you feel that I know obviously you've mentioned that these new companies, that are providing us with a lot of attribution information, do you feel that it helps or does it change the approach that you might take, from an overall kind of offline perspective?

[00:03:58] Eric Smith: [00:03:58] Not necessarily. I think if [00:04:00] anything, what it does is it gives podcasts the credit that I think it deserves. I think a lot of times, I feel like some of the larger social networks that you could probably think of, are taking credit for other people's homework that, podcasts are driving the real meaningful action, somebody visits a site and then, they get retargeted by something else. And then that marketing channel gets the credit. So I think really podcasts are one of the few marketing channels that exist out there that actually can all in one ad take you from awareness, so I just learned about that brand, to consideration, Oh, this host or this personality actually found a benefit from this product or service to, Oh, I'm going to go actually buy that, in a way that, very few other marketing channels do. So if anything, I'm the reason why I'm so bullish on those technology and measurement platforms is because they help give podcasts the credit that again, I think they rightfully deserve.

[00:04:51] Heather Osgood: [00:04:51] Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. And I think that it is nice to be able to get some of that credit, because I think a lot of times we, in the podcast industry don't receive that. [00:05:00] I'm curious, I know you walked through a time period, and I totally agree with you, I think that podcasts advertising can take you from, being unaware of a product to being aware, and then all the way through transaction. Given your experience, if somebody were listening to the show and they were like, gosh, I really want to get into podcast advertising, but I'm concerned because we're brand new to this space. How long do you, would you say that it typically takes a company to go from awareness to transaction with a podcast campaign? Is that something that happens in a matter of an ad or two, or an impression or two? Or is it something you see that takes many months?

[00:05:36] Eric Smith: [00:05:36] Yeah, it's a really highly debated thing. I think in the industry broadly when we think about podcasts in general. If you think about in terms of inserts or shared mail, like we insert one ad into one package probably once a month, maybe at most. So we're of the belief that, you want to spread the wealth as much as you can test as many shows as possible. And do it at as low of a frequency as possible. Like some shows, have certain [00:06:00] minimums and, again, rightfully so they, if they warrant that, it's because they're a show that's demand, but, we're of the belief that you can spread the wealth in that sense. And then some more kind of directly address your question.

[00:06:10]It's pretty clear, pretty quickly, which shows are the ones that are going to resonate with your audience in which shows aren't. We have certain shows that it doesn't matter what product we put on there. It just works immediately. And they just have a really responsive audience. And some, they take a little bit longer to ramp up.

[00:06:25] So I would say most of the time, it's pretty clear after, one ad within a week or two, you're not going to have all of your sales for sure. The podcasts have a really long tail in that sense, but yeah you will have a good idea of if a show is working or not. And which shows to double down on, or which should potentially move away from within, I would say a week or two of your ad dropping.

[00:06:46] Heather Osgood: [00:06:46] I would say you're definitely not the first person that I have heard say that there are some podcasts that just work really well. What, in your opinion, constitutes a podcast that does work really well? What are those [00:07:00] maybe the shows have, or those hosts have, that just continue to deliver results for advertisers. Maybe, even if they're not even in the same categories, but they just perform well. What do you see there?

[00:07:10] Eric Smith: [00:07:10] Yeah, it's we have something we use called an influence score. We have our own way of figuring out the impact of an individual host or a show. But for us, there's this unique middle ground from at least like a show size standpoint.

[00:07:23] So, we don't go on shows that are really small, just because they're really hard to scale if we get a show to work, it costs a hundred dollars a spot, it's not a great way for anybody to use their media dollars to try and scale it. But at the same time, especially if you're a direct response client, like the vast majority of ours are, if it's a really big show, it's sometimes really hard to make work unless we get more efficient pricing.

[00:07:44] So there's this middle ground that, let's call it 25,000 to 200,000 downloads that typically are the strongest performing. But then on top of that, we'll look at things like the host social following, or we use some competitive intelligence tools to understand the performance of shows [00:08:00] if we haven't been on the show already and have our own data and understanding on it. Sometimes it's also as simple and unscientific as just listening to the ads. And if the host, you can hear right away if they're just reading the talking points or if they're, engaging their co-host, or if they're doing something unique or if they've quite frankly, especially if we've sent them a sample, actually tried the product and experienced the benefits.

