Tag Archives: research

VAB CEO Sean Cunningham on Why Video “Simply” Works



Sean Cunningham is the son of a radio personality and the husband of grammarian. That may be why he expresses himself so fluidly and works hard to offer clear explanations about the video landscape at the same time. Those personal aspects combined with deep professional experience in the ad industry and as a strategic media advisor help him helm the VAB, the source for insights-driven research and thought leadership about premium video. As its president and CEO, Sean is laser-focused on maximizing outcomes and championing the medium as a must-have for building high-value brands and driving growth.

It’s not easy in our changing environment, but the mantra at the organization is to simplify what is a very complex ecosystem and offer insights that help all those in the business of video to thrive. They’ve kept up a steady pace of conferences and reports even during trying times, even as consumers have made a steady diet of video during these at-home days.

In Episode 19 of Insider Interviews, Sean tells host E.B. Moss about the definition and best practices around marketing with premium video (spoiler alert: the VAB defines it as multi-screen content that’s professionally produced programming in any form — linear, tablet, laptop, mobile, etc.).

Sean and E.B. also discuss:

  • Our radio dads!…and what happens around Sean’s dinner table…
  • The lessons he learned on the agency side that all media sellers should know
  • The role of media in building your brand during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The power of including authentic messaging around diversity & inclusion
  • VAB and IAB – important bedfellows
  • The changes in consumer habits that marketers need to consider
  • How to put your best foot forward to advance a career in this industry.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


Tom Webster with the Insider Scoop on Audio Research



Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, describes his job as “telling the stories of numbers.” He definitely make numbers come alive, and he’s a great storyteller overall. So you’re generally okay with Tom as your guest if you didn’t discuss podcast topics in advance.

My industry acquaintance may be self-effacing, but he has a steel trap mind for the insights Edison regularly uncovers about all things audio, and he shared quite a few in our ad hoc but fascinating conversation for  Insider Interviews.

The custom market research company helmed by Larry Rosin may be best known as the sole providers of exit polling data during U.S. elections, but Tom is best known for his big research reveals on webinars (now Zoom presentations) or at conferences. Research junkies lean in to hear which platform has the biggest “share of ear” and how differently are consumers engaging with Alexa. Basically, he’s the go-to guy for sharing and interpreting our evolving involvement with radio, podcasting, voice…even IoT and our social media habits.

As Tom describes it, “I make sure that the data that we collect on behalf of our clients is understood contextualized, put into action and valued, and that people come back for more.” Here’s what’s “more” about Tom and a topline of our discussion: Little known fact? Tom likes words as well as numbers. This former English Lit professor is also the principal author of some widely cited studies and the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America’s longest-running research series on digital media consumption, and The Mobile Commerce Revolution.

In Episode 16, Tom shares some insider scoop from Edison’s audio research – and his considered POV on the current state of radio broadcasting and the growth of podcasting (including some tips that can help you grow your own podcast).

[00:01 – 03:25] Opening Segment

  • More about Tom Webster, his role in Edison Research and a moving from academia to a marketing career

[03:26 – 17:20] The Insider Scoop on Audio Research

  • About Edison Research’s broader offerings – like that exit poll and vote count data – and Tom’s area of focus: Audio
  • More insider scoop from Tom WebsterVoice vs. Audio
    • The growth of “smart speakers.”
    • Where are we – if anywhere — with an FM chip for mobile phones?
    • The general state of radio
    • The uptake on podcasting (Joe Rogan notwithstanding)
  • Tom talks about some Edison partnerships (and E.B. held back “insider” jokes about her old boss, John Rosso of Triton Digital!)

