In this special episode of On the Mic with Ad Results Media, join Jon Favreau, host of POD Save America, Senior Vice President of Marketing at, Mark Krojansky, and Ad Results Media's CRO, Steven Shanks, as they dive into the special relationship between Crooked Media and You'll also learn about the power of authentic, brand endorsements and how they're driving massive customer growth.  You can also check out a video of their conversation on our YouTube channel.

Podcast Transcript

Hi listeners. I'm your host Lindsay Smith. And in today's special episode of On the Mic with Ad Results Media, we are sharing with you a rebroadcast for our most recent webinars featuring POD Save America's John Favreau, senior vice president of marketing at, mark Krojansky and Ad Results Media, his own CRO Steven Shanks. During this conversation, you'll learn about the power of authentic brand endorsements and how they drive massive customer growth. You'll also get a behind the scenes look at what makes their relationship between Crooked Media and so special. So let's get start. And That's the great thing about They grow with you as much fun as I had.

I couldn't wait to get back to my sleep number bed. I love my third love bras. They're hands down the most comfortable bras I've ever owned. I love making blue apron. I love it. It's my me time Podcast Advertising is Driving Massive Customer Growth. Are you listening? John Favreau served as Barack Obama's head speech writer from 2005 to 2013 since leaving the white house, Favreau has written and spoken about politics and speech writing to audiences throughout the world in 2017. He co-founded crooked media where he's a co-host of POD Save America.

(1m 25s):
Marc Krojansky is the senior vice president of marketing at Mark has been with for 21 plus years, and is one of the originals in Podcast Advertising as an innovator. There are 10 plus years ago by placing some of the very first podcast apps and I'm Steven Shanks partner and chief revenue officer at Ad Results Media. Similar to mark I've been placing podcast ads for 10 plus years, and I'm a huge fan of the space. I've had the fortune of seeing many podcast and podcasts networks grow from an idea to an actual company, just like crikey and media. I've also had the fortune of seeing many advertisers utilize podcasts to help drive massive customer growth. So let's dive right in John and your opinion, why should brands advertise on podcast?

(2m 7s):
And what's the best way to get the most out of the show and the host. Thanks Stephen. And thanks for having me here. So I think one of the more unexpected experiences of hosting a podcast has been people coming up to me on the street and talking to me like they've known me for years. So they ask about my dog, my wife, my child. And I think that's because there's a certain connection and even intimacy you get from audio that you don't get from other platforms. And I think that that helps build trust between the listener and the host. So when we talk about a product or a brand that we like listeners are more likely to give it a shot because they know us and them and they trust us, I think the best way to get the most out of a show in the host.

(2m 52s):
You know, people come to POD, Save America for a no bull, no bullshit conversation about politics. So they also expect a no bullshit kind of ad read. So what does that mean? It means staying away from generic ad copy. It means having a little fun with the ad reads so that we're not taking ourselves or the brand too seriously, even as we're working really hard to sell our listeners on it. You know, we've had so many longtime clients stay with us because we've been able to deliver, I think, honest and authentic and funny ad reads like ZipRecruiter, like MeUndies and like Who've been with us from the very beginning. Fantastic. And how many of those people have curiosity are wearing friend of the pod or other crooked videos?

(3m 35s):
T-shirts we do get that once in a while. We do get that, but that's always nice to see. Fantastic. So mark, what is so special about podcasts? Yeah, I get that question quite a bit. Steve. So for us podcasts are just, just a super unique medium of all the ways that we advertise our, our solutions. I think as John mentioned, there is such a close connection and trust between the host and the audience that you don't find anywhere else. It's not even close. I think another, another important part is that, and reads don't sound like regular advertisements and the regular advertisements you're used to seeing on TV or hearing on radio 32nd spots, 62nd spot.

(4m 19s):
And it goes right to the next one. You don't have that in podcast. And that's also very unique in, and, and just makes it feel like it's part of the show and that's, you know, that organic part of the show is also what makes it work so well. You know, I think that there's also fewer advertisements in a podcast that, you know, you, you have your TV show or three or four minutes, you know, or five minutes you have, and you have a, a set of two or three minutes worth of ads, and then you'll come back and then you'll have another set of ads. Do you have an ad block? And the same as the radio program, you have an ad block where you're used to turning the S the channel and to something else or going to the bathroom or something else. You don't have that really with podcasts, you'll have a, you'll have the show, you'll have, you know, they'll, they'll go on and talk about, you know, and product and, and go back to the show and it's just woven into the show.

