Speaking of marketing path-breakers, I cannot but follow-up my Guy fan-boy post, with a post on Seth Godin and a response to his post earlier today on podcasting.
Seth needs no introduction. For those who do(really?!), here’s the link.
About Seth’s earlier post on podcasting:
Seth was responding to a post by Mark Ramsey (of Hear2.0 fame) whose contention is that podcasting is bad naming. Mark cites the fact that (i) low recognition of the term, (ii) very low usage, (iii) ambigous usage of the term; all contribute to the fact that:
People don’t get it. What’s a pod? Why would I want to cast it? And then there’s the whole RSS confusion thing which is anything but “really simple”.
Mark goes on to suggest that Podcast is a “horrible name for the technology” and offers alternatives like audio magazine. I am with Mark on all the above valid points he raises excepting the alternative name. I’m sure there are more innovative ways to describe an audio file though!
Seth’s response is predicated around the concept that for marketing it’s essential that marketers be brave and innovative and should come up with names that leave behind the past and forge a new path. I couldn’t agree more with Seth on that count, but in my humble opinion, being brave alone doesn’t necessarily equal a great brand name. I think being accurate AND imaginative is the trademark of great branding and on the accurate count alone the term “podcast” fails miserably.
To exemplify: My biggest problem with the term “podcasting” is the fact that it’s MISLEADING. Mark is right-on when he articulates the user’s confusion. As a marketer trying to communicate the benefits of podcasting to prospective Fortune 500 Companies, I recognize the confusion that prospects have when confronted with the term podcast. Many of the prospects I speak to are confused as to (i) whether it’ll play only on an iPod, (ii) what’s a Pod, (iii) what is RSS and its relationship to a podcast, etc… and are totally relieved when told that its just an audio file broadcast over the web with a little help from RSS.
With a misleading term, the marketer has the hassle of explaining the term before even trying to convince the target audience of its benefits. I know it may be too late to change the course of this naming convention, but it’s never too late to question the authenticity of brand names we have taken for granted and for that alone – Kudos to Mark for raising a valid point!