CANNES – At the end of this year’s television Upfront presentations, Lou Paskalis sensed a “digital divide” between media sellers. He credits ESPN, NBCUniversal and Turner for having making data an integral part their value propositions by virtue of the data pedigrees of their executives.

In an interview with Beet.TV, the SVP of Global Communications, Media & Media Measurement at Bank of America draws a contrast between the three aforementioned companies and media providers for whom data was “something that was sprinkled over the top of the cupcake” of their Upfront presentations.

“Folks that have been in the business for a long time on the data side are now coming over to the linear side and saying, ‘We can provide you something that works within your digital ecosystem’” Paskalis says, mentioning Stefano Kim at Turner and Denise Colella at NBCU.

As he surveys the landscape of media offerings, Paskalis says “We now have a pretty complete ecosystem with digital, mobile and addressable.”

The real value in that ecosystem isn’t strictly about consumer targeting.

“This is important for relationship marketing,” he says. “As we move into this era that is increasingly deterministic, we need to know a little bit about who we’re talking to. Whether or not they saw my last message so if I’m doing sequential messaging I can serve the next one.”

The most important thing advertisers must cultivate is the consumer experience, according to Paskalis.

“Let’s face it. We have been so focused on optimizing the advertising math that we sometimes forget the consumer equation,” Paskalis says. “Anything we do that enhances the consumer equation, including reducing ad load, is really a good thing.”

While he’s been struck by all of the hoopla surrounding the potential marketing benefits of virtual reality, he doesn’t think there are enough headset-equipped people at this point to justify the cost of producing VR content.

“But I’m intrigued by how consistent the message is with VR, so I’m trying to think if I’m missing something here,” Paskalis says.

 

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