(5m 3s):
And that really, really helps too. Another thing for us is that, you know, not only is it not formulaic in as far as the, the, the ad, but as John mentioned, the host can, can have fun with the spot. And, and, you know, if the show is entertaining or there's some comedy elements, you know, they can, they can do that within the, within the, the ad spot. And it's great. I, I, I've heard so many people talk about how they liked the ads as much, or even more than they do the, the, the show is sometimes. So it's just like, you don't hear that everywhere else. There are, people are trying to skip the ads here, and they're trying to see, like, what, what is someone going to say about this, about this product? So that's really, really unique.

(5m 43s):
Another thing for us is if, if a host or a network uses our products, that makes it even more special, you know, and in this case, you know, John and the team over at Crooked Media use to, to fulfill a lot of their merchants that, that, you know, that they're their listeners buy. So that allows them to talk about how they use it for their, for their business. And, and it's really, really organic and natural, and you don't get that and other places. And the last two points is that for people who are listening to podcasts, historically, they've been a little bit more tech savvy than, you know, than, than someone who can just push a button and power on the radio and, and, and a car or a, you know, on, on a road control at home.

(6m 23s):
You know, we have a technology solution to allow businesses to email and ship. So if they're more comfortable with technology, that's a good fit for us. And lastly that, you know, podcasts are on demand. So listeners will listen to a show when it's convenient for them on their time. And that's perfectly aligned with our solution where it's postage on demand for businesses to be able to access, you know, posted for letters and packages when it's convenient for them. So all of those reasons, all tie together, and it makes podcasts just, and an incredible medium for us to utilize, to acquire new customers, all Fantastic points. And I feel like we could almost stop this panel right here, and people would already have all these advertisers, CEO CMOs would have enough to go off of five.

(7m 6s):
They should be in podcast, but we're going to keep ongoing. So I believe a majority of people that are watching this probably know that POD Save America is just because it's a consistent top podcast, but advertisers that are looking at advertising that or expand beyond it, John, would you be able to give us a glimpse into what crooked is making today, the variety of host and everything, and you're you guys are currently building? Absolutely. So our overall mission and crooked is to inform, entertain and inspire audiences with progressive conversation, storytelling and activism. That's, that's the big mission. The heart of that is the news and politics content we create. So not just shows, you know, like POD Save America, POD, Save the world.

(7m 48s):
But our what a day franchise, which includes both a daily morning news show and a nightly newsletter or POD Save the people, which is hosted by black lives matter, activists, DeRay, McKesson, and focused on social justice. I will also likely be hosting an interview show on the POD, Save America fee, where I have deeper dive conversation with Newsmakers celebrities, journalists' and others specifically about how the internet is breaking our brain, which is a topic that I'm quite interested in, but beyond news and politics, it we're also focusing on progressive conversations and storytelling in other areas we're really proud of two sports shows. We launched this year with the incredible Jason Concepcion who had formerly been at the ringer we've launched take line, which is a podcast podcast.

(8m 28s):
Co-hosted with the w NBA's Renee Montgomery, which is about the intersection of sports and culture and politics. And we've also launched all caps NBA, which is a really fun, hilarious YouTube series about sports. We've also recently launched some fantastic narrative style podcasts, wind of change is a documentary style investigation into a rumor that the very famous song wind of change was actually written by the CIA. So we, we had that series come out and it's been very, very popular. And we just launched Edith, which is a scripted comedy series about first lady, Edith Wilson, who was secretly kind of president for awhile when Woodrow Wilson had a stroke.

(9m 9s):
So we really that's been a real fun series as well. So that's just some of the stuff that we've been up to recently. And again, you know, we're not launching now and not just into news and politics, but entertainment, culture, sports tech, all of them, you know, the theme that ties them together is just really smart conversations to get people thinking about the world and how to change it. And also a lot of these sort of limited series narrative podcasts, some of which have, you know, we'll go on to be television and television shows and film, but also just really great listens on their own. Very modest of just a few things that as a, as, as you're really covering all the categories of the podcast charts. So a lot of great things for everyone to listen to coming out now, mark, in your perspective, what does and ship station and look for in a host and, you know, what are some of the goals and KPIs that you track against?

