Adam Curry has been commenting in his podcast for quite a while about how to using advertising in a podcast. Not necessarily 30 second spots (which are dying), but just talking about a product he likes. But is this really advertising? It is not paid. As an advertising customer, could pay a podcaster to talk about the product. However, not many podcasters may be able to to this in a genuine manner.
A listener of The Daily Source Code sent in a comment where he noted that he had purchased specific products because Adam talks about them because he uses them. This in not unlike a conversation you may have with a friend. As a matter of fact, a podcast could be just a conversation between people (not always real-time, but this does not matter). So, any lister can participate in the conversion by sending Adam a comment, and he can play them. This was not as common in TV and radio. Furthermore, with independent podcasters, there are no producers looking over the shoulders of the hosts, telling them what they can and cannot say.
When people go to purchase a new product or service, they may think of what their friends use. Maybe they will remember a conversation they had with a friend where the friend recommended for or against a particular product or service. In the case of this podcast listener, he thought about the conversation he had been listing to Adam have with the audience. And these conversation are genuine, they are not paid (or do not appear to be), otherwise, they would not have this effect.
How could a marketer harness the marketing power of a genuine conversation about a product or service in a podcast? Well, the marker could start by being more involved in the design of product or service, to ensure that it is of hight quality, and reliability. This way, no one could say anything bad about their experience with it. Of course, this is not the traditional role of a marketer. In fact, it could be said that some marketers are hired to make up for products cannot speak for themselves. So, what is a vendor of a product or service to do? They should not make bad products. They should make products that have thoughtful design and a great user experience. Make it so people want to talk highly about your product or service, so that your customers become evangelist as note in a book I read called Customer Mania!. Do I have to mention Apple and 37 Signals again? People want to talk about products and services they are passionate about, and they might talk about them in a podcast, and then thousands of people will hear it. I have not read it yet, but I am sure this is mentioned in Naked Conversations. As a matter of fact, I would be willing to bet that I have just summarized what Naked Conversations is about. My example though is to point out the phenomenon that is created in podcasting, and how it could have a stronger effect than blogging.
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