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Sound Business: Improving Your Audio ROI

September 19, 2018 • STRATEGY & MANAGEMENT, Marketing & Consumers, Strategic Spotlight

By Steve Keller

“What does your brand sound like?” The rise of smart speakers and voice interactive technology is forcing brands to answer that question. Though resolute in their belief that audio (and more broadly, audio branding) plays a fundamental role in shaping consumer perceptions and communicating brand intent, many brands wrestle with turning these beliefs into actionable strategies that produce measurable results. In this article, we offer five suggestions to help you maximise – and measure – your brand’s “audio ROI”.

 

In today’s media rich environment, where audio-enabled touch points are increasingly available to consumers, there is no question that sound can have a significant impact on brand messaging and identity. The rapid adoption of smart speakers and voice assistants has made marketing less visible and more audible, forcing brands to consider how they differentiate themselves in a world where they can be heard, but not seen.

The rapid adoption of smart speakers and voice assistants has made marketing less visible and more audible, forcing brands to consider how they differentiate themselves in a world where they can be heard, but not seen.

No one denies the fundamental role music and sound play in shaping our perception and driving emotional connections. There are hundreds of empirical studies that demonstrate the power of sound to increase attention, facilitate brand/message recall, improve brand perception, drive purchase intent, elicit physiological responses, increase likability, build positive associations, prime implicit responses, and produce chemical reactions in our brains.1 Yet in spite of this evidence, questions regarding how to measure returns on audio related investments remain.



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About the Author

Steve Keller is CEO of iV, an audio consultancy dedicated to exploring the power of sound to shape perceptions and influence behaviour. He blends art and science into award-winning audio branding strategies and content for a long list of global agencies and brands. Recognised as a leader in the field of sonic branding, Steve shares his insights and research at international conferences, professional organisations, and universities around the world. In addition to his degree in psychology, Steve has over 25 years of experience in the music and advertising industries. Forever the student, he is the 2017 recipient of the iHeartMedia Scholarship for Leadership in Audio Innovation, and is currently completing an Executive MBA through the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

References

1. Allan, D. (2007). Sound advertising: a review of the experimental evidence on the effects of music in commercials on attention, memory, attitudes, and purchase intention. Journal of Media Psychology, 12(3), 1-35; Müllensiefen, D., & Baker, D. J. (2015). Music, Brands, & Advertising: Testing What Works. In K. Bronner, C. Ringe, & R. Hirt (Eds.), Audio Branding Academy Yearbook 2014/2015 (pp. 31–51). Baden-Baden: Nomos; North, A., & Hargreaves, D. (2008). The social and applied psychology of music. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; Oakes, S, Evaluating Empirical Research into Music in Advertising: A Congruity Perspective. Journal of Advertising Research Mar 2007, 47 (1) 38-50; Vijaykumar, K., Kellaris, J.J. and Aurand, T.W. (2012) Sonic logos: Can sound influence willingness to pay? Journal of Product and Brand Management. 21(4): 275–284

2. Lusensky, J. (2010). Sounds Like Branding, Heartbeats International: Plaza Publishing

3. The Economist Intelligence Unit (2014), Decisive Action: How Businesses Make Decisions and How They Could Do It Better”, Applied Predictive Technologies (APT)

4. Chahal, M., et. al. (2016, October 28). Is ‘brand engagement’ a meaningless metric? Retrieved from https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/08/10/cover-what-does-engagement-really-mean-to-marketers

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