The impact COVID-19 continues to have on the live events industry is catastrophic not only for event organisers, but also for those exhibitors that rely on conferences and tradeshows to build future pipeline and deliver customer engagement. Many of these tradeshows have either been postponed, cancelled or turned to virtual, leaving a massive hole in marketing plans. To compensate for this companies have moved overnight to using webinars as an alternative lead generator. In March this year alone, the ON24 platform saw webinar volumes increase by 330% with typical attendee numbers doubling against target expectations.
The argument for applying consumer marketing principles
As an agency, the pandemic is challenging us to think differently and adapt to the new norm. Audiences are still hungry to learn, but after the initial information overload at the beginning of lockdown they are also, we find, becoming more discerning. As the boundary between workspace and homelife becomes increasingly blurred, and is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future – we believe business audiences are starting to behave more like consumers and marketeers should adapt their strategies accordingly.
Spotlight on podcasts
A recent survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published in December 2019 pre-lockdown, shed some interesting light on the growth of one particular media associated with consumers – podcasting. The survey was conducted in 19 countries amongst 9000+ participants and showed a marked increase in podcast consumption with the number of new news podcasts increasing by 32% between January and October* (source Chartable).
The chart below, taken from this study, shows in what circumstances the audience tends to consume podcasts regularly.
Marketing Week also published an article since lockdown highlighting the untapped potential of podcasts from an advertising perspective. It predicted revenue growths for podcast advertising from $402million in 2018 to $650million+ in 2020 – an increase of over 50%!
The puppy factor
The FT even featured a column in May discussing the price of puppies soaring as demand from lonely workers and frazzled families caused supply to outstrip demand – all the indicators are pointing to us settling in for the long-run.
As social distancing enforcements continue and a new longer-term era of homeworking is dawning, the environment for podcast consumption is perfect. Without the daily commute, audiences have more time on their hands, are exercising regularly and working in the home environment where they behave as consumers – which will only encourage podcasting engagement.
This information builds a compelling story to add podcasts into the marketing mix for B2B audience engagement but, as ever, content is king. The business consumer wants bite-sized, snackable compelling content that will help them make informed buying decisions and become educated on the latest trends, technologies and services that can support their business goals.
If you would like to receive more information on how Outsourced Events can successfully support you to deliver compelling podcasts, contact us now on firstname.lastname@example.org .