With 20 years worth of advertising and marketing experience, Tom Denford has spent his career building and promoting brands. Alongside his partner David Indo, Denford co-founded global management consulting company ID Comms in 2009. As audio started to prove how valuable it is as an extension to a brand, Denford and Indo launched their own business podcast titled #MediaSnack in 2015 to help advertisers understand the changing media landscape.
Denford has recorded over 200 episodes of the #MediaSnack podcast which is now streamed live on YouTube weekly, and has interviewed big names in the industry such as WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Denford sat down with PodPod presenter Rhianna Dhillon, PodPod editor Adam Shepherd, and PodPod editorial director Gideon Spanier to talk about how he uses Mediasnack as a marketing and business development tool for his brand, why he believes the host’s personality is the least interesting part of a business podcast, how B2B brands can use podcasts to build trust, and more.
Audiences can protect you from criticism
“The reason, cynically, that we came up with the idea [for the #MediaSnack podcast] was that back in 2015, there was a bit of tension between the advertiser and the agency, and I felt like we were sticking ourselves kind of in the middle of that,” said Denford. “I thought if we could create an audience, it can work like armour. I think that if you've got an audience, then maybe you're less vulnerable to criticism.
“I would encourage people, if you're starting a business, particularly if you're in an arena where there is a tension in a debate, and you want to get right in the middle of that, to create an audience is actually very powerful, because maybe you're less likely to be attacked.”
Having a standard format is key
“If you have a standard format for a show where it's not just a free-form interview where I have to prepare a whole bunch of questions and get them validated by their internal comms people, we all say six questions in 15 minutes or less and so we ask the same six questions so they know what I'm going to ask them,” said Denford. “And they know that there's nothing particularly contentious coming up and they know that I give them lots of room to be able to share their own view, and that works really well because they can see the format.
“I kind of create the guardrails for the guests to come on with confidence, we get a far better acceptance rate now that we've got a standard format.”
Think of your guest list as a flight of stairs
“Think about who you want to get to eventually, who is your dream interview, then think of the five people that you'd maybe need to interview on the way there and then work backwards,” said Denford. “So if I wanted to interview Marc Pritchard at P&G, I’ve just got to think like if I had a guest, who would that be to convince Marc Pritchard that this is a good place for him to be and then you go get that person and you go back and then you work your way all the way back to somebody that's actually feasible that you could get on the show.”