Nick Spooner, ex ninemsn COO, was appointed as the new Digital Media chief at Network 10 on Friday. So far, all reactions have been positive. Spooner was well regarded at ninemsn and most are enthusiastic about what he will be able to do to turn around Ten’s digital efforts.
Ten’s efforts online to date haven’t been that great. They’ve had some successes with the likes of Idol and Big Brother, but often execution has let them down in other areas. It hasn’t showed the innovation or service mentality of its TV brother when it comes to its commercial approach.
What are some things that could be done at TEN to generate some quick wins and capitalise on the momentum that the Spooner hire will bring?
Well, here’s 5 things …
1/ Hire a trade marketing/PR person. You rarely see much about TEN’s digital efforts in the trade press, nor read about the success they’ve had with online video to date. TEN could be a lot more vocal about its products in a digital sense. Do they have a trade marketing dept? In a sea of vanilla they need to stand for something and make some market noise.
2/ Experiment NOW with new ad formats. Ten’s broadcast business has a reputation for pushing non traditional ad formats on TV … however within digital they stick to the old, tired IAB standards. Ten should look at implementing the new US OPA ad units – http://www.online-publishers.org/newsletter.php?newsId=499&newsType=pr – onto the site to position itself as an innovator. Sure, this might require a minimal site redesign but the gain will be more substantial than the pain.
3/ Focus on what you do well that is in demand. Here’s something I’ve never understood. TEN is great at sport – however online it has no meaningful sports presence. It has AFL rights, Sports Tonight, ONE HD … it could be a real challenger within the sport space online … but it isn’t. Instead, they have web destinations for shows like 9am that is just baffling. Video Hits was a really strong site pre the new Damien Smith led strategy … now it’s a mess of videos from the show and generic band information. Where’s the music? Where’s the news? Where’s the content people, y’know, who like music would be interested in? Music and Sport are key digital battlegrounds – TEN does well with both on broadcast TV – but is failing online. Scrap 9am and move those resources into sport and music.
4/ Look at what 16-29’s are doing online. The trends are obvious – they’re communicating, sharing, listening to music and watching content across multiple devices. MOST importantly – they are consuming Internet on conjunction with TV – ie, usually at the same time. This demo is TEN’s heartland – they understand them – lets see TEN lead the way when it comes to nailing how advertisers and content can effectively leverage this multi channel consumption. What can TEN do to partner with other media brands that are essential for this audience – ie myspace, facebook, MSN Messenger, photo sharing, YouTube. It’s worth speaking with these brands.
5/ Commission some meaty research and promote the hell out of it. I wouldn’t be alone in saying the market is sick of research that doesn’t actually tell you anything you don’t already know (ie, the Internet is a key channel for teens, time poor people enjoy the time saved by Internet banking … wow.). One key question that hasnt really been answered is the incremental benefit for advertisers in terms of recall/consideration/awareness in complimenting a broadcast sponsorship with a digital sponsorship extension. Or a timeline of how users interact with TEN’s TV schedule and their online assets and the best ways to communicate with them.
The best part of all this? These 5 points are all addressable and can be solved. Good luck Nick 🙂