Quotes and Consensus – TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) 2021
The Television of Tomorrow conference brought together leaders from across the TV industry – from agency partners to experts in linear, video, tech, and research - giving their point of view on the value of broadcast and how to measure that value. The panelists agreed television is still the single most effective brand-building medium and the ability to measure that effectiveness is instrumental in television’s future.
The Value Proposition of Broadcast TV
Execs from Sinclair, ViacomCBS, TEGNA, and Scripps weighed in on the value proposition “Is Broadcast the TV of Tomorrow?” session.
Ed Busby – SVP of Strategy at TEGNA, said that a key value differentiator for broadcast is local news; noting that especially during this time of division in our country, Americans trust local news more than national news. Related, he shared that TEGNA provides additional value with their recently launched unbiased source for fact-checking service “Verify”, a move driven by disinformation that circulates today.
We have the scale and reach to deliver specific audiences that advertisers are looking for...
Kerry Oslund – VP of Strategy at Scripps, spoke about how premium content is a major differentiator, especially live sports. “Some people can’t afford box seats or a subscription to a regional sports network, but they want to be Cubs, Mets, or Yankees fans. And they want to see their games on WGN or whatever local affiliate.”
Adam Wiener – EVP & GM of Local/Digital at ViacomCBS went on to point out the value in the local TV’s community connection and the market-level partnership between TV organizations, as demonstrated in the way broadcasters banded together during the pandemic stay-at-home order. “During the pandemic it wasn’t one broadcaster versus the other. We all showcased what businesses were open and where the community could go to shop, dine, and be safe.”
Weiner also noted that the value of broadcast TV for advertisers is clearly reach. “We have the scale and reach to deliver specific audiences that advertisers are looking for, allowing them to reach the desired audience in an effective and efficient way.”
Oslund reminded the audience that broadcast TV is a must-have component and a building block of a strong marketing mix. Rob Weisbord – President of Broadcast/CRO at Sinclair, drove this point home by adding that, “Advertisers need to start with building brand awareness. Broadcast is the big top of the funnel. And it all comes down to ROI."
Its All About the ROI
To compete in the same arena as digital media, broadcasters must have the ability to prove ROI for their advertiser clients.
Summer Craig – Founder/President at Craig Group, said they always start with an ROI model at the very beginning of each media plan, which is done by defining and quantifying the business outcome. “We don’t ever go to market without a business outcome.”
Jane Clarke – CEO/Managing Director at CIMM shared that her organization is doing studies to bring greater transparency to TV’s measurement practices. She agreed that new TV measurement tools are incredible but warned there is currently no measurement standard across the industry, which presents data quality issues. “We did a study on the same ad campaign with different vendors and got different results. This is why we think there’s a need in the industry to standardize and to understand best practices. There is no MRC [MediaRating Council] accredited ad measurement in television.” Clarke noted that some measurement providers are combining Smart TV data and Set Top Box data while others use one or the other, which causes differences in outcomes.
When you don’t pay sufficient attention to the top, the flow-through to the bottom starts looking like a drip.
Mark McKee – SVP/CRO of FreeWheel warned that in terms of measurement, many advertisers are misguided in jumping to the purchase metrics at the bottom of customer journey funnel. “The metrics we need to measure is at the exposure level and many media companies are focused on exactly that – validating the exposure to specific audiences, understanding the impact and driving against the incremental reach.”
Jim Spaeth – Partner at Sequent Partners, agreed with McKee. “Television is the greatest brand-building medium ever created. It fills the top of the funnel and drives sales too. Only looking at the bottom of the funnel, at sales outcomes is short-sighted. When you don’t pay sufficient attention to the top, the flow-through to the bottom starts looking like a drip."
The Tech Hold Up
Many panelists noted that the largest challenges in TV lie in legacy platform specific technology, such as linear traffic systems that cannot connect with audience measurement and delivery systems.
Beth Plummer – SVP & CRO at Spectrum Reach asserted “Fulfilling linear TV in a truly audience-based way isn’t happening today but working with vendors to bring both linear and digital platforms together for planning and execution of cross-platform campaigns is a priority.”
We’re working with business rules & practices from 1969
Brenda Hetrick – CRO at Matrix Solutions, mused that the industry is talking a good game but there are still gaps that are driven by the huge lift for some major ad tech platforms to ingest and send data to-and-from other systems. Brenda aptly noted that business rules and processes from planning to buying, selling, measurement, fulfillment and execution need to be modernized as much as automated. “We’re working with business rules and practices from 1969,” said Brenda.
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