[17:21 – 25:40] Diverse Voices

  • The diversity in podcast listeners and podcast content
  • Growing your podcast in today’s competitive market:
    • Having a distinct voice
    • Showing your unique, distinct point of view
  • How Tom is sharing HIS unique POV, via his own newsletter I Hear Things

[25:41 – 31:27] Closing Segment

  • Tom’s go-to resource gathering platforms
  • The Tom and Tamsen team: “freenoting”with his wife, Tamsen Webster
  • Final thoughts

 

 

E.B. and Tom on the first (last?) VOICE panel at CES 1/20

Resources Mentioned:

You can connect with Tom on LinkedIn and Twitter. Subscribe to his I Hear Things newsletter. Listen to The Freenoter with Tom Webster and Tamsen Webster.

Follow Edison Research on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also visit their website https://www.edisonresearch.com/

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and Follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

And reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss, please reach out at podcasts@mossappeal.com. I’m “hear” for you!

 


Podcast Prognostications At and Around RAIN’s Global Summit – with Brad Hill: Epi 14



This episode is made up of two discussions about podcasting: A casual conversation with RAIN News president, Brad Hill around fun moments from the industry and projections for its success… and a more formal discussion — actually a few segments grabbed from RAIN’s Global Podcast Leadership Summit.

Insider Interviews host, E.B. Moss was the moderator on a panel about podcast advertising, featuring Art19’s Lex Friedman and Targetspot’s Dave Sosson — and a few of their insights were captured here.

  • You’ll learn how the summit had to pivot — and lessons for good zooming — as well as:
  • the kinds of media categories that podcasters are selling against — think paid social — and how they compare;
  • how host read ads are great, but how do they fit in to a targeted buy 
  • Interesting projections from the IAB and the new categories opening up for — and of — podcast advertisers
  • SHOULD there be a “PAB” 
  • And what is “giide”?

NOTE: Read RainNews.com to catch more takeaways from all the 8 sessions of the recent summit.

And ask E.B. about using giide.fm for your media company!

 


Global Branding Meets Customer-Focused Creative – Dell Technologies’ Rachael Henke



Rachael Henke’s short title is just “brand” at Dell Technologies. Her formal title is long, but it’s a big job, for a big company: Director of Global Brand Advertising Content and Customer Engagement Storytelling. That means, per Henke, “everything we do is to elevate the brand.” While most everyone has heard of “Dell,” her job is to ensure everyone knows the larger entity – created from the merger with EMC some three years ago — is actually “Dell Technologies” and that it’s gone from primarily computers to being “an end to end essential technology partner”.

While computers are, as Henke says, “still a very critical part of our business, we really want to focus [on the] B2B space, showing how we’re driving innovation and emerging technologies across areas like cloud storage and AI.” For Henke, that means that while being part of the brand team for a 150,000-person global company is impressive enough, she’s also, necessarily, a woman who can use “hyperconverged infrastructure solutions” in a sentence. But it’s still a human-oriented brand, evidenced from top-down actions like Michael Dell donating $100 million dollars to pro social initiatives during our current COVID-19 crisis. So, in Episode 6 of Insider Interviews, Henke explains how her team approaches brand storytelling – turning complicated offerings into human-oriented content. Here’s a topline of our conversation, edited for clarity:

“Every day is different”:  Henke’s days involve “conversations about what products are going to launch… and how that will turn into the vision where we’re going… a lot of conversations around messaging and with customers to understand how our technology gets used.”

Applying Those Conversations To Content: Like TV spots that take the figurative (“is your business going in circles?”) and make it literal, like spokesperson/actor Jeffrey Wright going in circles and upstairs and coming back to the starting point, their B2B brand campaigns aim to showcase how they deliver on solutions, what’s innovative, “and connecting that solution to work for sales teams, too…And If there’s a consumer campaign that works really well, it provides lift to our business side as well.”

That applies to small business as well: One example is working with ad agency MediaCom and audio company Entercom to create a virtual podcast conference, The PodFerence, to spotlight podcasts on relevant topics for customers.

