Local TV could be surprisingly effective for marketers – if only they had an effective way to buy the right commercial spots quickly, easily and with control.

That is the view of a company that has long offered the infrastructure for local TV networks’ ad management around the US. But now WideOrbit wants to service ad buyers, too.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Mike Zinsmeister, WideOrbit chief revenue officer, says the “spot” TV ad market in the US is “haemorrhaging” money, down from $18 billion to $16 billion [source unknown], “because it’s not super-accessible”.

San Francisco-based WideOrbit offers a software platform that handles scheduling, billing, content management and invoicing for mostly local TV ads.

Now WideOrbit is bringing workflow automation to spot TV advertising. It wants to speed up the old manual system in which an ad buyer passes campaign requirements to a buying representative, on to stations and back to the buyer.

WideOrbit’s Zinsmeister spoke with Janus Strategy & Insights president Howard Shimmel at Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!”.

Buyers’ inertia

“If you really kind of look beneath the covers, when (ad buyers) say, ‘I don’t buy local (TV ads)’, it’s because it wasn’t accessible. Now I think we’re going to change that.

“We’ve spent 20 years putting everybody on a similar platform, now we’re really doing cool stuff to be able to leverage that. We’re working directly with Hudson MX and Mediaocean, the big buying systems that the buyers are utilizing.”

Re-aligning economics

“The problem with local, at least in spot (ads) and to some degree local cable as well, is an agency is working at a 2% or less profit margin. It works really well, the brands want it. It’s a fantastic medium, but it costs so much to transact it.

“Data providers, buy-side systems, sell-side systems, we’re now working together to communicate information that reduces discrepancies, and more importantly, the time that it takes to transact. ”

Clarifying effectiveness

“They don’t see the performance until way after the campaign, so you don’t get that level of attribution.

“By putting everybody on a similar footprint, by now working with the buy-side systems instead of competing with them, we’re providing really fast access, both for traditional buyers and also for folks like Google.”

This video is part of a series from the Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” hosted by GroupM Worldwide and sponsored by Amobee, Comcast Spotlight, TVSquared and WideOrbit. Please visit this page for additional segments.