Podcasting has gone mainstream, so much so that “This American Life” – a take on the popular radio series – won a 2020 Pulitzer Prize. Podcasts are a great medium for any business to get the word out about their expertise and, in turn, promote a product or service. Advertising on popular podcasts featuring relevant content and/or well-known personalities is a superb way to reach consumers. Measuring the performance of those advertisements is what podcast attribution is all about.

So it begs to ask the question, if you are advertising on a podcast in an effort to drive traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar store, why aren’t you measuring that channel like any other advertising channel? Maybe you didn’t know you could.

Well, now you can – and should. At LeadsRx, because we already measure all online and offline touchpoints via our omni-channel multi-touch attribution solution, we are uniquely suited to attribute conversions across podcast advertising as well. We can now treat podcast advertising the same way we treat all other advertising mediums such as TV, radio, and digital ads.

How Podcast Attribution Works: Connecting the Dots on the Customer Journey

How do we “connect the dots” between a podcast ad that leads to an in-store or online visit that ends up as a conversion? Technically there is a lot more to it, but these four steps break down how LeadsRx brings podcast advertising into the multi-touch attribution landscape.

  1. When an individual downloads or streams a podcast episode, LeadsRx receives information from the podcast server that anonymously identifies the individual.
  2. Depending on how and where the podcast is consumed, identifiers may include an IP address, timestamp, episode ID, ad ID and/or an advertising ID from the individual’s mobile device, known as “Mobile Advertising IDs.”
  3. LeadsRx stores this information and later compares it against similar identity data we receive from people who visit physical businesses.
  4. By matching this data, LeadsRx is able to attribute the in-person visit back to the podcast advertising campaign which drove them there.
  5. Optimization insights are made available in real-time allowing for in-flight marketing changes to podcast advertising campaigns.

It is important to note that this feature covers any podcast provider which supports RSS feeds – including the industry’s two largest, Spotify and Apple.

Podcast attribution appears along side other marketing touchpoints with conversion credit spread according to a selected attribution model.

Improving Podcast Attribution Accuracy

Podcast attribution is often an imprecise science, admittedly, but with the right technology, it can be added into your attribution mix. To further support the accuracy of our podcast attribution, LeadsRx leverages data from industry-recognized third parties. This data helps us refine our modeling and includes the percentage of people who download a podcast, those who eventually listen to it, the timeframe of their listening, and the duration of listening time. 

LeadsRx is proud to be a pioneer in providing attribution data for podcasts, just as we have for other offline channels. No analytics provider has ever included podcasts along side other marketing channels more robustly than we are able to do today.

We provide an off-the-shelf solution for estimating the relevance of podcast advertising versus digital ads, broadcast commercials, and even direct mail. In a single solution, retailers can quickly spot which mediums are most often finding customers.

Use Case for Podcast Attribution: Raising Awareness

The influence of podcasts has steadily grown and continues to rise. This Statistica article shows, among other fantastic facts and figures, there were an estimated 88 million podcast listeners in the U.S. in 2019; and forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023. According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau report, podcast ad dollars are expected to surpass $1 billion by 2021.

Top of Funnel: Podcasting, and broadcast in general, has mastered making people aware of products and services they otherwise might never have heard of before. Like a Gold-Rusher posting their claim stake in the ground back in the mid-1800s, marketers are planting the “podcasts were here first” sign in the top of their sales funnel.

Using Influencers: The influence of a celebrity podcaster, and the ads that run during their show, could be called immeasurable. But it is measurable, thanks to impartial multi-touch attribution. When a podcast raises awareness about a brand or offering, it triggers consumers to likely engage with other marketing channels, including digital ads, social media, and/or content marketing.

Customer journeys often start with a podcast and end with an ecommerce or in-store conversion, but there are often other marketing channels in the middle that need to be evaluated with an attribution provider who can handle them all.

Home Depot and Chipotle want to know how well their podcast advertisements, and the channels they advertise on, perform in terms of driving in-store sales. With podcast attribution from LeadsRx, this is now possible.

Return on Ad Spend for Podcast Advertising

Through LeadsRx return on ad spend (ROAS) reporting, we are also able to compare the cost-effectiveness of various advertising efforts, including podcast advertising down to the episode level. This allows marketers to increase or reduce ad spend accordingly and achieve a higher return.

Previously, podcast advertisers were “in the dark” as to how these channels performed – unable to attribute spikes in web traffic or conversions back to the podcast episodes driving them.

With LeadsRx, advertisers can now see how all of their channels work together and how each performs in terms of ROAS – including podcast advertising campaigns.

Not including your podcast marketing channel in your attribution data will lead you to apply too much credit to other touchpoints often found in a customer journey, such as Google search and digital ads. This can lead to spending valuable ad dollars on the wrong channels, assuming digital ads are driving new customer acquisition when, in fact, it was the podcast ad that drove the prospect to engage with digital ads in the first place. 

For existing or new LeadsRx customers, there is no additional cost to immediately take advantage of this attribution reporting capability.

If you are a podcast advertiser (or publisher) looking to optimize your campaign performance, schedule a personalized demonstration to learn how our podcast attribution solution works.