TV to web

I saw this as a ‘requirement’ on a job ad for a Sydney position at Facebook.

  • Ability to convert clients national TV dollars spends into Facebook marketing relationship

The job is here btw if you’re interested (based in Sydney) –

I also saw this on ninemsn, looking for a video sales executive –

Again, a key requirement is “To develop TV buyer relationships” and “To manage the effective packaging and pricing of our Video product and to develop compelling sales collateral by product”

It’s no surprise that the wider digital industry is still trying to swipe share from the TV networks – it’s been the agenda for years and continue to be.

The publishers are generally correct when they say that those outside of the ‘digital media’ environment probably don’t know as much about the workings of digital media as they perhaps would like. It’s commonly believed that this is the major hurdle. “If they understand our product better and how great it is, then we can bypass the digital guys and get a line in to the guys/girls with the real budgets. The TV budgets.”

However, this lack of knowledge is probably right now helping the local digital players. Most of the arguments around digital strengths have been around

– people aren’t engaging with traditional media (false)
– users are more engaged online (half truth dependant on the definition of engagement)
– digital is lower cost than traditional media (false)
– digital is more accountable (false, measurable yes)

It generally hasn’t been around the things that are of more importance

– how does it stack up against other media dollar for dollar
– what elements of digital can give me comparable impact as a 30 TVC or a DPS
– what is the incremental benefit of digital in the wider mix. Is it about additional frequency or additional reach?

Here’s the thing – if you want to know what people in ‘offline’ agency roles are curious about in regards to digital it helps to actually ask them rather than assume they are interested/confused about the areas you think they are. If you don’t, generally you are answering questions no one really cares about. If you really want to compete against TV, this is something that needs to be done as te argument that ‘people don’t watch tv’ or ‘the media landscape is changing’ or ‘no one watches TV ads’ just makes you look like an idiot.

The agency I work at, Maxus, is a very strong trading agency. My role is to develop our digital offering and guide our digital efforts nationally. The last thing we want is to develop a seperate digital agency in house so training across the group is key.

Anyway – I conducted a session that basically went through my thoughts around the space and areas I felt were important in developing the agency. I then asked everyone to come back with 4 things they wanted to know more about so we could structure of training around this. Below are the main areas

– How do we benchmark CPM against other media?
– How do we show real value against other media?
– How do you negotiate with online suppliers?
– How do you demonstrate a heavy, light or medium campaign and can you show the different impact each of them have?
– How can we look to measure across media?
– What do these measurement terms actually mean in relation to other measurement currency?
– What do people engage with – types of message, formats of creative etc
– Now with Medium Rectangle more commonly carrying video, is the user actually watching these videos , and what is their advantage?
– Geo targeting, where do you see this going?

The common elements throughout all of them seem to be around reach, pricing, impact and effectiveness. 4 things I think we have a lot of work to do to truly show.

There is also confusion/curiosity around measurement. What does it all really mean? Maybe to answer this we need to look at less data but better data.

So to cut a long story short (at the end of the article), maybe if digital is going to take share from TV it needs to start answering the questions people are asking … not the ones they’re not.


5 responses to “TV to web

  1. Ben,
    Interesting set of questions you have uncovered. Since taking off my sales director’s hat for a major publisher I have spent the past 8 months doing what my first sales manager told me – you have 2 ears and one mouth, use them in proportion” ie listen to answers more than you ask questions.
    I agree the digital advertising and media sales forces and publishers/networks need to focus more on the actual challenges of both agencies and clients to come up with a more relevant set of issues to tackle than simply how can we move more money from TV and/or print.
    Whist I do believe that that money will flow as the digital media industry becomes more effective at uncovering the real issues and addressing them, your list from your Maxus colleagues pretty much captures the core questions.
    My point in this post is to contribute that a major step forward will soon be a credible reach figure based on people measurement from the Nielsen panel initially (June) and then hybrid (Q1 2010) that will enable media planners and buyers to compare actual reach and actual people with other media. This can’t come soon enough as I see all too often cpms online – which of course are cost per thousand impressions – compared directly with cpms on other media which are nearly always cost per thousand people to reach. Once this metric is freely and simply accessed we will see the more credible promotion of online based on both cross-platform – enhancing other media campaigns, and also taking the dominant media position in other cross media campaigns – to digital as an effective and cost efficient medium in it’s own right.
    Add to this more research demonstrating how consumers use online – video from medrecs as was on of the Maxus questions – and continued and more education, training and awareness, and very soon (next 12 months?) the answers to the questions your Maxus colleagues, and many other non-digital agencies and clients are asking, will be widely available.
    The IAB is working extensively with it’s members, with the MFA, the AFA, and the AANA to influence and accelerate this process.
    But it’s a responsibility of all within the digital media industry to do for those around them what you are doing for your Maxus colleagues – ask, listen, then answer.

  2. talkingdigital

    “This can’t come soon enough as I see all too often cpms online – which of course are cost per thousand impressions – compared directly with cpms on other media which are nearly always cost per thousand people to reach”

    C’mon Fish … this argument isn’t very strong. On every media all you’re doing is buying an opportunity to see … I would argue that opportunity is no greater across most media.

  3. talkingdigital

    but yes, agree totally – listening right now is a great tactic and should help us all 🙂

  4. Fairfax Digital have been presenting their video product as a form of ‘reach extension’ of your TV budgets. An important part of this is their research indicating that most of their audience are either light or non-tv viewers. So in this sense, you are reaching an audience who are less likely to see your TVC – if that audience matches one you are looking for then you get a better deal.

    It’s one of the better ways I’ve seen online video presented to an audience who are mostly TV buyers (there were certainly a few more people who seemed to understand this in our agency than in regular digital presentations).

    This whole idea of ‘taking’ TV’s audience/budgets is an ongoing argument – it seems that no one is willing to share – and when more and more people are multitasking their consumption of entertainment surely this is a stronger argument for media choices that compliment one another?

  5. Further to what James said, my internal discussions within the agency have identified that most of us see online video/tv to be following the path that STV did once upon a time. There is no denying that there is a certain portion of the FTA audience who are moving away from TV and into online predominate viewing – this is essentially what happened when people started to take up STV. So I would agree totally that the best way to sell this to either media buyers or clients who have previously poured majority of their budget into TV is the “incremental reach” story.

    It’s certainly not hard to find evidence that certain demographics are spending less time in front of a television and more time online but in reality TV is not going anywhere and will continue to serve a purpose for some time, in which case incremental reach looks to be the best catalyst for shifting TV spend to online.

    Clients and agencies will then start to see the value first hand and off we go…

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