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Marketing Showrunners

Helping you make your podcast more central to your brand and to your audience's life. Make a show that makes a difference.

By: Jay Acunzo on October 24th, 2019

Introducing Make the Case Month: Helping Marketers Get Buy-In for Better Podcasts and Video Shows

The biggest barrier to building brand affinity can often be internal stakeholders. All month long, we’re learning how to make the case for great content. Here’s everything we have planned.


It’s easy for marketers to act a lot like Chicken Little: We hear a few stats suggesting that the sky is falling, so we rush around in a panic like we’re all doomed. In doing so, we stop paying attention to some of the most obvious and strategic solutions that are sitting right in front of our beaks. My point is: It’s easy to panic and miss something rather logical happening to marketing. Today, the job of a marketer is no longer to grab attention. The job is to hold it. The best marketing teams today realize: Great marketing isn’t about who arrives. It’s about who stays.

When we hold attention, trust and relationships form, an audience grows around our brands, and people don’t “arrive” to the proverbial funnel so much as race down it more quickly and eagerly.

When we hold attention and focus more effort on getting people to stay (read: doing things worthy of staying WITH), we experience two outstanding benefits for our brands: 

First, the lifetime value of our audience increases. More people spend more time with us, and they take more actions that benefit us, because they see clearly how it benefits them too. Second, our costs of customer acquisition goes down. A loyal, passionate audience refers net new audience and net new customers to us, thus saving us money across sales and marketing.

So what can provide these benefits? What holds attention? What causes people to stay?


Original series: podcasts and video shows.

Shows are trust accelerants. They provide intimacy at scale. Rather than providing brand “awareness,” they provide brand affinity. They don’t expand the top of our funnels. Instead, for every viewer, listener, and subscriber, they straighten the entire thing.


We realize that while it might be logical for brands to shift focus from making pieces of content to making shows, from brand awareness to brand affinity … we have a lot of internal friction. Sometimes, the biggest barrier to creating and promoting great podcasts and video shows isn’t knowledge or resources. 

It’s people. 

(Not you, by the way. You’re great!)

As a result, here at Marketing Showrunners, we created Make the Case Month: an entire run of content exclusively dedicated to helping you get buy-in to make podcasts and video shows at your brand.

Our Make the Case Content:

Here’s a look at our content. We’ve also reached out to some of the smartest thinkers in marketing, and the most successful brand showrunners, in order to infuse their wisdom and ideas into all of this content — stuff they’ve never shared publicly before, because nobody’s ever asked! Well, we’re just that nosy here. (Don’t worry: We’re all still friends and are probably gonna make a podcast together.) (That last sentence was actually true. Seriously, why aren’t you subscribed to MSR yet?)

The world’s biggest list of branded shows. We spent a bizarre amount of time curating a collection of top shows, segmented by medium and category, for endless inspiration and, if your stakeholders need some, FOMO.  

Pitching creative ideas to get the Yes. An analysis of what causes people to turn away ideas you’re convinced will work, and a framework to package your pitch to be more persuasive. 

Audience development for shows. How can we actually give the people what they want? We have to act like investigators to build our case. Turns out justifying things internally is a whole lot easier when our audience is downright demanding it.

Data, data, and more data: The business case for making shows. A definitive list of stats, packaged in the flow of an argument, with a grab-bag of research for you to use in your discussions internally.

Creating beloved shows in boring industries. Is your brand or sector really “too boring” to make a show? I mean, maybe. But chances are, we’re not arming ourselves to handle this objection as best we can — whether from our bosses or in our own minds.

Creative differentiation — an intro to show bibles and concept development. Part of making the case is ensuring that we do something worthy of not one but TWO investments: ours … and our audience’s. We’ll share some helpful frameworks informed by dozens of branded shows, as well as traditional media, entertainment, and TV showrunning.

Owning the creative conversation (and avoiding bad momentum). During conceptual phases, whether discussing resources or actually planning a green-lit show, it’s common for groupthink or top-down mandates to creep in. How do we avoid doing anything half-baked or caught in between multiple agendas? It’s on us to lead the way and not create a Frankenstein’s monster of a show.

What every CMO needs to see to justify investing in a show or shows. We look at three “vectors” of success for running a show for our brands, in order to ensure the green light we’ve received never again turns red.

Learned the hard way: Early lessons from some of the marketing industry’s brightest minds. What did they wish they knew back when they started their shows? We asked four creative powerhouses three-and-a-half burning questions.

Showrunning on a budget. Most of us don’t have endless resources, which is great, because throwing money at this stuff is rarely a good idea anyway. But on the extreme end, how can we be lean yet still ship something premium into the world that just plain works?

The case for owning your podcast audience. We’re living through yet another approach to marketing where it’s tempting and common to build on rented land. From Facebook Brand Pages to YouTube creators to Video SEO and more, big tech platforms keep enticing us to grow audience on their turf, before flipping a switch that screws us over. Podcasts feel inextricably tied to third party apps where listeners live. How can marketers better own their podcasts?

Securing different stakeholders. In which we provide talking points for discussions with various internal decision-makers. (CMOs, CEOs, CFOs, oh my?)

How one of the best-funded, most successful branded podcasts got initial buy-in. Three things that the brilliant team at Red Hat did to sell in the concept of a highly produced, expensive show … while generating meaningful results for their brand.

Ask for forgiveness. Sometimes, you just gotta do something small but awesome to make the case. Advice from marketers who have done just that, all to help you decide: “Should I?”

Marketing leaders get blunt: Tough advice about dealing with bad bosses we all need to hear. ‘Nuff said.

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: The Marketing Showrunner’s Buy-in Bible. To summarize an entire month’s worth of makin’ the case, we make the case to our families and friends for why we need to spend 700 more hours creating a master final resource for our subscribers.

Honestly? It’s because we just plain love our subscribers. (And you, if you don’t subscribe. But like, we REALLY love our subscribers. And our families and friends. Whom we miss. Because Make the Case Month.)

Remember: Great marketing isn’t about who arrives. It’s about who stays.

Thanks for staying with us, all month long.


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What does it take to create your audience's favorite podcast? Join peers from Red Bull, Adobe, Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, Roku, the BBC, the NY Times, and thousands more creative, audience-first marketers.

Founder of Marketing Showrunners, host of 3 Clips and other podcasts and docuseries about creativity, and author of Break the Wheel. I’m trying to create a world where people feel intrinsically motivated by their work. Previously in content marketing and digital strategy at Google and HubSpot and VP of brand and community at the VC firm NextView. I write, tinker, and speak on stages and into microphones for a living. It’s weird but wonderful.

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