(10m 4s):
Yeah. And I think John hit a couple of really good points. I mean, and I had mentioned earlier that the S the strong connection that I think it's so unique and the medium, some shows and hosts have it better than others, as far as the connection between the host and the listener's. And that's, that, that is just super, super important from an advertiser perspective. So we do look for, for shows where that exists between, you know, just that strong connection between the host and the listeners. Obviously, you know, if, if the, the show host uses or ShipStation for themselves, or their own business, they're sending out merge, or the network is using it to send out merchandise or, or getting, you know, postage for, for, for envelopes or invoices, if they're using it, that's, that's just a great thing.

(10m 52s):
And, and they're more familiar with our products and they can speak more organically, accurately about our solutions and why they, why they're, they're helpful to them. And then that would resonate, obviously typically well with the small businesses that are listening in their audience. So, you know, you know, so that goes along with, you know, with, with the host who just kinda believes in that and the price, even if they're not using it, but they understand that they're super busy and they don't have time necessarily to go to the post office, how a solution like ours that can really help a business save time, be more efficient, be more productive, and they can speak to that. That's who we, we look for as well. You know, as far as, you know, as far as like how we kind of measure the success of our, of our shows, you know, where are the shows that we're on?

(11m 36s):
You know, we're huge performance, marketers. I mean, every everything we do we track, and we're not into branding and awareness, we're really into, you know, we'll look at how much we spend and, and how many signups we get from that, and how many good quality sign-ups that we get. So we, we measure that very, very specifically for every show that we're on. And if it works, we, we stay on that show and we, we scale and we invest, like John mentioned, we've been on POD, Save America since the beginning, and we're on, we're still on today. And we're on, you know, all throughout the year because we're evergreen markers. We don't really have a lot of seasonality to our business. We help businesses whenever they have a need to mail and ship. So, so that really helps too.

(12m 17s):
We measure a cost per acquisition. So, you know, if we're spending a certain amount on a, on an ad read, we were gonna measure how many signups we get against that spend, that we, that we spend for that that's spot. And then we look at lifetime value. So we look at the quality's and not just who's coming in from that show, but are they good customers? We have a, we have a service that's just a month to month service. So if we don't provide quality products and solutions, the customer will leave. So if, if John's talking about this to an audience that doesn't really need or ship station and signs up, but then leaves it doesn't do as it doesn't do a lot. So we have to measure whose coming. And then if they're, if they stick around and, and, and so that's something that we are constantly looking at and T and, and, and, and show like POD Save America.

(13m 3s):
And not only can we, you know, have the, the, the host speak to a huge audience, but its a huge audience and small businesses that have found a need for our service. We can measure that and track that with the promo code and see that they're really using our product and sticking with it and benefiting from it. So that's another reason why we kind of stay on the, the show and, and we look for other shows like that as well. You know? And, and so, I mean we certain shows like, you know, like John mentioned, we've been on since the beginning and we've been on some shows for 10 years plus, you know, and, and, and we continue to be on it and people might say to as well, you know, has, and everyone signed up from that show. Well, not necessarily the audience grows over time.

(13m 43s):
There's new people that come on, new listeners that come on. And even people who have been listening for some time, maybe when they first heard this spot and it didn't resonate with them. And then something happened in and something's changed and they heard it again and now they said, oh, this could really work for me. And, and it works. And another point, so we, we don't feel like we only need to be on a show for a year or two. If we find the right show with that great connection, we're going to be on as long as it continues to work. And, and if it doesn't work, we're going to work with the show and the network to try to make it work better. But for the, for the really good quality shows we've been on for a long time. And, and I don't see that, that stopping fantastic. So for performance marketers, POD Save America works one, one great takeaway T two and six years from now, we'll be doing a 10 year show of how POD Save America has been fantastic for for that long.

(14m 35s):
But John, on, on all those points, what makes a great product for the team at POD Save America advertise? Yeah, I mean, it's pretty simple. Stamps has been a great product to advertise because it's been a great product to use. As mark mentioned, you know, we've been using since crooked media was just five people sitting around my kitchen table. And that was how we, that was, we sent stuff out. We used it when we first started shipping merge in the old office that had a one bathroom that was next to the kitchen. We used it all through the pandemic, which you know, was really important. And so, you know, we have experiences with the product that we can speak authentically about on the pod. And look, I also, we also try to find new stories about using it so that we can change up the pod, make it sound more interesting.

