PROMAXBDA STATION SUMMIT

Local TV Is A ‘Massive Growth Industry’

Marketing strategy guru Rishad Tobaccowala: “Video and TV remain the most powerful ways one can potentially market … and people watch more video than ever before" and "local matters more and more, so things look really positive as long as we all continue to evolve with the needs of the principals we are serving." The trend that TV marketers must keep a close eye on is how consumers are behaving with video, and that means being mindful of “companies that are simultaneously your best possible friends and your worst possible enemies,”

TV marketers who want to be sure their companies thrive in an increasingly turbulent digital age must gather their teams in a room, serve up some alcohol and brainstorm until they design the next big competitor to their industry. “When you do that you will find that you have created something that is better than what you have, and if you don’t pursue it, someone else will.”

So suggested Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer at Vivaki, in his keynote address to last week’s PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas.

The longtime advertising industry gadfly had words of encouragement — and caution — for the hundreds of local TV marketing and promotion managers in his audience.

TV, and more specifically video, “is a massive growth industry,” Tobaccowala said. “Video and TV remain the most powerful ways one can potentially market … and people watch more video than ever before. All of this bodes extremely well for your industry.”

In addition, “local matters more and more, so things look really positive as long as we all continue to evolve with the needs of the principals we are serving.”

Those principals — the audience and advertisers — are buffeted by technological change that has no respect for industries, companies or past consumer behavior, he warned. Even technology giants like Google find themselves on shifting sands, as Facebook enters the search industry, betting that friends’ recommendations will be more trusted than those of a search engine.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“The industry you thought you were in is not necessarily the industry you are in,” Tobaccowala said.

The trend that TV marketers must keep a close eye on is how consumers are behaving with video, and that means being mindful of “companies that are simultaneously your best possible friends and your worst possible enemies,” Tobaccowala said.

Netflix and Amazon Prime, for example, offer vast amounts of excellent commercial-free programming for less than $10 per month, he said, and their customers provide them with a huge stream of data. “Their technology is to optimize what to recommend to me, and to make my experience seamless on any one of the 221 devices I might be watching with.”

Netflix and Amazon “have understood that the future is not about TV. It’s about video across glass, and not just Google Glass, but the next iPhone watch or some other device.”

YouTube also challenges TV’s status quo. “In the U.S., 13-year-old boys watch more YouTube than TV,” Tobaccowala said, “and it’s about the same with 18-24s.

“People are beginning to understand that they like to watch YouTube, and 40% of that viewing is taking place on phones and tablets,” he said.

The young audience is changing, Tobaccowala added, “and so Google goes to our clients and says: ‘I can expose messages to them and you won’t pay for a commercial unless someone sees the whole commercial and you are not limited in how long the commercial is.’ ”

L’Oreal, he noted, is successfully running eight-minute commercials in front of three-minute videos, because interested consumers find the content engaging.

And L’Oreal isn’t alone as a marketer creating content. In fact, marketers are increasingly focused on a trio of paid, owned and earned media, and the ratio in which they use them is changing.

“If two years ago, paid media was 90%, owned was 8% and earned was 2%, the 90% will go down to 70%. That’s 20 points switching from paid to owned and earned,” Tobaccowala warned.

“Marketers are saying we’ve got great content, so why don’t we distribute it on the Internet, Facebook and YouTube. We’ll use paid media to scale it and if we get something really interesting we’ll get earned media.”

TV station marketers must think about how to use the Internet to distribute their content, Tobaccowala said. “Think about the heft of your station and how you can help your local retailers utilize all these things.”

Station marketers must also make sure their shows “are watchable across a lot of platforms. Think video and think paid, owned,” he said.

Finally, Tobaccowala urged TV marketers to build their personal brands. “You are only valuable to your company if you are even more valuable outside.”

To build a personal brand, marketers must identify three words that describe their story and their voice, Tobaccowala said, “and do this without alcohol.

“If you want to be a leader, people must care about who you are and not your title.”

Read other PromaxBDA Station Summit coverage here.


Comments (1)

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kendra campbell says:

July 1, 2013 at 10:12 am

Local TV stations are in the commercial delivery business. Content is the pesky stuff that fills time between commercials.


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