Nothing has more of an identity crisis than the B2B podcast. And that makes far too many podcasts more appalling than appealing.

How—when the format seems to be "having a moment"—can I suggest such a contrarian viewpoint? Easy. I spent decades in broadcast journalism, and podcasts think they're that. They're not.

Whether you're putting together "tape at 11" or a story for a weekly news magazine, you've got the same responsibility to viewers. On the very most basic level, you have to tell them what you're going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. Unless a viewer is recording the show and can rewind, you've got to make sure you make your point on a first hearing or viewing, and the repetition ensures that happens.

On TV, of course, visuals help tell that story. That's not an available advantage in a podcast. And that's why it's so vital to stick to the subject and the most vital facts. You have to use words to draw pictures, and that takes particular skill.

Audio Pictures

My father was the perfect example of someone who did that very well. He'd do intros to songs on his rock and roll radio show using stories he wrote that were specific to the tune. In a minute, he could describe a scene you couldn't help but see, and the structure of the intros themselves had beginnings and middles and ends (and those ends were always the opening lyric of the song).

But podcasts shouldn't do that. They should do their own version—serving a very different purpose.

So it's time to rethink the purpose, the process, and the payoff of B2B podcasts.

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image of Peter Altschuler

Peter Altschuler runs Wordsworth & Company, where he helps clients make their products and services irresistible (and creates the desire to want them... a lot). Peter does that by analyzing marketing strategies, developing competitive and tactical plans, and creating print, online, and broadcast advertising, content, direct response programs, and related promotional activities.

LinkedIn: Peter Altschuler