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BRAND: Seth Godin’s Akimbo



Marketing legend Seth Godin recently launched a new podcast.  Akimbo is about 20 minutes and tackles Seth’s view on our culture and how you/your business can thrive within it.

Seth’s books are the first ones I listened to in my car.  His voice feels like coming home again.  And while much business advice makes me feel anxious (You’re missing out!  Catch up!  Hurry!) his sage words let me take a deep breath and focus on one thing.

Even the ads are great.  They tell a compelling story and make you interested in listening.  But they are different from many of the podcast sponsorships you’ll hear.





Seth’s show lives on the Midroll distribution platform.  This company hosts many of the shows I listen to including Katie Couric and Bill Simmons’ Ringer Network.  Most podcasters, including Katie and Bill, and even the Interactive Advertising Bureau believe “marketers prefer ads read by podcast hosts to those that are pre-produced.”

They have good reason to feel this way.  It’s working.  Since Apple launched it’s podcast analytics in December 2017, Midroll’s listeners are making it through 80-90% of content and generally not skipping through ads according to this report from Wired.

But now, listen to Seth’s podcast.

He doesn’t record the ads.  Even using ZipRecuriter (a company who’s name has become synonyms with podcast advertiser) as the founder sponsor, Seth asked their CEO Ian Siegel to record the spots.


According to an email from Seth, “Arthur Godfrey and the rest all read TV commercials in the early 1950s.  It can’t last.  I wanted to go first and demonstrate that.”



Would you expect anything less from this marketing thought leader?  Watching Godfrey above it feels so old fashion it’s uncomfortable.  When history repeats itself we’ll be squirming out of our earbuds too.



1.  Find a podcast you want to sponsor.  Search for one in your city or in specific niche.  Start with one who doesn’t have a sponsor yet and learn together.  Here’s a podcast ad calculator to formulate a budget.

2. Just like the podcast itself, tell a story with your advertising.  Nibras Ibnomer explains how Zip Recruiter does this in her excellent case study.  Try talking about why you started your business or your best product life cycle.

3. Re-read Purple Cow.  Take a hard look at your current ad spend and content.  Are you blending in?  Or standing out?  Time to switch up your moo.

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