As the multichannel era of TV continues to expand, Cadent’s Future of TV brought together experts from agencies, brands and publishers to discuss how TV has evolved and how their industries are approaching this constantly changing medium.
Focusing on the core themes for the summit, Jim Tricarico, president of sales and CRO for Cadent, opened the summit with a keynote touching on such core areas as flexibility, addressability and measurability—features that have come to define the opportunities presented by linear and connected TV. Here are a few key takeaways from the day’s conversations:
- TV isn’t dead, it’s just getting larger with the addition of OTT and CTV. U.S. consumers’ average time spent with subscription OTT video content will rise by 23% this year, due to stay-at-home orders and an increase in available content, according to eMarketer analysis. But this rise in streaming isn’t a nail in the coffin for TV—it’s TV by another name. As TD Dixon, chief growth officer for Post Consumer Brands, said, “We can all agree that TV’s not going away, it just had a lot of babies. So, as marketers, we have to determine which are the right babies for us to focus on.”
- As the TV family gets larger, the future of reaching audiences will be about adaptability. Cathy Shaffner, chief investment officer of Empower, looked at how the TV marketplace has been flipped on its head by the pandemic. Adaptability will be key to agencies’ success, Shaffner said, adding that the more adaptive an agency is in every area—where and when they work, how they go to market, how they use data to find audiences, how they seek out content and change as the world changes—the more successful that agency will be.
Being strategic and using precise measurements to gauge their achievements will underpin agencies’ success in reaching audiences, Shaffner added. “The business that we drive is all based on the measurement of everything that we do,” she said. “It’s not about reach or frequency anymore as much as it’s about finding the audience in the right moment within their customer journey.”
- Broadcast television, specifically local news, is regaining its importance to people. In a year when news has been the center of what felt like every conversation, brands had to find a way to effectively break through the noise while being sensitive to the moment. According to a TVB report, TV viewership among key demographics increased an average of 36% year-over-year between March and July. As broadcast proved to be a lifeline for consumers, brands had to find authentic ways to connect with viewers through the medium.
“It goes back to this notion of trust, right?” Dixon said. “Not only are consumers looking for brands they can trust, they’re looking to their news outlets and vehicles where they get their information.”
- OTT and CTV are key to reaching fragmented audiences, but there’s work to be done. As the TV umbrella continues to expand, growing pains are unavoidable. What was once a conversation between broadcast and cable has evolved to include numerous OTT and CTV platforms. Jamie Power, chief data officer for Cadent, asked Dana Bhargava, head of Experience Planning & Media for Sanofi Consumer Health, if she felt satisfied with the level of insight into the reach- and frequency-building of her OTT and CTV campaigns.
“No, of course not. With all the walled gardens out there, we live in a world where we really don't really understand duplication at all,” Bhargava said. “There's a lot of work that needs to be done. And that's why I think this whole idea of bringing data to TV is really the start of an evolution in all of our channels to make them all more accountable, and I think we have to work as an industry to start breaking down some of these walled gardens.”
- Measurement is key as advertisers aim to understand campaign performance across the television spectrum. Andrew Martinson, senior marketing manager for H&R Block, and Jes Santoro, senior VP, advanced TV and video, at Cadent, spoke about measurement and accountability challenges for brand marketers. The speed of change in the TV industry has accelerated in recent years, as streaming and other forms of digital video hit the market, and brands and agencies have to make sure they’re building media plans around the latest information.
It comes down to understanding the tools available and, of those, which ones will fit your business, Martinson said, adding, “I lean on my agency partners tremendously to help me understand, ‘OK, of all these capabilities and all this knowledge that I have, what do I not know?' ... As a brand marketer, as a brand strategist, I have to lean on my partners to help me with that space, and they’ll lean in.”
If you missed the Future of TV summit, catch the full replay here.