Panel debates the challenges facing digital audio advertising

IAB Australia hosted its Audio Summit in Sydney this week where it explored the current Australian digital audio advertising landscape, with industry experts discussing trends, challenges and opportunities in the space.

Audio advertising remains a strategic part of any marketer's arsenal but challenges in the disjointed nature of the nature and demonstrating its impact holistically remain hurdles to be overcome, several industry pundits say.

During the recent Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Audio event in Sydney, a panel of radio and agency representatives shared their views about how brands can assess what is a good place to start with audio advertising and how they can fit it in with their wider strategy. And there were some bold predictions about how audio will assume primacy in a screen-less future.

Publicis commercial director of performance, Brooke Aniseko, noted several important considerations in devising any modern audio advertising strategy, such as targeting audiences, the creative video being used and how it aligns with the different kinds of pillars of the digital audio. There's also the question of whether you're looking at devices, or a one-to-one interaction with your target audience, versus one-to-many.

However, Aniseko drew attention to the challenging aspects of the digital audio advertising landscape. In particular, these included “disjointed nature of the channel and being able to collectively position them and demonstrate the advantages to each".

"How they work together is going to be key,” she said.

In terms of digital audio, Spotify head of automation A/NZ, Liam Hickey, expanded on the difficulties of buying digital audio in relation to the streaming music platform. For one, there’s the direct business, which locks in an audience without any optimisation. The other way is programmatic

“That's part of my role, to educate buyers why programmatic is potentially a better way to to transact, but we're quite agnostic. However, if buyers want to trade, we're happy to do that. But we're actually seeing that trend is more and more to trade programmatically,” Hickey said.

On the subject of measurement, Southern Cross Austereo head of digital commercial, Jonathan Mandel, said publishers have a role in educating and explaining in a common language along with the role and process of measurement. He also suggested there's an onus on the agencies to be more open to learning about measurement.

Australian Radio Network (ARN) national digitial commercial director, Rick Howells agreed it’s in publishers' best interests to be working harder to ensure buyers understand measurement and the different types of audio and audio advertising. 

“It's making sure we can have the most informed buyers and the more they know the better, but it's down to us, the people with that knowledge,” he said.

Again, Aniseko emphasised the importance of consistency as key. “Things like the audio buyers guide is important so you’re not hearing different information from different publishers or tech providers,” she said.

Howells agreed it's beneficial for all of those in the digital audio advertising industry to make sure there's that measurement or messaging or training and education across the ecosystem. However, in relation to radio at least, he admitted, there aren’t a huge amount of metrics, rather it’s all about planning.

“But they [advertisers] know that it works and it works incredibly well," he said. 

By contrast, with digital there is so much data and so much analytics and almost “too measurable”, Howells continued.

“Digital audio kind of sits in the middle of that void, which is a difficult spot to be in, but things like frequency, reach, but in digital audio, the most important is around the planning,” he said. “With planning, it’s the people you're trying to target, what are they listening to, when are they listening, how are they listening, what kind of device are they on? And then the metrics and come back from that. What are you trying to plan? And this is what we're actually doing against it, whether it's programmatic or direct.”

For Mandel, the best thing anyone can do is get in touch with the publisher partners during the planning.

"At that earliest point, get an understanding of the type of inventory you might be looking to buy,"  he advised. "What is targetable on the inventory, streaming inventory and podcasting inventory? And what is measurable on each? They’ve both got to have a place in the plan, but it’s important not to measure one with the wrong metrics.”

Targeting tips

The panel also spoke on the opportunities of targeting. Hickey said the best approach he’s seen, in terms of music streaming, is balancing the different types of devices which are being targeted and some devices have more scale than others. 

“And also brands which are utilising different creative messages in those different environments. We see better results for the client,” he said.

Mandel explained how he’s seeing the “emergence of that comfort we have with other digital platforms, in terms of targeting capabilities, now coming to audio”.

“The most sound advice I've ever heard is to make sure you're targeting is just a tactical strategy within your holistic approach and not the entire campaign strategy. You don't want to just solely rely on a hyper niche or hyper targeting,” he said.

Howells finished by explained how the industry has moved in less than a year from a focus on streaming to a focus on podcasting and “consumers and brands are leading it very, very quickly”.

“That's what no one knows - how much revenue? How much media spend is going to happen this year in the space?” he asked.

Predicting what will be the catalyst for the explosion in growth, Howells nominated measurement through data, Hickey nominated data, while Aniseko said a holistic approach to the total audio strategy, how the different modules interact and what their place is in the total media buy. Mandel also higlighted the explosion of device and screenless future.

“If you’re not focusing on an audio strategy, holistically, as an advertiser and for your business, you’re going to fall behind," he added. "Everything that comes out from here on end is going to be built from a voice-first perspective. Google itself announced that it no longer has a mobile-first strategy, it has a voice-first strategy.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.  

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

I found decent information in your article. I am impressed with how nicely you described this subject, It is a gainful article for us. Th...

Daniel Hughes

What 1800 Flowers is doing to create a consistent customer communications experience

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed ...

FIO Homes

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

I find this very strange. The Coles store i shop in still has Flouro lights? T though this would have been the 1st thing they would have ...

Brad

Coles launches new sustainability initiative

Read more

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

Blog Posts

Why conflict can be good for your brand

Conflict is essentially a clash. When between two people, it’s just about always a clash of views or opinions. And when it comes to this type of conflict, more than the misaligned views themselves, what we typically hate the most is our physiological response.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Sign in