Audio Unleashed: The Intersection of Technology and Creativity

Eric Suliga, Creative Director

Digital marketers are under a lot of pressure. In an industry that is continuously evolving, brands are expected to always stay ahead of the trends. Do you feel us on this one? We’ve all been told a time or two that unless we incorporate the “new” and “cutting edge” into our marketing strategies, we’ll never see the level of brand relevance and ROI that our leadership demands. It’s no wonder that many traditional media formats get overlooked--or worse, wrongly mistaken as “stale” or “old school.”

If this is how you’ve been thinking about audio, then it’s time to readjust. Even as a 100-year-old medium, audio is just getting started as the most effective platform for reaching today’s connected consumers. How can this be, you ask? Let us explain…

IoT is a Reality

As the intelligence of our devices increases, the concept of “Internet of Things” is not only a reality, but growing at an incredible pace. Over the next four years, the number of Internet of Things devices is expected to jump from 6.6 billion to a whopping 22.5 billion by 2021. That rate of growth is nothing short of astounding.

The popularity of Internet of Things is largely due to a deep appreciation we have for devices that make managing our connected lives even easier. Think about when Siri first came out compared to how you interact with your connected home devices (like Amazon's Echo or Google Home) today. All it takes is a simple voice command to turn on your lights, lower your thermostat, listen to the news and much more. It’s seamless connectivity at it’s best.

Fitting into a Screenless World

We’re seeing the latest round of tech innovation focused on sensors and voice-enablement. With greater connectivity and less screens, it’s audio that now has our attention. No longer can marketers rely solely on visual branding because people aren’t going to be looking at your logo anymore--they’ll be hearing it instead. According to the IAB’s Digital Audio Buyers Guide, 79% of our audio consumption already takes place in moments where visual media cannot reach consumers.[1] What do you think that’s going to look like as more households adopt voice-enabled devices?

This marks a massive shift in how brands need to think about communicating their message. Combining the strength of digital technology with the innate storytelling power of audio will be the most effective tactic.

Unleash the Power of Audio

In today's earbud generation, audio advertising is truly the only medium that can reach consumers wherever they are. As a format, audio delivers effective and memorable brand stories, and has been proven to make messages more relatable, to convey humor and even to make the listener part of the story through the “Theater of the Mind.”

Whether you’re ready for it or not, digital is moving towards a screenless world and soon enough voice will be the new touch. For marketers, this is an opportunity to reexamine why you may have previously dismissed audio as too “traditional.”

With over 2,000 connected device integrations and 190 car models, Pandora is right there with you. This article is only the beginning of lots more content exploring how these significant shifts in technology are making audio critical for advertising success. And if you’d like to get a head-start on sharpening your audio knowledge, take a moment to download our Definitive Guide to Audio white paper. It has everything you need to prepare for an audio-first future.

Sources: 1 IAB, Digital Audio Buyers Guide, 2016