[00:08:21]I can think of a client that we work with, who is like an anti-nausea device. It's got, it's really slick looking band, a couple of hundred dollars products. And when we vetted chose for them, we actually went to hosts and podcast networks to say, Hey, do any of you deal with nausea or motion sickness or car sickness or all that kind of stuff.

[00:08:41] And we found hosts who actually dealt with that. And then as a result of finding those hosts, when they did the ads, you could really hear the difference versus someone who just read an ad for a product that they were given the ad read for.

[00:08:52] When someone was like, wow, I deal with car sickness all the time. I always drive up to big bear for vacation. This thing has changed my life. Like that is you can [00:09:00] totally hear the difference in the quality of the ad versus, somebody who's sticking to a really specific script and just their enthusiasm for it as is not quite as strong. So it's not the most scientific thing to say. But at the end of the day, it is just listening to ads of hosts and figuring out which ones are the most genuine and enthusiastic.

[00:09:19]Heather Osgood: [00:09:19] I think one of the things you said is really interesting, which I have podcasts in particular ask me about all the time is, what is the right size? I think a lot of times podcasters think, Oh, the more downloads I have the better, but I have found as we have begun at True Native Media to deal with bigger and bigger podcasts, that there is a threshold where when you get too large, it can be difficult for advertisers to see a return because when you're paying, let's say $20,000 for a spot, you're going to have to sell a lot of product in order to really get a return on your investment. Now, obviously you're reaching a much larger audience. As you mentioned, if you've got a smaller show, you really can't scale with that. So bigger shows can, we can [00:10:00] scale with those, but there does seem to be a threshold where if you get too big, unless you're really, I think Uber famous, you can struggle a little bit if your show is really large, but maybe you don't personally have a lot of influence. So do you find that to be the case when you get over 200,000 downloads, let's say per episode, do you find that it can be more difficult to get a return on your investment?

[00:10:26] Eric Smith: [00:10:26] Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, there's always exceptions to the rule of some folks that truly do have the influence, but generally speaking, yes. I think there is a rough cutoff of posts that, unless they are really influential is just marketing at the end of the day as a math game.

[00:10:41]We're trying to, especially in the direct response space, people want to know that they're getting a return and that's why we do a lot of things we do to make sure they have a clear understanding of performance. But, just from a pure show standpoint, it just gets hard. You've got to sell a lot of individual products to, or services, whatever you're selling, to make it [00:11:00] work. And, some marketers are a little bit more nuanced and they'll be more comfortable with a lower return knowing that, for example, if they're in whole foods or they're in a bunch of different retailers that there's some kind of halo effect as a result of that.

[00:11:11] But, generally speaking, yeah, there's this middle ground that at least when you think about batting a higher percentage, more percentage of those shows tend to work then if you're really small or if you're really big.

[00:11:23] Heather Osgood: [00:11:23] And do you find, is there a certain maybe either price point or like lifetime value of a customer that makes podcast more doable?

[00:11:31] And I know, I always think back I had a conversation. Gosh, it's probably been about a year and a half ago now with an earphone company and this gentlemen made earphones or headphones, I should say, not earphones,  headphones for people to sleep in. So they were flat and I said, what is the lifetime value of your customer?

[00:11:49] And he said  most people just buy one $15 pair of headphones and then they're gone. And I was like, okay. I don't think podcast advertising is a good fit for you because I think you're going to. Have a really hard time getting [00:12:00] return on your investment. What is your perspective on that?

[00:12:03] Eric Smith: [00:12:03] Yeah, that's absolutely right. I would even say that for not just podcasts, but for the other channels I mentioned before, like inserts and shared mail, typically, you want to be like a hundred dollars plus product, or at least if you're a subscription product that has more of a longer lifetime value to it.

[00:12:17]That's typically what we see work well. We have clients that are an air purifier and a water purifier that are a couple of hundred dollars. So those work really well, because again, it just comes back to that math game I was talking about before, you have to drive less volume and especially if you're trying to reach more of a kind of niche audience that not everyone is going to pony up the money for a more expensive product.

