As A+E Network’s director of digital marketing, Jen Taylor is up against a lot of competition. No longer competing only against other channels, the network has to fight for attention against YouTube, other social media platforms and digital streaming channels.
“The biggest challenge is the breadth of content available,” Taylor told Beet.TV at the Beet Retreat in New York City hosted by Horizon Media earlier this month. Additionally, marketing strategies have to consider not only what audiences would be right for the content A+E Networks is promoting, but also what audiences watch live TV at all, a problem that’s been exacerbated by cord-cutting and the rise of DVR.
“It’s really important for us to find people who are interested in our shows, or interested in shows that are similar to our shows, who are live TV viewers, and pull them in to watch our content,” says Taylor.
A+E Networks uses “tune-in marketing” to drive people to its live showings, a tactic that involves promoting content as must-see events and driving people – the aforementioned people who are likely to watch live TV – to their TVs at the right time. “We want people engaging with our brand, whether they’re DVRing or time shifting, or streaming on digital, but right now the goal of linear tune in is that live in premiere view,” she says. Partners like Alphonso help A+E Networks identify live TV viewers the network can target, while Samba helps attribute conversions to marketing strategies. Attribution, Taylor says, has come a long way in five years.
“Attribution exists in a way it didn’t five years ago,” she says, when the network was able to understand success in terms of what drove ratings. Only in the past three to four years has the network been able to work with measurement partners to understand not just ratings, but what tactic helped to hit them.
In 2020, Taylor believes that data-at-scale will be the skill to master for marketers.
“As we move into 2020, how do we scale that data? First-party data is not as large as you’d like, and even third-party data isn’t always as scaled as you’d like. So what’s the balance between leveraging first-party data and leveraging scale with our paid campaigns?” she says.