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

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: ABC's Leisa Bacon

In this episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO, ABC's director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, shares how she's navigated the COVID-19 crisis, the milestones and adaptability it's ushered in, and what sustained lessons there are for marketers as we start to recover.

More Videos

Remote working has gained a lot of attention in the past few months. And the key driver to the smooth workflow of remote working is obvio...

varun

How to manage social media during Covid-19

Read more

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well. I just came across your website and I have to say that your work is really appreciative. Your conte...

Rochie Grey

Will 3D printing be good for retail?

Read more

Zero proof spiritsUsa since 2011 www.arkaybeverages.com🤪🤟

Sylvie

How this alcohol-free spirits brand rode the health and wellness wave

Read more

okay this a good newsmaybe i gonna try it

kenzopoker1

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 9 July 2020

Read more

Very insightful. Executive leaders can let middle managers decide on the best course of action for the business and once these plans are ...

Abi TCA

CMOs: Let middle managers lead radical innovation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why CMOs need a clear voice strategy to connect with their customers

Now more than ever, voice presents a clear opportunity to add value to an organisation in many ways. Where operational efficiencies are scrutinised, budgets are tighter and discretionary consumer spend at a low, engaging with an audience is difficult.

Guy Munro

Head of innovation and technology, Paper + Spark

MYOD Dataset: Building a DAM

In my first article in this MYOD [Make Your Organisation Data-Driven] series, I articulated a one-line approach to successfully injecting data into your organisation’s DNA: Using a Dataset -> Skillset -> Mindset framework. This will take your people and processes on a journey to data actualisation.

Kshira Saagar

Group director of data science, Global Fashion Group

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Sign in