Category Archives: Articles

The Power of Podcasts

A piece from Lisa Formica, Vice President of fmi direct, inc,  was published on the MarketingProfs site last month discussing The Power of Podcasts. The entire piece is worth a read, and a few of the ‘facts and figures’ are worth repeating:

  • Awareness of the term “podcasting” increased from 22% to 37% in the past year.
  • The audience for audio podcasts grew 18% in the past year.
  • The audience for video podcasts grew 10% in the past year.

The data came from a recent report released by Edison Media Research: The Podcast Consumer Revealed 2008.

So, with all of this information, the question remains — what does it all mean?

For one, it shows that podcasting is not just a fad who’s time has come and gone.  True, it is not getting the attention and time in the spotlight that it was a couple of years ago, but as a medium it continues to gain acceptance.  Also, it demonstrates that podcasting can be used effectively, both as original content, and to augement existing content in other mediums. NPR, ESPN, and the BBC are all good examples of the latter.

Is there a single best use of podcasting, particularly from a marketing standpoint? No. There are thousands of possible best uses – one of which may be right for you and your organization.

Are Today’s Agencies Ready for Tomorrow

As I was catching up on reading some older newsletters, I came across one that had an excerpt from an article written by Joe Marchese, dated July 1, 2008. Marchese’s main point seems to be that agencies, creative shops, marketers and such aren’t ready ready for, or have an organizational structure that supports social media for brands. His contention:

Put simply, Madison Avenue wasn’t built to service brands in social media and, more importantly, Madison Avenue is not built to make money from the proper activation of social media for brands. The question is, can the system adapt, or will a new breed of agency be born in the vacuum of effective social media campaigns? Evolution or revolution? I have seen evidence of both.

He goes on to outline his vision for what a social media agency could look like, and how it could function. One point in particular that seems to give today’s agencies pause lies within this: “You can’t predefine your creative in social media, because it is a conversation. To predefine your creative would be like entering a conversation with a script, and no matter what the other person says, continuing to stick to your script. You might as well be standing in front of a microphone reading a product description.”

So, this begs the question: Are today’s agencies ready for tomorrow? There are several ways to get ready – from staffing up with those who have unique social media skills to outsourcing certain functionality to specialty shops to developing more long-standing partnerships with individuals or companies that can augment an agency’s existing services.

Are today’s agencies ready? In some places, yes. Overall, not yet. But there are ways to get there, as long as you’re willing to take the first step.

Is it on your to do list?

Well, for 93% of businesses, it is.

What, you ask?

Web 2.0.

According to a recent survey by Scene 7, more than 93% of businesses plan to add “web 2.0” capabilities during 2008, and half plan to do so within the next six months.

Participants in the survey included retailers, manufacturers, agencies, and high-tech companies that sell products or services online, according to the MarketingCharts report.

So, the question remains: Is this on your to do list?

Social Media and Recession Fears

Much has been said and written lately about the “cloud of recession” that’s on the horizon, and the effect that it will have on the economy. The overall concensus seems to that its not a question of if, it’s a question of how bad.

In the advertising and marketing world, that leads to the inevitable question of how much will be cut from marketing budgets, and what effect that will have on business.

But unlike previous recession periods, signs suggest that advertisers have other options. According to a recent Adweek article, “The looming economic downturn will inevitably lead to a decrease in ad spending, but marketers are likely to continue shifting money into social media, according to a new study.”

The articles goes on to reference a Forrester Research report that suggests marketers will expand into areas such as word of mouth, blogging and social networking in order to maintain an effective marketing presence even though budgets will likely be cut as the year progresses.

This is just one example of new media can be used to support and grow your business, even in uncertain economic times.