Rinse and Repeat: Henke names brands and marketers she “keeps an eye on” and describes  her own goals to balance creative and data: “One of the challenges that any brand marketer has is how the heck do you measure brand advertising, because you’re not necessarily tied to a click, a call, a transactional sale. So we do a lot of measurement …and also make sure we’re not just looking at data in a silo [but working together with other divisions.]”

The Media and Marketing for Tomorrow: Will one of the world’s largest tech companies continue to put budget in linear? Henke is bullish on balancing linear and digital, especially when it comes to now on paused live sports. “It’s really timely to ask that because we are a PGA sponsor and have Dell Technologies Match Play which was supposed to take place in March. But I still feel like sponsorships will still be something strong and that we will continue because let’s face it, people want sports more than ever.”  We’re looking at continuing with linear, but figuring out where are people still watching? I think CTV and On Demand will absolutely be part of that mix as well.

For the future? “We truly believe that because of what has happened globally companies are looking at how they digitally transform in a way that makes sense, but also in a practical way. …We want to make sure that our brand is there to be that partner for our customers as they need to make changes because the world will be different.

Balance and Togetherness: Balance – between divisions as well as between work and home – is a continuous theme for Henke. Her bio describes her home life as including one horse-loving child and one gaming-loving child. But she acknowledges, “I don’t know how we all do it. In a moment of vulnerability I’ll just say every day is a challenge. One of the things that I have to harp on myself about is self-care, especially when you work from home”. So, this tech brand expert also relies on tech to remind her to get out and exercise…. “and making sure that I have those moments where I can go and retreat and think and take a step back.  I don’t get every day perfect, with two kids running around, but I always have to try to reset with myself.”

And Henke seems to be succeeding.


E.B. Moss and Betsy Rella

The Scoop on TV Today from a Data/Research Exec’s POV



As VP of data and research for NYI – the ad sales interconnect in the country’s biggest DMA, Betsy Rella likes finding the stories in the numbers – the takeaways she extrapolates from surveys and data sets that NYI can use to grow the advertising business. And, at a time when the world, literally, is home and when those numbers say that New Yorkers are consuming more video than ever, that information is key. Since everyone in media/marketing is also playing catch up on their knowledge base and business insights, I asked Rella for a download on trends in consumption and a 101 on how media buys are planned and sold differently these days.

Always wanted a solid definition of “Impression-Based Buying”? You got it.

How that differs from “Holistic Media Planning”? Done. We also talked about the very definition of TV today, how media companies need to assess all the ways and places people are consuming video (and whatever they call TV), the rise of CTV (“connected TV”) and why Cuomo Prime Time is consistently topping the ratings along with all kinds of news programs.

It’s actually a little beyond a “101”, so get the “201” on today’s shifts in media buying and planning from a data and research exec who has worked at ABC, Lifetime, MTV, Weather Channel, Ispos and TiVo! Listen to the full podcast, and please subscribe wherever you love to listen (And speaking of RATINGS – a bunch of stars for Insider Interviews with E.B. Moss on Apple would be appreciated!)

Key takeaways:

On TV: “You could be watching on your TV set, you could be watching on your phone, you could be watching on your computer, you could be watching on your iPad. And Nielsen classifies different types of households: a home that is a cable home or an over the air home or a broadband only home. But people are still buying TV sets. So, in some ways it’s still TV, but there’s more content is available, whether it’s through ad-supported cable networks or paid channels.

On Impression-based Buying: “With the dawn of new technologies, phones, tablets and so on, and the ability for consumers to engage with content on all these platforms, the game has changed as has the need for advertisers to flight campaigns across these multiple platforms. Because, of course, if you can’t measure it, you can’t sell it!  If you look at Nielsen data, overall time spent with video is relatively flat over the last two years. But what’s changed is how people are viewing: we see a decline in live plus time shifted TV, but an increase in viewing on connected devices, smart phones and tablets. So, this begs the question, how do you measure all the viewing across these many platforms so you can report back to the client in a more unified way? Using impressions unifies linear and digital, and also eliminates any ratings discrepancies from using different universes.”

