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In a busy marketplace,
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Seth Godin

Do Podcasts have a place in the future of marketing?


January 31, 2023 · 7 min read

They say some people have a ‘face for a podcast’… and while probably not the best comment to be on the receiving end of, podcasters may have the last laugh when it comes to the future of marketing.

Whether it’s ugly laughing while listening to the weekly 4-1-1 from your fave bestie duo, staying up to date with the latest celeb goss, upskilling from masters in their field, or indulging in the latest true crime thriller, one thing’s for certain – the growing thirst for a good podcast has become an integral component of our day to day life (and we’re all ears). 

If you’re anything like us, our work days are accompanied by the familiar and consistent voices of our tried and tested cult favourite podcasters, acting as a reliable security blanket, and creating the feeling of true friendship, as if we’ve known them for years (a guilty pleasure we aren’t afraid to admit!). 

And it doesn’t just stop there. Beyond the office walls, our listening transcends into our everyday routine. From hot girl walks to groceries, to household chores and traffic-filled commutes, podcasts have truly become the background track to our life. 

With the golden age of 21st century listening in full swing, it comes as no surprise that every man and their dog are wanting a piece of the sweet podcasting pie, with millions of new and emerging voices being added at every twist and turn.

And as with most trends, this new provides opportunities for marketers to leverage upon. While Podcasts have been given the ‘dark horse rep’ when it comes to marketing, often being classed as an under-utilised and undervalued channel, the question remains; Do podcasts have a place in the future of marketing? (*Spoiler alert*  before you find a podcast that will tell you… the answer is definitely a yes).

Move over content… Connection is the new king on this block

But why have podcasts become the greatest thing since sliced bread? Be it lifestyle or self-help, crime or simply a distraction from reality,  whatever genre tickles your fancy, podcasts continue to cement what we already know to be resoundingly true. It’s not some wildly profound idea, in fact it’s surprisingly simple –  the power of connection. 

While numerous studies have been conducted, it doesn’t take an academic to put two and two together. Now, we’re not trying to get all philosophical, but since the dawn of time the human experience has been largely characterised by the need to belong, and by their very nature, Podcasts really do tick these essential boxes. 

Whether you listen for a laugh, to be inspired or to learn something new, the core idea remains the same. We crave that familiar feeling of being part of a community of like-minded people…. And if a fanatic podcast fan-base can’t fix this void, then we’re not sure what could.  We look forward to the weekly releases from our favourite content producers, and a seemingly intimate connection is what keeps us coming back for more; falling forward, hook line and sinker. 

So what does this mean for marketers? If connection is what the people want, this provides opportunities for brands to cleverly align themselves with chosen podcasts, tapping into these coveted relationships and piggy-backing off their success. With celeb-like affinity, where podcasters go, their fans will follow. Really, the hard work has been done for you so to speak. Through collabs and strategic pairings brands could quickly bask in the same popular glory as their content creator counterparts. A no brainer if you ask us.

Birds of a feather flock together – A no brainer for social proofing

They say that the (social) proof is in the pudding and nothing raises the question more than a good poddy. Think about it, when was the last time you tuned into a weekly ep that didn’t mention a product of the week… something they have loved…. A product that was a complete flop. If you really think about it, podcast channels these days have unintentionally doubled as google reviews long lost cousin (twice removed). Be it a makeup item, a new restaurant, a book or even a good playlist, you name it – it’s rare these days that a podcast is free from product chat (and equally a marketer’s dream).

We’ve seen it in Happy Hour with Lucy & Nikki’s recommendations of the week, where the duo share their unfiltered and often irreverent ‘calling-a-spade-a-spade’ style fave product’s or service’s for that week. Low and behold, every weekly release is followed by their cult entourage of ‘punters’ flocking to their Facebook group in droves, to debrief on the week’s trials and tribulations, as well as getting their hands on the seemingly ‘it girl’ product of the week. Adaptations of the same concept have been mirrored across podcasts of all genres, with the results remaining resoundingly positive. 

Its safe to say that podcasts have opened a new avenue for social proofing to work its undeniable magic, and marketers have been reaping the rewards of the #sponno content. With 83% of consumers recommending brands they follow on social media, it makes complete sense that good, honest and relatable conversation about products or services is simple social proofing at its best.

But wait, there’s more

If getting behind the microphone (albeit in the security of a soundproof room) isn’t your style then that’s completely fine. The old mic can be laid to rest and alternative strategic advertising efforts can take the reins. Why not slot an ad into a relevant podcast? We’ve all heard the Hello Fresh ads interrupting our listening experience mid walk, or Emma Chamberlain halting convo in her podcast Anything Goes to promote the latest and greatest sponsor of the ep. Streamlined and highly targeted ad insertions into podcasts are commonplace these days, pairing the intimacy of your routine listening experience, with modern-day digital marketing.

Again, that’s not all either. With a graphic designer in your court, a simple banner design could also be featured on your go-listening app (we’re not going to start on the Spotify vs Apple music debate, but we will judge you on your answer). Again, while this doesn’t get ears tuning into your brand, it does get you more eye-balls on who you are, and you may yield the awareness benefits of in-app promotion. 

It’s 2023 – time to start marketing like it is! If you haven’t considered podcasts in your marketing endeavours to date, you’d be sorely mistaken to neglect such a valuable channel. Be it joining arms with a fan fave, making a debut yourself or dipping your toe in with a banner, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t be considering podcasts in your marketing plan. So, the answer is a RESOUNDING yes, poddys DO have a place in the future of marketing.