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Is Podcasting the New "Plastics"?

In the seminal 1967 film "The Graduate,” college student Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman), is offered some career advice by an older businessman:

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

It is my personal opinion that were this conversation to take place today, Mr. McGuire would be tipping Benjamin off to podcasting. I know I would.

As many readers will agree, we are now in the midst of an Internet marketing talent shortage (which, ahem, I predicted a year ago) and the situation is only going to get worse.

Yes, it’s fantastic that our industry is finally growing by leaps and bounds. It’s not so fantastic that it’s increasingly difficult to find and retain mid-to-senior level Internet marketing folks.

If a young man or woman who was close to entering the workforce were to ask me today* what specific area of Internet marketing they should specialize in to guarantee they’d be in top demand in the near future, the number one thing I would recommend would be podcasting. Of the shallow pool of Internet marketing talent that is available for hire today, very few people have any hands-on experience with podcasting.

The signs are all there; we are at the beginning of a podcasting boom, and anyone with demonstrated experience in this area is going to be in high demand over the next 12-24 months.

Are you listening?

* Note: a year ago I would have said Search Engine Advertising


  1. Ryan-RFD
    Ryan-RFD September 27, 2006

    First, let me say that I agree that marketers with PodCasting experience are in short supply.
    However, I must say that I just don’t get the hype around podcasting. This might be because I’m not in the talk radio demographic, but I haven’t really seen any stats that I find really compelling. I thought maybe I was just out of the loop on this one, but I when I took a look at the term “podcast” in Google Trends for 2006 and the graphs are flat:
    Now at least as I understand it, the appeal of talk radio is that it’s live, extremely topical (ie breaking news) and interactive. Podcasting isn’t any of these. Without these hooks does Podcasting have much hope beyond the niche?
    What am I missing?

  2. Richard Hamilton
    Richard Hamilton September 28, 2006

    I don’t know.
    What I do know is that the teenagers I know spend lots of time now watching videos on What are they watching – music videos created by their friends (matching a favourite song to a variety of video clips) and watching clips of TV shows posted by other youtube users.
    For example – “Cheese” is a character on “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends” – they watch highlights of that character’s appearances on the animated series.
    What does that mean for marketing??

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