To distill the key learnings, we asked our two attendees for their take on the highlights from each day of the conference.

This is the second blog in a three-part series in which our attendees – Jared Orth and Mary Tyrrell – share their most valuable insights. (If you missed yesterday’s post, click here.)

Day 2: Welcome to Media Day

Media Day at 4A's Transformation kicked off with opening keynote speaker and media luminary Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL. Armstrong touched on hot-button issues such as agency-client relationships, viewability, the importance of value, strategizing for the future, and more. He advocated the need for a “20-year mentality, not a 3-6 month mentality" due to the constant evolutionary changes that are going to keep happening. The issues Armstrong identified early in the morning continued to weave their way into the multiple sessions that followed.

He Said…

  • Never mind your competitors and do what you do best – So many issues are facing media agencies and brands alike in the world today, and the most basic product of collaboration is good work produced. Issues and concerns are a constant in the media industry. TV is dead: $370B in ad subscriptions and revenues last year with an average of 3.8 hours/day of viewing per person. What other media still provides the reach, impact, trust, brand, quality, and confidence as TV? The media we all have been accustomed to as being the most measureable even has its issues…online. There’s the discussion of transparency, viewability, fraud, non-human traffic, verification, piracy, reconciliation, and data piracy. There’s also the stat that 90% of video views happen with the sound off. Think about that for a second…9 out of 10 videos are played without sound.
  • Addressability and TV – The choices are vaster than ever before for consumer connectivity. There are the linear options (Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Cablevision), external connectivity solutions (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Connected TV), and over-the-top solutions (PlayStation Vue, Fios TV on Cue, Sling TV). Coupled with various measuring agencies such as comScore’s cross-device measurement and its “Project Blueprint,” Nielsen’s ever-changing data collection, and Rentrak developments, the measurement landscape is moving closer to actual delivery against audiences, no matter on what device ads are viewed. TV sets themselves are playing a part and becoming more sophisticated with Samsung, LG and Vizio incorporating measuring tools into the set itself. While the industry is becoming more sophisticated in tracking video viewership across devices, there remain barriers to scaling addressable TV. Such barriers are creative visioning, pricing metrics, resource management, and technology complexities.
  • A real time case study for Media Collaboration – On the heels of Rounds 1 & 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, representatives from Tuner Sports Ad Sales, the NCAA, Capital One and CBS convened to discuss the 360 degree partnership between a media outlet, an organization, and an advertiser. Capital One showcased how it has become not only engrained in the Men’s Basketball Tournament, but in the NCAA as a whole (i.e. Capital One mascot challenge duringfootball season) and catapulted that relationship with the various media outlets associated with each sport. Videos were showcased for Capital One featuring a broadcast analyst (Barles Charkley) and other notable celebrities that made the spots relevant to the viewer as they featured a tournament personality living outside of the broadcast studio and aligned with a brand. While no sales/SOM data was divulged, Capital One assured the audience that it would not be aligned year after year with the NCAA without seeing the success metrics they needed, not only from the NCAA, but also its broadcast partners.
  • 70/20/10 – Taco Bell gave its agency a challenge…make a splash for a next to nothing budget. With Millennials having a mobile device near them for 22 out of 24 hours a day, it is no surprise that mobile is the biggest revolution in the fast food industry since the drive-thru. From outlets such as Waze, indicating when a Taco Bell is ahead, the fast food giant has embraced the technology shift. So, with that being said, when Taco Bell shut down all of its social outlets other than its new app in order to push consumers to download the app, it was no surprise that the PR gained from this effort and the increased number of app downloads—all at a very minimal budget—made a case study for great collaboration between a brand and its agency. This certainly fell into Taco Bell’s 10%....the marketing model that is 70% a sure thing, 20% educated guesses, and 10% swinging for the fences.

She Said…

  • No surprise, programmatic is the hottest issue of the year – Programmatic has disrupted digital marketing in every way, and it is growing rapidly. By 2018, it is predicted that only 18% of digital buys will be non-programmatic. The notion behind programmatic is automation; however, when done well, programmatic is every bit as intensive as direct buying. Programmatic is really about automation that scales and data. The focus shifts from administration to optimization and insights, which can sometimes require a different talent pool.
  • Audience addressability is the notion behind programmatic – Automation and audience targeting are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they go hand-in-hand. While a programmatic approach to digital media buying is growing rapidly, only 1% of TV spots have been purchased programmatically. The first movers in this space will benefit tremendously in terms of more efficiency and less waste. Programmatic buying will bring the value TV already has, and marry it with data and automation.
  • Start with mobile at the core of a communication strategy – Mobile now accounts for 50% of all digital media time. More than half of consumers are spending 20+ minutes per week watching video on mobile devices, showing that screen is second to content. In fact, all content consumption is moving towards mobile devices. Gaming and feed-based content account for 50% of time spent on mobile devices. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account for 30% of mobile time, with 70% disbursed elsewhere. From an advertising perspective, the most valuable attribute of mobile is proximity. Mobile is at the center of the connected universe, allowing brands to engage consumers in their pockets.
  • Ask how to add value, not what the competition is doing – The most successful organizations employ a blue ocean strategy, which means a focus on adding value, not chasing after the competition. Not sure how to do this? Just follow the “4% opportunity.“  Video viewing on mobile devices accounts for a 4% of mobile time; programmatic constitutes 4% of media buying globally; 4% of the worldwide population is living in the US. Recognizing and capitalizing on the 4% will yield great return for those wise enough to seize the opportunity.