[00:12:39]Podcasts tend to be more affluent. They tend to be more educated. So there's certain types of products, that we just approach certain, prospective clients or current clients with and say, you'd be really good for podcasts because it costs X amount to buy your product or service.

[00:12:52]At $19.95, like I said, even for those other channels, I think you nailed it. You gotta sell a lot of those products and [00:13:00] especially if they haven't maxed out social or search that are a little bit cheaper, at least from a CPM standpoint, for the most part, we always recommend go in there first and then, once you want to diversify and get out of those kind of lower funnel, super-super lower funnel channels, that's what we're here for is to help with that.

[00:13:16] Heather Osgood: [00:13:16] So I feel when I talked to potential advertisers, a lot of the companies I talked to say, we have been investing everything in social and paid search and either maybe they're not seeing the return that they used to see, or a lot of times, especially if we get like a new person, that's got a new com position at a company, that they're like, Hey, they're putting all of their eggs in these like handful of baskets.

[00:13:41] I think we should diversify. obviously that's where you and your company come in. But when we look at diversification, how important do you think it is for companies and marketers to diversify their spending?

[00:13:54]Eric Smith: [00:13:54] I think it depends on the client. Like some people were like, we just talked about, they, I think they just aren't [00:14:00] right for podcasts or they aren't right for certain channels and we don't want to use anybody's time or resources to do something that doesn't make sense for them. But, it's more like address lead directly, address your question. There's just like a certain point where I think most companies can feel it. If you're a savvy marketer at a client, like we're just way too focused on these two places.

[00:14:18] And you can start to see that like diminishing returns whether, all of a sudden, the CPM skyrocket in a certain channel. Or, I was reading a study recently, from a company called Claritas that talked about when you add podcasts to your media mix, you typically see a 34% increase in conversions for other channels, meaning, like a rising tide lifts all boats type of mentality. But when you add display or you add TV, typically there's only like a 1 to 3% increase. So they're not really driving new people. A lot of times in some of those channels, they're just driving the same people who happen to be coming from a different place. So why we've specifically focused on certain channels and specifically avoided other ones was, [00:15:00] one, I think a lot of clients can quite frankly, do you know something like a Facebook or a Google in-house. And then two is that these channels tend to be a little bit more nuanced. You need more of a subject matter expert to certainly get you off the ground, but definitely to scale you as well in them. So there's this sort of balance. And I think a savvy marketer knows when they're too heavily invested in a certain place and need to start thinking about that stuff.

[00:15:23]Which is again, why we've positioned our company to be specifically helping them when they feel like they're at that moment. And I think a lot of marketers these days are feeling that way. Like they've, especially if you're a new D to C brand and you always go to the, Facebook and Google or some combination of those kind of companies first, you can only ring that towel for so long before you got to go to a new place to find customers.

[00:15:44]Long-winded answer to your question, but yeah, I think at the end of the day, social is certainly important. We would never say turn that off to go, do podcasts or something like that. But, we do think that podcasts and some of the other channels we operate in drive new customers, not just other customers that would have came in through the [00:16:00] other channels anyways.

[00:16:01]Heather Osgood: [00:16:01] And why do you think that podcasts really referencing that study from Claritas, why do you think that podcasts have such an impact where as other channels don't? Is it because people listening to podcasts, I always wonder. obviously everyone has different media consumption patterns.

[00:16:18] And I think a lot of times podcasters, a lot of them listen to podcasts, right? Not that they, of course, don't do other things cause everybody does other things, but diehard podcasts, listeners spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. So do you think it's that they're just maybe not in those other medias as often, and that's why there's such a big increase there.

[00:16:36] Eric Smith: [00:16:36] I think honestly, a big reason why I wanted to work in podcasts was just because it was one of the only marketing channels that I felt actually impacted me personally. Like I listened to podcasts ads and thought, wow, that was a cool company. Like I'm going to go check them out and then ended up buying something from them.

[00:16:50] And I've had a lot of friends tell me the same thing. I don't really can't think of an example where someone was like, Oh, I saw, a 300 X 250 banner and then all of a sudden, [00:17:00] so excited or even like TV ads too. I felt like podcasts made an impact in a way that other advertising don't.

