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“Currently, 40% of media consumption is audio, which is predicted to rise to 50% by 2025. However, the advertising spends on audio are not keeping pace with this trend, presenting a huge opportunity for marketers to invest in audio advertising and reach their audience in new and innovative ways”, says Linda Palmgren (Linda), CEO, Bauer Media Audio, Sweden – a part of the leading audio entertainment company in Europe and Bauer Media Group. In this article, Linda talks about the current trends in media consumption, their impact on the relationship between brands and their consumers and the new ways to connect with the consumers in keeping with these trends.
Linda, an inspirational leader, is passionate about empowering people, brands and businesses to succeed. In this article, she also highlights the importance of communication in marketing and leadership alike.
- Linda’s Journey into Marketing and Leadership
- Building a Leading Audio Company: Bauer Media
- Media Consumption Trends
- Communication: Building Relationships between Brands and their Consumers
- Future of Audio
- Final Thoughts
- Lessons Learned
Linda’s Journey into Marketing and Leadership
Linda began her career with a role in the development of commercial radio in Sweden. Next, she worked in advertising, garnering several years of rich experience. She is also credited for introducing the concept of influencer marketing to the Swedish market.
Thereafter, she served as the CEO of Starcom, a media agency in Stockholm and as the Chief Development Officer for the Publicis Groupe in Sweden.
Throughout her career, Linda has also taken on leadership roles on the boards of various companies. At present, she serves on the board of Stadium (a leading Nordic sports fashion retailer), Logcast (a micro podcast platform for audio creators), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the Swedish Marketing Federation.
Since August 2020, Linda is the CEO of Bauer Media Audio – Sweden (Bauer Media) and is focused on developing and refining the company.
Building a Leading Audio Company: Bauer Media
Linda is committed to transforming Bauer Media into a leading audio company in the media industry. She is leveraging the strengths of the company such as dedicated, passionate, and experienced team members, to enter the next level of audio possibilities in the market.
Bauer Media is highly focused on its customers, both advertisers and their audiences such as listeners and users. She emphasised that Bauer Media is in fact ‘customer-obsessed’. The goal is to understand customer problems and address customer needs, she reiterated.
“We are deeply committed to our customers, and the customer journey is at the forefront of our strategy. For example, our customers from the agency and advertising side come from a variety of industries – retail, FMCG, car brands, and medical companies. We aim to understand and bring value to our customers and their clients’ journeys. When they utilise the full range of our products, such as spot campaigns and audio content, they get more value for their investments.
We have recently started our Customer Success Centre making us more data-driven and enabling us to provide even more value to our customers by understanding and analysing data.”
With an unwavering focus on the customers and a culture of transparency and inclusivity within the organisation, Linda has been steadily transforming Bauer Media from a traditional radio company to an audio company that is a thought leader in the market.
Linda talked about the industry Bauer Media operates in, which is witnessing an evolution in media consumption, impacting the way how marketers communicate with consumers.
Media Consumption Trends
In today’s world, the market for media consumption is more complex than ever before. Media consumption behaviour is changing; for example, smart speakers for breakfast, radio in the car, air pods on the train, online at work or podcasts in the evening. Marketers are trying to understand where the audience is and looking for ways to get closer to the audience.
Linda highlighted some prominent trends in media consumption behaviour:
1. Consumers are becoming increasingly mobile and are turning to on-demand and community-based platforms
2. Communities are becoming stronger and more important than ever before
3. Consumers are evolving from being passive consumers to active creators
4. There is a shift from the attention economy to the creator economy i.e., from following the influencers to creating their content and speaking their minds
5. Audio consumption is witnessing rapid growth and is expected to increase further presenting a huge opportunity for marketers to invest in audio advertising
Linda asserted that considering these trends, marketers need to be brave and trust their intuition in understanding their audience and deciding where to invest their money. “In a world where AI, Metaworlds, third-party cookies and ChatGPT are discussed in our industry, don´t forget to focus on your customer cycle and truly understand where the audience you want to create a deeper relationship with is in the world of media during the day”, she said. It’s also important to be open to trying new things, even if they may seem risky. For instance, allocating a portion of the budget (20% for example) to experimentation and finding new ways to connect with the audience.
Interestingly, marketing, product and engineering are merging owing to the evolving media consumption behaviour.
