Speedo's Podcasting Strategy

Speedo dives into the podcasting waters with their podcast called Speedo Makes Waves.

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Neville Hobson produced Speedo's first podcast episode, which was hosted by Scott Goldblatt.

Why would the world's leader in swimwear get into podcasting? Perhaps they see it as a complementary element in their overall marketing communication and PR.

Here are some observations:

1. Podcast listenership is way below what companies are used to (i.e., TV and print ad viewership). How can you convince your company that podcasting is worth their while, if only a few hundreds or thousands (instead of the usual hundreds of thousands) will hear their message?

Looks like we need to define the objective of a podcast. If you plan to use it as a marketing/advertising tool, and people perceive it as such, will they even bother to download your podcast?

Also, are you more interested in untargeted customers, or highly targeted consumers who take the time to download and listen to your audio file?

It would be odious to compare podcasts with television commercials or print ads, because these different forms of communication have different strengths and objectives. It is more helpful to look at podcasting as a way of expanding your reach.

2. Will your podcast listeners buy more of your product? If the Speedo podcast is attracting loyal Speedo users, what's the point of the podcast?

Again, are you using podcasting solely as a marketing tool? If you wish to enlarge your share of the consumer market, and if you also want to broaden your reach, then produce podcasts that are aimed at different segments of the market.

Afterall, if you will come out with diverse print ads (so that different customers are able to identify with the ad), then why not do the same with podcasts?

Imagine what would happen if Speedo were to produce a podcast on how to teach your children to swim? The podcast can even mention a web site where listeners can view online videos of both swimming tutorials and how to teach swimming tutorials.

That will help attract even those parents who are not usually exposed to the Speedo message, because a lot of parents want their children to learn how to swim. And what better way to save on instructor fees than by teaching their children themselves, right?

Yes, it's hard to just listen to someone explain how to do the butterfly stroke. But what about listening to an audio interview on how to reduce your child's fear of the water? Or tips on choosing the right sunblock lotion? Or even fashion tips on swimwear depending on your body type? Or first aid instructions for swimmer's ear?

The wonderful thing about podcasts is that you give your consumers (both existing and prospective ones) a choice. Or even several choices. In the process, you will be able to measure which ones are more popular and effective, because you will be able to study the download statistics of your shows, whether or not your listeners are on dial-up or broadband.

Instant stats. For free.

Try doing that with other forms of advertising.

[ First posted on 08/22/2006 by Manuel Viloria ]

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