[00:17:07] And again, it goes back to the kind of embedded host read, endorsed, authentic way that podcasts deliver advertising. And again, not every podcast, I'm not like every podcast that I hear, I'm going to go run and buy something. But, when done correctly I felt like it actually made a difference. So that was a big reason why I was at first, the podcast consumer, and then wanted to actually work in that industry because I felt really passionately that the channel actually does impact people in a way that other marketing channels don't. And again, that's not the most scientific answer, but at the end of the day, like I think you can just feel it right. You can feel when an ad actually persuades you and impacts you versus I DVR most things and skip through TV ads anyways. So I just think there's a difference in the quality of the ads in podcasts versus some other kind of similar channels. 

[00:17:51]Heather Osgood: [00:17:51] Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I think it's so funny because, so often when we watch TV at our house, we do, we DVR, we watch like Netflix or something. And [00:18:00] so it's always strange when we're in a situation where we watch all these TV ads and we're like, My goodness, what are all these TV ads? You just get so accustomed to not receiving them.

[00:18:10] And I think that is where the value of podcasts come in is that host read endorsement ad, which I think really leads me to the question of, as you are seeing kind of the landscape and the industry unfold, I think we always have to address, on this show and in all of our conversations where the industry is headed, because it is moving so quickly and making so many, strides ahead. And we're in such an interesting place because we've had holes in the industry, right? We've had holes with metrics and not being able to provide, a lot of digital advertisers in particular with what they feel they need to justify podcast advertising.

[00:18:49]On the same, side though, we see the strength of the host read ad and one of the concerns that I have is that as we have companies like Spotify [00:19:00] moving into this space, and as we look at maybe more streaming ads or programmatic ad buying that happens, we're going to get away from that host read ad.

[00:19:08] And, I always like to look back at radio and see the evolution of radio. And I always am worried, that we're going to get to a place where all the host read ads are going to be gone, because it's so much easier just to run these prerecorded ads as a podcast, as a podcast host, you have so little work to do. If somebody is just plugging an ad into your show from an experience perspective, though, and from an effectiveness perspective, host read ads are so much better. I'm curious what your thought is about that?

[00:19:40] Eric Smith: [00:19:40] Yeah. I think, True Native is a well-named company and that you guys are doing advertising, I think, in podcasts in the right way. I think the Spotifie of over the world that have moved into podcasting. And I think done a lot of good things for podcasting to be clear. But, I think some of the advertising in Spotify specific shows when you hear it [00:20:00] does not feel nearly as native and embedded as other podcasts do and other platforms.

[00:20:06] So I do get a little bit concerned, especially, when I hear big brand X. I don't want to name any names, you hear a big brand and they just took their radio spot and ran it on podcasts. That really makes my blood boil because quite frankly, it brings the whole time channel down.

[00:20:20]It's going to cause people to skip ads and want to not pay attention to the advertising when the quality of the ads goes down. So I think smart hosts understand the value of that. and quite frankly, that maybe the easy money, so to speak in the industry to work with a big fortune 500 brand.

[00:20:36] But, at the end of the day, I get a little bit concerned when someone just tries to force fit their radio spot into the podcast channel at the same time, for any brand. I think podcasts, someone told me this once and it really resonated with me that podcasts are where the cool brands hang out.

[00:20:52]And that really resonated with me in the sense. That's where I learned a lot of the brands that I'm interested in. my wife makes fun of me that I'm a walking direct to consumer ad with all [00:21:00] the clothes that I wear. But anyways, I do think podcasts are good and that they help you learn about something new, about the major insurance company that spends $50 million a year on TV.

[00:21:09] You don't need to hear their ads in podcasts. So I think if they play by the rules and do it with the host three and maybe do it in a genuine and unique way, I'm not necessarily against it, but I would tell any brand, not just any big company to really think about if podcasts are right for them. And if they have some kind of unique story or identify or something that a host can get behind, because if you're just, big brand X I don't know if, the hosts are going to give you the genuine, authentic read, and again, for me, I really don't like that because it brings the whole channel, in my opinion down.

