audio

043 - Mics and Podcasting - Ben Thompkins, Blue Microphones

Guest: Ben Thompkins, National Sales Manager- Pro Sales, Blue Microphones

Topics:

  • Ben runs professional sales for Blue in North and South America, has been with Blue ten years

  • He handles B2B business, distribution, and educational sales

  • How does Blue differentiate in the microphone industry?

  • Blue’s unique history (very music focused, podcasting has been recent)

  • Started as a high end microphone company (many of their mics are still $6,000-$10,000)

  • Took premium sound and made it affordable (see their podcasting mics)

  • Blue’s marketing stands out - fun names like Yeti and Snowball <— please use my link if you want to buy a snowball, this helps support the show!

  • 4:34 Story: Snowball was originally called Softball - founder story

  • Softball (Snowball) was built for GarageBand, per Apple’s request- a simple USB mic

  • Founder Skipper turned them down

  • Emily used Snowball on her first podcast (throwback: The Digital Dive Podcast)

blue-snowball-microphone
  • Hear about podfading (half of podcasts fade after 6 episodes) in Emily’s episode with Phoebe Mroczek

  • 8:10 Emily asks: are people ready for a more passive media experience (e.g. podcasting and voice - audio content) due to social media overload?

  • "Half the picture is sound" - George Lucas on the importance of audio in film

  • High quality audio is paramount for communication and marketing

  • Bad audio on YouTube is worse than bad visuals

  • Blue was acquired by Logitech for $117 million

  • Ben is seeing a trend of XLR mics, not just USB mics (XLR is used at major music recording studios)

  • If you’re paying for an expensive computer and Alienware, it makes sense to upgrade your audio too

  • Video games are part of his market - gamers are buying nicer mics

  • Joe Rogan uses a broadcast mic

  • People are spending more money on higher quality mics

  • Ben is seeing a consumer purchasing trend with XLR mics, not just USB mics (XLR is used at major music recording studios)

  • If you’re paying for an expensive computer and Alienware, it makes sense to upgrade your audio too (gaming)

  • Video games are part of his market - gamers are buying nicer mics and willing to pay

  • Example- Joe Rogan uses a broadcast mic

Ben with Chino Moreno, Deftones singer. “We all had the same music manager for a bit. Alice in Chains and Deftones are still with them but I’m a mic guy now.” - Ben Thompkins

Ben with Chino Moreno, Deftones singer. “We all had the same music manager for a bit. Alice in Chains and Deftones are still with them but I’m a mic guy now.” - Ben Thompkins

016 - Voice Marketing from Stubb's BBQ (Alexa Skill)

Neat use of real warm audio - true voice of a brand - that offers novelty, fun, and some utility. Good example of early voice marketing. Playful and I like that it’s based on archival material.

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce was created by the west Texas barbecue hero and beloved Stubb’s founder, C.B. Stubblefield. Now Stubb has his own Alexa skill. The “Ask Stubb” skill pieces together past voice recordings of Stubblefield to bring recipes, stories, cooking tips, BBQ tunes, and some larger than life personality to Alexa users, straight from the man behind the brand. 

Skill created by Proof Advertising in Austin.

Video preview of the skill here.

Stubb-272x300.jpg


•” The skill includes ten tips, more than 20 recipes and a few of Stubb’s favorite songs.
• Users can order Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauce directly from the skill.
• After the first week of launch, Ask Stubb was featured as a popular skill on the Alexa Skills Store.” -via CommArts

Takeaway:
With Alexa skills and voice right now, done is better than perfect. Establish a presence like this because this is all leading toward voice search optimization on Amazon, one of the largest search engines. Stubb's will ultimately sell more BBQ sauce because of this. In this case, it’s content marketing to drive ecommerce through voice.


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