Direct response advertisers see immediate sales effect when they advertise in podcasts. For brand marketers, the brand effect of podcast ads can be more difficult to measure.
Despite this, there is growing brand interest in podcasts. In their latest podcast revenue report, the IAB and PwC found that the brand spend in podcasts is growing five times as fast as direct response.
Westwood One commissioned Nielsen to conduct a podcast brand effectiveness study for a staffing firm to measure key brand equity measures.
Using an online panel, Nielsen compared those exposed to a clip of a podcast with the staffing firm advertising to those who listened to the podcast clip with no advertising. After listening, respondents were given a survey to measure lift across key brand metrics among those exposed and not exposed to the advertising
There were 800 podcast listeners in the sample, aged 25-54. The podcast that was used to test the campaign was Westwood One’s 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff.
Here are the key findings:
Exposure to the podcast ads significantly boosted the staffing firm’s recall
Compared to those unexposed to the podcast ad, those who heard it experienced higher levels of recall. Among those not exposed to the podcast ad, few were able to name the staffing firm on an unaided basis. 33% of the exposed could recall the staffing firm unaided. Aided recall was much stronger (74%) among those exposed compared to those who didn’t hear the ad (10%).
Familiarity, affinity, intent to seek information, purchase intent, and recommendation intent increased with exposure to the podcast ad campaign
Key brand metrics saw a significant lift post-exposure to the podcast ad. There was +73% growth among the exposed compared to the unexposed in intent to seek more information and intent to recommend the staffing firm. Familiarity (+67%), purchase intent (+64%), and affinity (+60%) also saw substantial growth.
Compared to its competitors, the staffing firm had strong brand metrics among those exposed to the podcast ad
Compared to its competitors, the staffing firm’s podcast ad generated strong performance for key brand measures familiarity, affinity, intent to seek information, purchase intent, and recommendation intent.
Podcast ad exposure increased positive image associations for the staffing firm
Brand building campaigns depend on an emotional connection. According Les Binet and Peter Field, marketing effectiveness experts, building a brand “means creating mental structures … that will pre-dispose potential customers to choose one brand over another.”
For the staffing firm, building strong mental structures was an important outcome of the podcast campaign. Post-exposure, positive associations were up with an average lift of +44%.
59% of exposed listeners felt the company offered them hope in their job search. 55% felt they were able to build personal relationships with employment professionals. 50% of the exposed saw the ability to connect with a mentor or advisor in their field of interest. 49% thought the staffing firm was a company that treated them with respect.
Brand building campaigns are the “proteins of advertising”
While sales activation ads generate short-term sales lift, brand building campaigns are essential for advertisers looking for long-term sales and profit growth. According to Magellan Audio, the company tracking advertising occurrences in podcast programming, the staffing firm joins an increasing number of advertisers using podcasting ads in branding campaigns. Major names like Geico, Procter & Gamble, and Comcast all fall in the top 15 “brand awareness” advertisers in Q1 2019.
With the growing interest in podcast brand awareness campaigns, the staffing firm’s positive campaign impact quantifies the effectiveness of podcast ad campaigns. With boosts in recall, key brand metrics, and positive associations, the campaign proves podcasts to be an important media platform for the staffing firm to build its brand.
- Podcast brand campaigns can be measured by Nielsen
- Exposure to the podcast ads significantly boosted staffing firm awareness
- Familiarity, affinity, intent to seek information, purchase intent, and recommendation intent increased with exposure to the podcast ad campaign
- Compared to its competitors, the staffing firm had strong brand metrics post-exposure to the podcast ad
- Podcast ad exposure increased positive image associations for the staffing firm an average of +44%
- Brand building campaigns are the “protein of advertising” that generate long-term sales and profit growth
Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.