Navigating the Podcast Advertising Landscape with Gretchen Smith

At Podcast Movement 2023, Gretchen Smith, Vice President of Media at Ad Results Media, sat down with Justine Benjamin, Head of Global Marketing at AdsWizz & Simplecast from the AdsWizz-Simplecast Studio to discuss the business of podcast advertising. 

A Texan by Birth. A Podcast Enthusiast by Choice

Gretchen Smith has an unwavering passion for podcast advertising and its remarkable ability to forge meaningful connections with audiences. Gretchen’s journey in podcasting began in the heart of the Lone Star State, where she grew up and later returned after spending a decade in the concrete jungle of New York City. During the pandemic, Gretchen, like many others, sought warmer weather and space, leading her back to the city that holds a special place in her heart. And despite the city’s changes over the years, Austin’s natural beauty and vibrant lifestyle remain constants that continue to draw her in.

A Familiar Face at Podcast Movement – Meeting Objectives and Building Relationships

As the VP of Media, Gretchen oversees client strategy and is actively involved in building the programmatic department. Her team represents various departments and clients at the event, making it an all-encompassing experience, her third time attending this annual gathering of podcast aficionados. From her debut in Las Vegas for Evolutions to the previous year’s event in Dallas, she’s seen the podcasting industry’s growth firsthand.

For Gretchen and Ad Results Media, Podcast Movement wasn’t just an opportunity to attend panels and network with podcasters. It was a chance to connect with clients, educate them, and forge deeper relationships. 

The Human Element in Podcast Advertising

Gretchen believes firmly in securing host approval and crafting engaging ad prompts to guarantee a smooth, immersive advertising experience. In contrast to conventional advertising methods, podcast host endorsements uniquely appeal to listeners. She states:

“Word of mouth is the best way to recommend products to people. It’s the number one reason why people buy things. It’s as if a friend told me about things, and a podcast host is the closest thing to a friend you have without knowing somebody.”

Unveiling Impactful and Strategic Campaigns

This year, Ad Results Media focused on strategically designed campaigns with performance in mind by blending endorsements with produced ads, showcasing the power of combining different ad formats to achieve better results. While some advertisers worry about paying for multiple impressions of the same message, Gretchen values the varied messages and how they can seal the deal for hesitant buyers.

The Future of Podcast Advertising and Ad Results Media’s Role

As for the future of podcast advertising, Gretchen and her team are committed to supporting creators and nurturing relationships between brands and podcasters. They aim to connect clients with creators and create meaningful, long-term collaborations. By focusing on connections within podcasting as a revenue engine for brands, they strive to keep the industry flourishing.

A Call for Collaboration

The need for collaboration and educating agencies and brands about the intricacies of podcasting will lead to better campaigns and support for creators. At its core, podcasting is about connecting with real consumers and delivering meaningful content. In a rapidly evolving podcasting landscape, Gretchen and Ad Results Media are at the forefront, shaping the future of podcast advertising by combining technology, creativity, and a deep respect for the medium’s human touch.

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Daniel Einhorn

View posts by Daniel Einhorn
As the Senior Manager of Content Marketing, Daniel spearheads the development of insights-driven content for AdsWizz, working with the Global Marketing team to execute across platforms, including blogs, bylines, industry reports, events, and email. Before AdsWizz, he held marketing and content roles at CFA Institute, Nielsen, and Verifone.

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