(15m 20s):
We do the ad reads. I remember after our wedding, we were going to send all the thank you notes out. My wife, Emily was like, how should we send them all out? Like you talk about Can we use that as that like a good thing to use? And like, yeah, no, like we're, it's, it's not a joke. I'm not just saying that like, it's a great service. We should use it. Let's send out all the thank you notes with Samsung. So like, okay, cool. So I walked her home through the whole thing. We did it. And then, you know, we can talk about it on the pod afterwards and it's a way to sort of change up the ad copy and, and make it sound interesting enough authentic and not just be like robots reading the same copy over and over again. So I do think using the product really helps getting to know the product, getting to know the people who are selling the product and the brand itself. That's really important to us as well.

(15m 60s):
And so all of that comes together to make sort of a really good brand or product to advertise with and, and obviously fits, fits all those categories. Awesome. And that makes this next question, mark, pretty, we may have already answered it, but what makes the host of POD Save America so great for stamps? Well, I mean, that's, you know, it's, I think we did answer it, but I'm happy to say it again because they, they, they have a great show. You know, they, they, they take a lot of care and pride in producing really good material and content. And that includes the ad reads. Like John mentioned, keep it, keeping it fresh and, and not taking it to seriously and, and talking about the ways that they use the product and you never know what's going to really resonate with, with the listener.

(16m 45s):
So it's important to do all of those things. And I think the, you know, John and John and Tommy, they do like just a great job at not just keeping it fresh, but the ad, the ad reads are funny. Like they're, they're really, they're funny, they're entertaining. And, and it, it really, it really, it really molds with the rest of the show. It doesn't feel like, okay, now it's time to take some serious and Reed's, and, and lets do these as Reed's and then go back to our, our, our, our content. So it really blends in weaves into the show. And, and again, it just does not feel like advertisements and that's what is typically the magic is just not making it sound like a, just a, a talking head and, and that's pretty important.

(17m 26s):
And, and, and the cricket team does a great job at that because they use it and because they ship out merge and, you know, they're able to speak about it in a unique way, talking about the value proposition. People did not want to go to the post office and take trips there during the pandemic and, and or, and, and anytime when they can just do it more conveniently from their home or office and they can speak to it naturally because they do it. And, and, and that's, and that's really huge too. The show has obviously grown in audience size and that's huge bringing in new audience, new people who can hear then talking about our solution is, is really key. You know, we don't want a stag and show that just has the same folks listening over and over and over again.

(18m 6s):
So the fact that their, that their show has, has grown so much over time has also helped us as well. And I think, you know, that's, that's really, that's really it, but I, I think that they just they're so unique in the way that they do the show and they do the ad reads doesn't sound like ads and keeping it fresh and light and, and all of those things together really make it work for us. And I hear so much, so many times from so many people about how much they enjoyed the ad reads you, you know, you'd think it's almost like another segment of the show. So to that point or the final point and question, John, for all these new brands out here that are watching this and are thinking about advertising on podcasts, or maybe on crooked media for the first time, what are the key things they should think about before launching?

(18m 54s):
We are very lucky and very grateful that when we ask our audience to take action in terms of voting or volunteering or any of the other kinds of activism, they usually do it. So if we're asking them to try a product or a brand, you know, we want to make sure it's in line with our values and that we believe in it and ourselves. So we usually like to try the product, do a call with the clients that we can get to know each other and ask questions about the product. And then, like we said earlier, have ad copy that allows for some fun and some ad-libbing. We love to have ad copy. That's changed up once in a while, because even though we do enjoy and living and having some fun with it, if there's new material for us, that makes it easier. But I do think the products where, you know, we were sent some product that head of time, we get to try it out.

(19m 38s):
And then we do a call with the advertiser at the brand, and we sort of go back and forth that in my experience, that's helps build the connection with product and the brand that allows for us to do a more effective ad read and have more fun with it. And those tend to be the brands and the products that we've stayed with the longest and that it would have worked out well. And I think you made a fantastic point there that needs to be called out again, just because when we started this whole conversation, we were talking about the connection with the audience and authenticity that you knowing that the host that's, it believes in it can get behind it and discuss it, makes it an authentic experience for when they talk about it to their listener.

(20m 19s):
And therefore the fans feel that connectivity and authenticity and, and that's where we eventually see the magic of the results and, and bringing that to life in such this example, or in this example at So that's all, this has all been fantastic. I want to thank our amazing guests, John and mark for taking the time to share their expertise and experience and everyone for tuning in Podcast play an important role in the advertising ecosystem. Make sure your brand is part of the story. Enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe for updates on future episodes and leave us a comment with your feedback questions for ideas for future segments, if you would like more info on Ad Results Media and what we do, please visit us online at Ad Results.

(21m 3s):
Media dot com. This podcast is an Ad Results, Media production.