SANTA BARBARA, CA – Having spent more than 25 years on the sales side of the television business, Catherine Sullivan thinks AT&T’s new Xandr unit can leapfrog the industry. When it comes to helping marketers understand their target audiences and making TV smarter with more attribution and relevant advertising, “It can’t happen fast enough,” says the President of US Investment for Omnicom Media Group.
In this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Xandr Relevance Conference, Sullivan speaks about AT&T as a client and how she perceives Xandr’s blueprint for innovation going forward.
“I love the fact that they took a look back in order to take a look forward by using Alexander Graham Bell, and then seeing where the company is going and the logo they came up with. I think they are the future,” says Sullivan.
Omnicom Media Group is “lucky enough to represent AT&T as their agency of record and I will tell you that having them as a client consistently keeps us on our toes. Constantly thinking about the future and where the business is going,” she adds.
A veteran of both Disney ABC and NBCUniversal, Sullivan says she gets where Xandr is heading. “They have the opportunity to leapfrog and really be at the forefront of what a media company looks like going forward. So I find it fascinating.”
Having heard AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson talk at the conference, Sullivan says the audience was privy to insights about an industry “that 18 months ago we really didn’t have a lot of insight to. He certainly is a person who knows what he wants and he’s going after and I think they have a great roadmap for success.”
The most pressing goal is to make TV more like digital and, in the process, smarter, according to Sullivan. It starts with helping clients get a better read on who they are trying to reach “because for so many of them, I think that’s one of the hardest things to establish.”
Asked about the utility of addressable TV ads, she says that targeting layer added to the medium’s huge reach has produced “really good results” in her agency’s testing over the past couple of years.
“I do think that all of our clients are realizing that, if not all of their campaign but certainly anywhere from thirty to sixty percent of their campaign, they’ve got to start understanding the audience that they’re really trying to target in order to stop having this be a test and learn and actually have it be a practice that they do every single time they go to market.”
This video is part of a series leading up to, and covering the Xandr Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara. For more videos from the series, please visit this page. This Beet.TV program is sponsored by Xandr, a unit of AT&T.