Rob O’Regan’s article, “The Podcast People,” with additional reporting from C.G. Lynch, at CMO Magazine discusses how management consultancy and IT systems integrator, BearingPoint, connects with potential clients through a digital audio series.
O’Regan says Apple’s iPod created the term “podcasting” for streaming audio technology and “helped to turn Web-based audio into downloadable, portable content for the masses” making it a powerful digital medium for messaging.
He cites Paul Dunay, BearingPoint Director of Global Financial Services Marketing, saying: “The way that we sell in the marketplace is by taking our smartest people, getting them out in the marketplace and in front of potential customers as many times as possible through events, email marketing, thought leadership, and now podcasting.
“I look at podcasting as an unblockable tube to our customers and prospects around a thematic topic that we’ve identified. I’ve got a self-selected segment of people who want to get smart on a topic. From a marketing perspective, it doesn’t get much better than that.
“[The prospects] are not ready to buy, they’re researching, but we want to pull them in and get a dialog going. There’s a higher conversion rate from podcast to paper, which hopefully leads us to an appointment.”
According to O’Regan, BearingPoint has launched five podcasts on various topics, such as operational risk and business process management. Each is 5-7 minutes long and summarizes existing BearingPoint white papers. Since the podcasts began, the number of web visitors filling up registration forms to download the complete white papers has increased 10 percent. The company, therefore, deems the podcasts more effective than traditional e-mail in getting the attention of potential customers.
O’Regan says BearingPoint is developing six more podcasts for release this year, with two featuring interviews with CIOs. The company is also considering foreign-language editions.
He quotes Dunay: “Things like RSS, blogs and podcasts are new ways to engage our customers on several different levels. As long as we’re on the forefront of this wave, we’ll keep trying things out.”
This is the ideal attitude companies should have toward all these new business communication tools.