When Ashley J. Swartz hears the word relevance, the term renaissance comes to mind. Having doubled down on television “not only surviving but thriving,” she sees AT&T’s The Relevance Conference as the confluence of TV’s potential future in one place.
“I think it’s incredibly exciting to see that some of the leaders in the marketplace and the biggest players are bringing together content with distribution and now technology and, most importantly, data to enable it all to happen,” the CEO & Founder of Furious Corp. says of the event on September 24-26 in Santa Barbara.
“The Relevance Conference is an amazing agenda because it’s elevating the conversation beyond the how to the why. And it’s very forward looking,” she adds in this interview with Beet.TV.
She credits Kirk McDonald, CMO of the soon to be renamed AT&T Advertising & Analytics, for bringing together a diversity of players and viewpoints where they can share their thoughts and business goals.
“We’re very insulated. We sort of live in this bubble and we don’t do a good job of looking outward to really understand and to help lay the course and the foundation for how we progress,” says Swartz.
With Time Warner Media and AppNexus now under its wing, AT&T has “this incredible portfolio of asserts that enables them to activate the wealth of data and information they have as ultimately what their legacy DNA is ,which is as a telco.”
Now she believes the new entity represents pieces that have come together “through the lines for traditional television to digital and addressable media overall.”
The word renaissance resonates amid all the technological change that the TV industry hopes will power its next iteration—one marked by an advanced understanding of audiences and brands can best engage with them.
“I’ve taken a contrarian position in the industry that I’m doubling down on television thriving not just surviving” by getting better at activating the hearts and minds of audiences, says Swartz. “For me, relevance is really about hearts and minds. You could end that conversation by simply talking about content, and you could end it with the acquisition of the broadcast networks and the portfolio of content they just acquired.
“But when you extend that story for The Relevance Conference and you start to leverage the data and information about audiences and you actually really get to know them, it enables you to deliver experiences, whether they’re ads or it’s content itself that means something. That activates hearts and minds.”
This video is part of a series leading up to and documenting the AT&T Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.