Fred Jacobs founded Jacobs Media 35 years ago as a bridge to combine audience research and consulting, and is now more relevant than ever, bridging the digital gap. He also created JacApps a mobile developing company. While both companies have joint projects, they also have their own projects.
While Fred was at Michigan State, he took a radio production course and was hooked.
“Audio is just becoming this bigger than life thing, and a lot of the research that I’ve seen indicates that more and more people are consuming more and more audio, and in fact, the pie of audio consumption is actually expanding, which is really cool. So, to have been involved in audio my entire career and to see it morph and move into some of these different spaces is really exciting.”
Research is crucial. Fred says you don’t know what questions to ask if you don’t listen to consumers about their perceptions and wants. This can help you understand the direction you need to go, but spotting trends is not always possible.
For example, Siri and Alexa turned everything upside down.
However, Fred says that as a digital marketer, a few foundational ways that you can anticipate your audience’s needs and serve them better is by offering:
- On Demand
- Personalization and Customization
- High-Quality User Experience
Striking the Balance
In today’s fast-paced world, there’s a lot of talk regarding just pushing products out and failing in order to learn. Fred recognizes that it is important to be agile, nimble, and adaptable, but at the same time, getting it right in today’s competitive market is increasingly important.
People will only give you so many chances. Your work needs to be brilliant to stand out.
Fred is excited about the growth of podcasting, however, he’s quick to remind us that there is still a lot of uncharted territory. The technology and nomenclature need streamlining, but he’s pleased to see the storytelling, content, and production quality increasing.
“With smartphones, we never get lost and we never get bored and that second piece is really important because people are always finding a way to entertain themselves.”
Sometimes, giving new things a chance, even though there is push back and it’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar, might be just what we need.