We all know video is getting increasingly prevalent in insights collection, deliverables, and presentations, but don’t forget about audio! Audio is a great way to collect, disseminate and evangelize insights within your organization, and it conveniently arrives in a smaller file size package for insights teams and brands to easily access despite firewalls and attachment limits.
This year’s Insight Innovation Exchange featured an entire stage dedicated to podcasting. The Podcast Track inspired many to listen to industry trends and innovation via audio. The next step is to create audio deliverables to connect with your stakeholders.
Four reasons to amp up audio
Below, learn four reasons why audio should be a part of your insights toolkit.
1. Improve audience connections
Most insights teams now comfortably use video platforms and tools to connect with consumers. The pandemic closed the technical gap and video is now the default interviewing/moderation tool. But don’t ignore audio as it can be the best choice in many situations!
- Sensitive and personal issues can often be more comfortable to talk about without being on camera (for both interviewers and participants!)
- Logging purchase journeys and diary moments can often take place where coverage is spotty; give your participants the option of creating audio moments to share instead
- Check with your international partners when conducting research in multiple countries; phone storage and data plans can pose problems for participants in many areas and allowing for an audio option could considerably lighten their load
2. Create memorable storytelling
Audio can be more memorable because the listener develops an image in their mind while listening. This creates more connections in the brain and the listener becomes more invested in the story.
And get creative with your audio, as it offers a range of creative storytelling formats to reveal important details and information, including (but not limited to) communicating expert interviews in a mini-series, amplifying consumer voices in quick snippets or detailed, woven narratives, or unpacking complex stats and figures in a digestible format.
“Hearing firsthand accounts from consumers and advisors allows brands us to better understand wants and needs and ensures that we are truly listening and hearing their point of view, which ultimately enables us to better serve our customers.“ – Market Research Manager
3. Get quick and easy access to insights
Audio format deliverables are appealing to time-pressed executive audiences and project stakeholders who don’t need all of the down-and-dirty details, as well as multitasking team members in need of a quick research refresh ahead of key meetings and work sessions. Screens and decks are not always easily accessible and can be a time-consuming, laborious channel to download learning, whereas a podcast summary can fit the bill for quick and easy listening anytime and anywhere.
Break out of your comfort zone to make insights easier to share. Remember, some of your audience may be auditory learners, so audio deliverables reach those who prefer listening to reading.
“Audio allows to communicate key findings clearly and share the voices of actual consumers, giving our key stakeholders the ability to feel like they were more a part of the fieldwork process.” – Brand Strategy Leader
4. Build deeper immersion and empathy
Emphasizing audio removes visual bias. Think of the television singing competition The Voice where contestants “blind audition” to judges whose chairs face away from the contestants. Judges must make their selections based on voice quality alone, rather than a contestant’s visual appearance. Researchers can fall victim to visual bias as well (we’re all only human) so eliminating visual judgment can elevate a participant’s story and experience. Using audio to make the insights – not the participant’s appearance – shine through.
And remember, extended client teams may not be privy to immersing with consumer experiences first-hand in the field as a result of competing priorities for time or budget. A static, visual slide deck summary of learning is not nearly as powerful compared to engaging the auditory senses to build empathy. Inviting an audience to listen to the voices of consumers allows for gleaning richer emotional nuance and connection.
You’ll see the difference; conversational pauses, sighs, voice inflections, laughter, and even tears can have an especially powerful impact when isolated to an auditory experience.
“I loved having a voiceover to share along with the PowerPoint. I felt like it allowed the audience to better understand the objectives and suggested approach and mitigates some of the questions that we typically get from our business partners. The voiceover clearly communicated all aspects of the proposal and research process, as well as what is needed from all parties to be successful.” – Senior Research Executive
The recent profusion of insights industry podcasts means that insights professionals have many more options for inspiration. Learn about the latest industry news, case studies, and trends (while picking up audio production trends by listening in to some of The Annual Market Research Podcast Award 2022 nominees).