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Bobby Bones, host of the popular “Bobby Bones Show,” believes that marketers underestimate the power of the middle America demographic and that honest conversation is the key.

“The pull has been people in middle America that listen to my show that invest their time in us and feel like they know me, so that helps with advertising because if I’m on the air three, four, five hours a day and they feel like I’m their friend, that’s always the goal of the show. We’re pretty open and honest,” Bones explained at Variety’s Entertainment Marketing Summit. “If they feel like they’re our friends, they’re more prone to take part in the things we’re doing. And that includes who our sponsors are, because we tend to talk organically and passionately about it, because I won’t advertise for something I don’t believe in.”

Chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia Gayle Troberman said most marketers live in a coastal bubble. “As marketers we’ve never had more data and been more out of touch with America,” she said. According to Troberman, the best way to gain trust with consumers is for content to “become part of an honest conversation. Let it be unscripted.”