“The online and on-demand behaviour of consumers is constantly evolving, making the products we develop more complex. At Bauer Media, we use our content and various platforms in different formats to create a unique consumption behaviour throughout the day. The marketing, product and engineering teams are merging to focus on the customer journey and develop a powerful tech stack that supports processes and communication. We use tools like HubSpot (a collaboration between sales and marketing) to attract, engage, and retain customers and our Customer Success Centre is meant to further automate sales and marketing efforts”, Linda elaborated.
The new media consumption trends have also impacted the relationship between brands and their consumers.
Communication: Building Relationships between Brands and their Consumers
Linda believes that effective communication is key for brands to connect with their audience. As against traditional marketing tools, effective communication serves as the new tool with which brands can bring value to the audience and establish long-term relationships.
Linda listed out the ways in which brands can build relationships with their consumers through effective communication:
1. Setting the context: When creating campaigns, brands should be aware of the context and environment in which they are communicating. By bringing value to the audience and the channel, brands can create a win-win situation for everyone.
2. Storytelling: It is a powerful tool for brands to connect with people’s hearts and minds. Brands should understand the storytelling possibilities around them and the different contexts in which they will be established. For example, on social media, the way to communicate on TikTok is different from YouTube or Snapchat. Similarly, when it comes to broader media like TV, radio, and on-demand content, brands should be aware of the context and aim to create value for the audience. In podcasts, they should rely on content creators or influencers to effectively communicate in the right context.
3. Creating niche content: It is important for brands to understand the difference between making an ad and having a dialogue with the audience. Instead of a commercial that speaks to everyone, brands should create content that entertains and enriches a specific target group.
Linda stated that communication is significant in leadership as well. “I think everything is about communication and actually understanding people right because you need to be able to do that both to be a good leader, and also when it comes to communication in marketing”, she exclaimed.
She believes that being close to people and listening carefully, showing real interest in them, and meeting them frequently are important to build trust and establish strong connections. “A strong vision and inspirational leadership are also important to give energy and direction to the team,” she said when asked about her leadership style.
Talking about communication from a macro perspective, Linda is quite bullish about the audio medium and believes that it is the future of communication. “The audio industry is an exciting and ever-evolving field and for marketers and communicators, it is a space that should be explored”, she said.
Future of Audio
Media consumption within the audio market is set to experience significant growth in the future. Linda finds the prevalence of headphones and the behaviour of consumers towards on-demand audio content such as audiobooks, storytelling, and music, fascinating.
She anticipates the following trends in the audio industry in the near future:
1. Seamless Entertainment: This area of entertainment will become increasingly seamless, with audiences not necessarily thinking of the content they are consuming as radio or podcasts but simply as entertainment tailored to their preferences through the use of AI and data.
2. Influence of Technology: Technology and data present an exciting opportunity to create an audio universe that seamlessly fits into people’s behaviour. We can expect to see more services, content and storytelling in the audio space as a result.
3. New Platforms Led Evolution: The emergence of new services, platforms, and companies constantly pushes the limits and drives faster development in any industry. The launch of a new platform can rapidly increase its popularity, but established platforms may quickly adapt and improve upon the unique features of the newcomer. In the case of audio, platforms like Logcast, which allows for the easy creation of micro podcasts and the building of communities, are expanding the possibilities and driving the shift towards a creator economy where individuals play a larger role in creating and monetising niche content.
4. Emergence of New Players: While established platforms will continue to evolve, new companies will enter the market and establish themselves, bringing fresh perspectives and the ability to challenge existing structures.
5. Innovation: Companies like Meta and Snapchat, which were once start-ups, are now well-established and their success will pave the way for new companies with new ideas to enter the market, pushing the boundaries and driving innovation in the industry.
6. Popularity of Low-cost Platforms: Low-cost platforms that prioritise making audio and people’s voices accessible in an easy way may become popular.
As a concluding note, Linda said that “To effectively connect with our audience and succeed in marketing, it is crucial to understand the behaviour and context of communication and to recognise that audio will play a significant role in the future. To be successful, it is important to be knowledgeable and invested in the audio space.”
|1||The evolving media consumption behaviour presents a huge opportunity for marketers to invest in audio advertising|
|2||Marketers need to be aware of the latest trends and willing to take risks to effectively connect with their audience and achieve their marketing goals|
|3||Marketing, product and engineering are merging owing to the evolving media consumption behaviour|
|4||Media consumption trends have also impacted the relationship between brands and their consumers|
|5||Effective communication serves as the new tool with which brands can bring value to the audience and establish long-term relationships|
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