Programmatic Audio for Marketers


Following the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Podcast Upfront conducted last week, in which it was revealed that marketers are adapting to fragmentation issues within audio by adopting contextual targeting solutions, ExchangeWire speaks to industry professionals for their take on how advertisers can leverage this rapidly-growing channel.

Combining sight and sound

Zac Pinkham

Audio has long been known to have powerful engagement and recall. The challenge with audio is in the way we consume it–while we exercise, commute, or do housework. When we do these activities, we’re not always able to take the desired action such as visit a brand’s website or make an online purchase. So how do you leverage the strength of audio and the convenience of display? You combine sight and sound.

Octave Audio recently ran a campaign for emerging peanut butter brand Manilife to see how digital audio and social media advertising can work together. In this campaign they, somewhat unknowingly, tested ad recall by providing separate promo codes for each media. What they found was weeks after the audio campaign ended, consumers still converted on the social platforms BUT entered the promo code they heard on the smart speaker ads instead of the visual social ad. This shows audio’s powerful recall and display’s conversion convenience are a potent combination.

In our own studies, when advertisers run “audio first, display second” campaigns, on average, they increase conversion rates by 4x, as compared to display only benchmarks. In these campaigns, advertisers retarget listeners with display ads on the same device or another device, like desktop or tablet, within the same household. Advertisers can set exposure windows, ad frequency and other parameters to ensure audio is receiving valid credit for initiating the conversion, even if the conversion takes place on different device later.

Zac Pinkham, VP, EU demand, AdsWizz

Performance data key

Michal Marcinik

Audio can now offer quite the same performance analytics as display or video. I think small to mid ad spenders can profit from programmatic audio most, as with a fraction of the budget they would spend on the radio can reach a perfectly targeted audience and even measure the performance.

I think the most important thing is the audience data. I would encourage advertisers to work with platforms that have direct relationships with publishers, so they tap on first-party data used for targeting. Most of the DSPs use third-party data coming from different sources so may not be that accurate.

Michal Marcinik, CEO and founder, AdTonos

Layering targeting and engagement

Tilly Sheppard

Audio is uniquely placed among advertising channels because its screen-less format means marketers can reach consumers while they are doing something else – whether that’s driving, exercising, or doing housework. Another key benefit is its strong one-to-one component. Podcast listeners, for example, often listen in while simply relaxing alone, which allows for marketers to engage them while they are in a calm and highly attentive state. Programmatic technology means we can access a greater range of, and more precise targeting options, more flexibility and additional reporting capabilities to existing audio benefits.

With added programmatic audio capabilities, marketers have the option to create more complex and personalised strategies that account for situational circumstances such as mood or interests, weather and location – so creative is as relevant to the listener as possible. There is also the option to adapt ads according to the device used, which is especially important in audio when we know listeners tune in on everything from mobiles and laptops, to in-car radios and home assistants. It’s this programmatic component of the channel that layers on a number of targeting benefits to audio’s natural advantages and ensures it can meet marketers’ objectives and achieve core business outcomes for brands.

Tilly Sheppard, product manager, Xaxis