On TV Consumption as we #StayHome: “Usage levels have surged across multiple day parts and it’s not just adults — we’re seeing growth in teens and 18 to 34s as well. Ratings are up, of course, for news networks across the board, not only in early morning, but all dayparts, even overnight. as we’re seeing people staying up later than they were before. We’re seeing live TV up. DVR playback up. And streaming in New York is up 44%. That’s a pretty big number and was measured just a few weeks ago.”

On the Need for and Challenge of Holistic Media Planning: “Right now you get TV in one place, digital in another place. Ideally you would have one platform where everything’s feeding into it in terms of your TV piece, your digital piece, your OTT piece, your set top box, video on demand piece. Part of it involves legacy thinking and workflows that have existed for decades, and quite honestly, the systems themselves. It all needs to feed into one platform so you’re not operating on a siloed basis.”

On Advertising and Brand Marketing Now: “Consumers say they want brands to share information on how they’re supporting their staff and customers during this time. Others are saying they want the ads to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy. Some people are looking for upbeat ads. So, while advertising has been impacted for sure, it’s not going away. And based on studies over the past many years that say, even in downtimes, you still want to stay top of mind.”

 


Understanding TV Ad Targeting – “Precision + Performance” with A+E’s Heftman



These days, every video provider is looking to land ad dollars with a one-two punch of broad but targeted reach for brand awareness, matched with proof of performance — or business outcomes — via addressability or attribution. A+E Networks calls the combo “Precision + Performance.” In this bonus episode of Insider Interviews I thought it was important to get some terminology down for future episodes dealing with the business of television today. So, Ethan Heftman, senior vice president of Precision + Performance took me through the group’s approach to me and also discussed A+E’s first-to-market guarantees to advertisers of some select business outcomes. (The following overview of the conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

I asked Heftman for specifics, starting with the way A+E defines attribution. “For us, it’s … tying a media exposure on A+E Networks to a specific business outcome,” he explained. “It’s going beyond simply the discussion of what type of media metric we delivered [like an “impression”] to what type of action or behavior that impression caused. For example, is it fueling a behavior at the top of the funnel — the awareness area — or the middle, the consideration area. Or, is it impacting the bottom of the funnel, a sale or specific outcome type?”

A+E markets its Precision + Performance product as impacting outcomes in each of those three areas, versus just the expected top-of-funnel. Historically, “television hasn’t been properly credited with outcomes in the real action area: driving a web visit, driving a store visit, driving a specific sale,” Heftman said.

Next, Heftman explained A+E’s view of precision and performance. “Precision is our advanced audience targeting tools; that is, through the use of advanced data sets — whether it’s MRI, set-top-box data from an MVPD…, Axiom or Polk data, or first-party data that an advertiser provides us,” he explained. “Performance are the tools that we use to discuss, find, and prove specific outcomes within that purchase funnel. The better job you do of identifying and finding those discreet audience segments, the better job you do of picking dayparts and programs that deliver against them, the better outcomes you will have.”

Sort of like this: If I’m watching Married at First Sight on their Lifetime network — and I’m not saying I do…well maybe I do — A+E is willing to guarantee to the national retailer that advertises in that show and other Lifetime or A+E programming, that by precisely targeting people like me with some fancy data they can show that people like me went into that store or visited the retailer’s site (performance). Guaranteed.

You really should listen to the entire episode for Heftman’s explanations and insights. He also shared the categories that perform well and which platforms A+E can precision target (hint: all) and measure performance across (ditto!): “We’ve always been able to talk about performance outcomes in the digital space, in the OTT space. We believe that the real game-changer is being able to have that conversation in the linear space and then marry that with the existing conversation in digital and over the top.”

A version of this bonus episode of Insider Interviews with E.B. Moss originally posted on MediaVillage 3/5/20.