Back in 2020 the auto industry spent more than $12 billion on digital advertising in the US alone.
That’s a huge number.
It’s also a number that doesn’t include the ubiquitous TV or radio advertising we’re constantly being bombarded with, nor any advertising elsewhere in the world.
Which means the real amount the auto industry spends globally on advertising is a really huge number.
What’s most surprising about the auto industry advertising spend, however, isn’t how big that number is, however.
What’s most surprising is how much Tesla, the fastest-growing car company in the world contributed to that advertising spend.
While almost every other car company’s growth strategy revolves around outspending the competition in an attempt to build brand awareness and loyalty, Tesla is doing the exact opposite.
And what’s more, they’re winning.
So why does this work, and what can this teach us about marketing and growing our podcasts?
See, while traditional automakers are competing with each other to sell their version of a generic, commodity vehicle type (family sedan, minivan, pickup truck, etc), Tesla is busy building vehicles that are the one and only of their kind.
The result of this commitment to differentiation is that for years now, they’ve been able to operate without any serious competition.
And when you don’t have any competition, marketing is a whole lot easier.
This is why, whether you’re trying to sell a car or get people to listen to a podcast, a clear and compelling differentiation strategy is the backbone of effective marketing and growth.
Compelling differentiation allows you to cut through the noise in your niche and stand out.
Compelling differentiation gets people talking and spreading the word for you.
And as a result, compelling differentiation allows you to spend less time and effort on marketing.
If marketing your podcast feels hard, the reason is probably because you haven’t compellingly differentiated it from other shows in your space.
In this situation, like Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen, you’re left with no choice but to try and shout louder (and spend more) than the competition to get your show noticed.
I probably don’t need to tell you that as an indie podcast creator, it’s almost impossible for you to win this way.
The alternative is to build a show like Tesla.
To create a show unlike anything else that exists by building out a clear and compelling podcast differentiation strategy that makes you the obvious choice for your ideal listeners and gets them talking.
This is probably the hardest part of marketing.
Which is why so few people bother to do it. And why almost every show ever started will fail to build a meaningful audience.
Because you and I can’t compete when it comes to budget or team size.
But we can compete on the originality of our ideas and the way we present them.
In fact, for scrappy creators like us, this is pretty much all we have.
The good news is our ideas are enough.
As long as we choose to use them.