MIAMI – Structural barriers. Organizational barriers. Silos. All of these play their part in retarding the progress of advanced television for all parties involved.
While pursuing these topics can lead to circular conversations—everyone agrees on the need for change but no one thinks it won’t happen soon, if at all—such discussions actually help to clarify a very complex landscape. This was the goal of a panel at Beet Retreat Miami 2017 featuring executives from FreeWheel, one2one Media and digital-first agency Essence.
Moderator Matt Spiegel, Managing Director of strategic advisory and business development firm MediaLink, kicked things off by asking for specific suggestions that would remove roadblocks from the advanced TV space. What follows are a sampling of responses.
Adam Gerber, SVP, Investment, North America Essence: “Everyone’s got different agendas. The MVPD’s don’t want to allow me to bump my first-party data up to their set-top boxes unless I’m buying local media through them. That’s not a long-term success for anyone in this business, to link business models that don’t need to be linked. On the distribution side, there are affiliate agreements that restrict national networks from selling local inventory. That’s going to cause a problem if we’re talking about moving to an addressable model where national networks want to be able to sell.”
Mike Bologna, President, one2one Media: “Unfortunately, I agree with a lot of what you said. It really comes down to how we articulate change in our business. Everybody around here knows that nothing moves quickly in this business when it comes to change. We’re all used to thinking cheaper is better. So in terms of moving this along, it’s about identifying how something might cost a little bit more but the return on it might be more than the X factor of that cost.”
Herve Brunet, GM, Markets, FreeWheel: “We’re living in a world where video sits in two worlds, basically linear TV and digital video, and these are still two silos and they’re run separate at the agency level but also at the publisher level. We think that needs to become a lot simpler, it needs to become one pool of inventory, it needs to become one way for the buyer to find their viewers, as opposed to two different ways.
So how long will silos hold back progress, asked Spiegel.
“I think we are going to continue to see it rise in silos because there isn’t one person that can actually snap their fingers, make a decision and bring it altogether,” said Bologna. “But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth doing all the work and working through all those silos if the return pays out, which can be demonstrated with the proper data.”
Gerber pointed out that consumers want two things: live and on-demand programming. Delivery mechanisms are irrelevant. “They don’t give a rat’s ass whether it’s through a DVR, through their VOD platform, through a connected TV app, through any other number of mechanisms that get the content to their screen,” said Gerber. “It’s not about platforms it’s about experiences and it’s about delivering an ad in those experiences.”
Organizational malfunction isn’t going away anytime soon, noted Bologna. “It exists at agencies, it exists at media companies, it exists at the brands. In my opinion, the best we can do is work within the organizational malfunction and do the best we can.”
Gerber cited the status quo of how brand portfolios do business, beginning with their budgeting processes, explaining how it works against an addressability model. Using the hypothetical example of a telecommunications company, he said it should be able to message across various product suites based on what it knows about its customers.
“But if they’re building their brand budgets and their campaigns from the product level up, addressability doesn’t scale,” said Gerber. “Because what you want to be able do is push addressability from the top down. When you know about a consumer and they’re in a particular mental state in terms of purchase you want to serve them the right product. Serving them the right product that’s out of flight because it doesn’t align with the brand budget doesn’t work. So client org structures have to completely flip in terms of how they manage their marketing budgets for this to work.”
This video was produced at the Beet Retreat Miami, 2017 presented by Videology along with Alphonso and 605. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.