Marketing Differently

The landscape of everything in this world is changing and evolving at a ridiculously fast rate. In order to thrive, we have to understand a little bit of everything and that’s what led me to creating a Sound In Marketing podcast. I realized that my knowledge and passion for music and sound plays a huge part in what’s happening in marketing these days and so what I have to offer is valuable far beyond my own small footprint.

In the past, sound was underutilized and pretty much ignored in marketing. However, the tides are turning and it’s becoming more and more prevalent every single day. With the huge focus on Voice Activated Technology, AI, AR, and especially the rise of Podcasting, it is clear that if you don’t have a unique voice, you will be lost in the ever increasing noise.

But here’s the great news.

Because of the never ending always increasing forms of digital media and online advertising, we have more opportunities than ever before to make ourselves heard and be creative in defining a unique sonic identity.

When I say “Marketing Differently”, don’t think of it as if we’ve been marketing wrong but rather that there is more than what we may have noticed or been aware of out there waiting to be discovered. Those new little observations of marketing possibilities could really get a brand noticed.

I read an interesting article about Pandora Stories recently. From what I understand, they are creating a sort of MTV Behind the Video segment but for audio. Since Sirius XM acquired Pandora early this year, Pandora has really been doing some creative things. They’ve been, in my opinion, stretching out and exploring their landscape and potential in a way that other music streaming services haven’t.

It’s not about starting over from scratch, it’s about trying something new.

Pandora also now has its own sonic branding. At first I wasn’t a huge fan. How can you attribute one 3–5 second melodic sound to an entire catalog of music and genres? But I got a chance to speak with Steve Keller, Pandora’s Sound Strategist and he explained that it’s a roll out of an assortment of different sounds all based around a central concept. The one I experienced was just the first. It was actually a really fascinating conversation and I’m sold now.

I’m really impressed with what Pandora is doing and trying to do. They’re thinking outside of the box and coming up with new ways to be a business that could really rock both the music and marketing industry.

And according to the Pandora blog, it is also now available on Waze.

I have been working on a short film which I just wrapped a couple weeks ago. The director had temp music placed before we were introduced and she was of course in love with it. This is always tricky for a composer. It’s usually easier when the director doesn’t really have a vision for the music and/or has no example tracks they want modeled. So I had to approach it in a way that my original score would incorporate the heart of the temp music.

I decided to approach the film as a sound identity project.

The foundation had to be based upon the temp tracks the director loved. So I dissected those and explored their roots to try and find what I interpreted as the heart of what the director fell in love with. I explored instrumentation, rhythm, pacing, keys and chord progression, but most importantly what was the vibe/emotion that all of these things created as a whole. From that core, I created my own interpretation of their identity. The best part about using this approach is that if I could find the elements that made the song- I could take it in any direction I wanted instrument wise, melody wise, genre wise, etc. Approaching it with this mentality made the process much more enjoyable and way smoother.

The result. She ended up telling me that the temp music no longer cut it and she could only listen with my score playing.

The film is now getting prepped for the film festival circuit so I’ll be sure to share once it becomes available.

Something to keep in mind as you develop or re-evaluate your strategy in marketing your brand is podcasts. I’ve done some digging and according to my sources. 61% of loyal podcast listeners have made a purchase based off of a podcast ad*. 50% of all US homes are podcast fans* (that’s according to Nielsen in Aug 2017). That’s over 60 million homes…based off of numbers from 2 years ago*.

The reason that I bring this up is marketers and brands have a HUGE potential in marketing through podcasts. Loyal fans highly inclined to buy what is advertised through their podcast shows plus 88% of those listeners listening through all or almost all episodes equals almost guaranteed sales. This decreases waste of marketing dollars spent and a results in a highly targeted audience.

Marketers aren’t blasting their ad on a random billboard on the highway anymore, they are directly reaching their customers.

Podcasters have figured it out. I’ve been discovering a lot of great podcasts as of late. I find it fascinating how varied all of these artists are. And I use the word artists lightly because some of them aren’t. They’re purely doing their podcast because they see the value of having a presence vocally for their product or service. I call all of these people brave and extremely smart. They see the value in being out there. They aren’t all necessarily in their comfort zone but they are doing it.

My personal opinion -podcasters will see a return on their investment.

What that return on investment looks like will be different for everyone but they’ve moved into a market that is exploding. They are creating a way and they are creating their voice and it’s super inspiring.

Even for me, I’ve been sound and music for a long time. I even took a try at Vlogging before baby #2 happened. And it was uncomfortable. That one didn’t feel quite right for me but I’m constantly learning, evolving, and trying things out. And that’s what it’s really about; paying attention and seeing where we all fit in in this busy loud world of digital advertising.

This podcast is for you (big and small companies and brands alike) so please let me know if there is anything in particular you’ve been curious about. Don’t be afraid to be vague or even of talking in incomplete sentences; I get it. It’s new and ever changing. That’s why I’m here. To help bridge that gap between traditional marketing and this whole new way of thinking.

My goal for this podcast is to peak your interest, or possibly even blow your mind. Let’s think outside the box at what is hovering all around us; sound. It’s powerful, it’s engaging, it’s us. I’d love to hear your thoughts so please drop me a line at

If you need help in developing what your Sound In Marketing landscape may look like, don’t hesitate to reach out and let’s brainstorm together. Have a great week and we’ll talk again soon.




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Jeanna Isham

Jeanna Isham

I‘m a writer of music & designer of sound. My husband and I own and run an audio/video production company in SoCal. We’re raising 2 tiny humans in the process.