[00:21:41] Heather Osgood: [00:21:41] Yeah, and I think it's so important for hosts to think about the success that their advertisers have and also what the listening experience is. And I definitely find in my conversation with podcasters that most hosts are very conscientious. They have spent a whole lot of time investing in growing their audience and they [00:22:00] don't want to turn listeners off by, giving them all of these prerecorded ads.

[00:22:05] But I think that it's this fine line and that we have to realize that if marketers and advertisers, aren't seeing success in this space, that number one, the rates are going to plummet. And number two, it's not going to differentiate us. And right now, the power of podcast advertising is that we are so much different.

[00:22:24]And even to your point, like how you mentioned wanting to come to podcast advertising, because it felt interesting. And I remember when I, before I found a True Native Media, listening to ads and looking at the industry and thinking, gosh, where's the opportunity here because it did feel so unique and it is unique. And I always just really want to encourage people to hang on to that uniqueness. And not to say that we don't want big companies to come in and we do want the power of the growth of the industry, but I just think it's so important for us to do that in a wise way. And part of that is really [00:23:00] continuing to embrace the host read ad. And my hope is that even if we do get to a place where we do have more streaming or more prerecorded ads in this space, that we'll still always have those host read ads. So fingers crossed that'll be the case.

[00:23:13] Eric Smith: [00:23:13] Yeah and I think that there's nothing wrong with it to be clear, like if a big brand wants to get involved. I think again, they tend to do more brand awareness campaigns. Sometimes their CPMs tend to be a little bit stronger than some of the DR guys are comfortable with.

[00:23:26] And that's good for the industry. That's good for the podcast, right though. Make more money, and that's always a great thing. But again, as long as they play by the podcast rules and do ad reads the right way, I hope that will at least keep the listener engaged.

[00:23:40] And, even just quickly brought something up before about, frequency in radio versus podcasts. Like in radio or TV, you might see seven or eight ads in a row. In podcasts if you heard two or three ads in a row, that would be a lot. So I think people need to maintain that as well, or else it's going to become too radio for lack of a better [00:24:00] term. And people won't be as engaged with the ads as they are with the content. So it's always that delicate balance.

[00:24:05]Heather Osgood: [00:24:05] Absolutely, I totally agree. One of the things that I really wanted to talk to you about was how do we, as marketers, or how do brands do a good job of integrating podcasts advertising into their marketing mix? Because I find sometimes, people, it's almost like they see podcasts and they're like, gosh, something's going on over in that podcast ad space.

[00:24:26] I should probably try it out. I'm just going to run a few ads and see what happens, but it doesn't necessarily feel like they're really committing and granted, you're not going to throw your entire budget into an untested channel. You need to test the channel, you need to test the podcast, make sure it's going to work, but how would you recommend that people integrate podcast advertising into their overall mix or their overall strategy?

[00:24:48] Eric Smith: [00:24:48] Yeah. So there's a lot to unpack there. But I'll say from a podcast standpoint, like some people will say, Oh, you got to spend six figures on a test, or you're not really gonna feel the impact of the [00:25:00] channel. You'll certainly feel more of an impact if you started at a higher number, but, especially in the direct response space, people aren't going to typically start at that high of a budget.

[00:25:07]So they want to test in the $25k to $50K range. See how podcasts work and then expand out from there. So I think people can get a good feel for the industry at a budget like that. And I think there's a huge issue with people either choosing shows that they are personally fans of or shows that they think their brand makes sense on. But, even compared to two or three years ago, podcasts have a lot more audience information than they used. To even just people polling their audience to find out who their listeners are and things like that. I would, the planning process for podcasts, honestly, it's the most time consuming channel we handle for clients. It's more manual than basically any channel I know that exists, but it's getting better in that regard.

[00:25:50]But I do think that podcasts are in a way you need to kind of test in a wide range of categories, tests in the most [00:26:00] intelligent way. If you're a female brand that reaches women in their thirties, you should try health shows, you should try true crime shows. You should try a bunch of different categories and say, Hey, where is my audience potentially across all of these different show genres, and also find hosts that are maybe a little bit different. Still within that core audience that you're looking to reach. But, I think sometimes people are surprised though. I thought my audience was really that type of person on podcasts, but really it ends up being this person. The podcasts are just so unique that it's really hard to just say, Oh, what I'm doing over in this other channel has gotta be the same thing that I should be doing in podcasts.

