Cannes Lions

Accenture Built for Change

UM, New York / ACCENTURE / 2022

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

With more businesses operating from home, professionals all throughout the org chart were turning away from where they usually got their thought leadership. We needed to evolve with them. To maintain our client’s reputation in the thought leadership space, we would need to help them launch a podcast that would immediately become a big deal in the B2B world.

The objectives were relatively simple, but had potential for big results: stand out from the competitive set by highlighting thought leadership in an engaging and compelling way to reach our target audiences of C-Suites, Business Decision Makers, and prospective recruits. With this, our agency set off to find and engage the audience organically.

The brief cast a wide net, allowing our teams to endeavor different options for creative strategies, and zero in on those that could move the needle for the company’s standing in the world marketplace, while delivering tangible results.

Strategy

Building brand new IP, we developed a 360 promotional approach, targeting our audience in forms of media we knew they were consuming, but with personalized touches.

We would partner with the New York Times, an authority in the podcast space, driving media aimed at attracting their audience. Within the NYT ecosystem, we tapped into high-performing media types in programmatic, social media, and direct on-site promotions to continuously reach target audiences, with a mobile-focused plan that would drive direct to podcast streaming apps.

We would coincide new ads with the release of every new episode of our podcasts, building intrigue with journalistic curiosity and professionally relevant narratives.

Crucially, we would hone in on networking opportunities centered around the podcast by showing up at events, building custom content at a prominent publisher experience, to further establish our authority and recognizability in the podcasting space, while building networking opportunities for our audience.

Execution

Using custom display assets and host-read audio spots, we leveraged mobile-optimized cross-channel tactics to promote.

Within all promotions across audio, programmatic, and social, we maintained consistent brand messaging, but consistently developed refreshed creative corresponding with new episode releases, exposing mass audiences to stories they would find enticing.

Social targeting then re-engaged those who had previously expressed interest in our client, and device targeting enhanced user experience by directing users toward different platforms depending on their device.

Driving downloads to the podcast, a “smartlink” was leveraged for all display placements, sending users directly to their preferred streaming platform. Complementary run-of-site audio placements worked in tandem, creating awareness of our content among existing podcast listeners.

Timely high-impact audio and display placements on popular podcasts and the publisher’s mobile app coincided with every release, fostering a consciousness of our program among key demos and driving users to the podcast, media-focused tactics driving listenership.

Outcome

Upon our podcast’s launch, our client found immediate success with our media placements and narrative intrigue.

With the first episode alone, we surpassed download benchmarks to rank our podcast within the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide. As consumption continued to grow with each episode, our program continuously ranked within that top 1%, further bolstering our credibility and popularity in the podcast space.

Programmatic audio drove a high ad completion rate (98%), showing engagement users at the right time. We additionally found an average CTR of .33%, far surpassing publisher benchmarks, and on-site session time ranking 2.5x the publisher benchmark.

Episode completion times came in over 70%, showing a marked interest in each episode’s narrative content. The sentiment went beyond numbers, withreviews calling out “powerful” stories, great examples of business, and “wonderful reporting,” validating that our podcast was resonating precisely with the audiences we brought in with our media targeting.

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