Too often, media buyers see potential customers as ‘users’ or targets.’ They forget that advertisers are in the business of telling stories to real people.

That’s the assessment of Michael Piner EVP, Advanced Advertising Mediahub. “The idea here is, that we’re trying to get to humans. Not screens, not platforms. Humans,” he told Beet.TV. “Their behavior is unpredictable.”

According to Piner, leaning into research and advanced forms of targeting are “mission critical” if brands really want to take a human-first approach.

But targeting isn’t enough. In his view, the best way forward is for the industry to take advantage of the wisdom of both traditional TV buyers and their digital counterparts. “Taking a human-first approach is incredibly important and difficult,” he said. There is often a debate between “an audience first approach” and an emphasis on “content and context”

“The answer is both,” said Piner. “If we can do both at the same time …we can maximize effectiveness.”

You’re watching “The TV Upfronts in Transition,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by AudienceXpress, a Comcast Company. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.