[00:26:33]It takes a lot of kind of time and patience to test across the widest range of shows and categories, to be able to ultimately figure out how to double down and expand on what works and obviously, fade away from something that doesn't. .

[00:26:47] Heather Osgood: [00:26:47] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. One of the things that you mentioned earlier that I think is so important to look at is identifying the right podcast. And you also mentioned, which I don't disagree with that [00:27:00] podcasts can be one of the most manual and challenging mediums to tackle. If someone is considering getting into podcast advertising, I like to recommend a few different ways to go about getting into podcast advertising.

[00:27:14] Obviously your company provides that service as well. So I'm curious, when do you think a company should choose to go with an agency or just try to do podcasts ad buying on their own?

[00:27:25] Eric Smith: [00:27:25] Yeah, I think, going back to like big company versus medium to small company discussion, like most medium companies have medium size companies that are going to not have the time and effort and resources to be able to do podcasts correctly. if you're a really big company and you've got a hundred person marketing team, there's probably a team in there that can handle the channel for you. But if you're in that kind of middle spot of you're a 25 person company to maybe even a couple thousand employees like.

[00:27:57] You just, you need someone who's a subject matter [00:28:00] expert. Not to be self promotional, but I think you need someone who is really experienced in the channel, knows how to properly evaluated, properly measure. Has probably competitive intelligence and things on what shows work and what shows don't.

[00:28:12]I think a lot of people will try to do podcasts themselves and just choose an assortment of shows that they think makes sense. But without that kind of deep history and data and understanding of what shows are really responsive, you might pick a few of the wrong shows and then, Oh, that's a failed channel.

[00:28:27] And all of a sudden you lost the opportunity there. Even one or two minor mistakes to make the difference between a successful campaign and a not successful one. Again, I think that's why people come to places like Incremental Media and other folks in this space because we do really know, the host, we get on calls with them. We have relationships, that are different than someone just trying to get in thespace and start from square one.

[00:28:49] Heather Osgood: [00:28:49] Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I think that it's so valuable and it is it's very time consuming to try and identify the right shows that are going to work for you.

[00:28:57] So having someone like yourself and your [00:29:00] team on their side, I think is really valuable. I really appreciate you being on this show, Eric, if people are listening and they would like to find out more information about yourself or maybe just talk to somebody at your company about podcast advertising, where can they find you?

[00:29:13] Eric Smith: [00:29:13] Yeah. Sure. you could just go to and we have a little contact page, or you can email me directly, or even go on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn, but, it's sometimes hard to find Eric Smith. There's a lot of Eric Smiths out there.

[00:29:27] So will probably be the easiest way to directly make sure you're contacting me. But, yeah, that would be what I would recommend. and yeah, totally appreciate the time Heather. And thanks for having me on.

[00:29:38] Heather Osgood: [00:29:38] Yeah, thank you. It's been great chatting. And, thank you for listening to the show.

[00:29:42] If you're interested in finding out more about podcast advertising, of course set up Eric's company. if you'd like to reach out to us at True Native Media, we can also be of service. So thanks so much for listening to the show and have a great day.



Eric SmithProfile Photo

Eric Smith

Director, Podcast Media & Business Development

Eric oversees media buying, creative development, and analytics for the podcast division. He also has a dual role as Director of Business Development, pursuing new business in all of our media channels.

Eric started his career at Disney ABC where he handled all aspects of media planning for Spark, Havas, and Mediavest clients in an effort to display ABC’s capabilities through full-episode player media, sponsorships, roadblocks, and custom watch ads. Prior to joining Incremental Media, Eric was at Vox Media where he started as an Account Manager and went on to become the youngest Account Director in the history of the company. In that role, he had a wide range of responsibilities from pitching prospective and current clients on Vox Media’s ad products to building media plans and RFP decks to leading reporting calls and wrap deck presentations. Eric has extensive experience in the Financial Services, Insurance, and D2C categories with companies like Allstate, LendingTree, Brighthouse Financial, and more. He left Vox as one of the highest performing Account Directors on the Business Development team.

Eric holds a BA in Sports Management from the University of Michigan.