“From the living room, to the stadium, to the fast lane, content is everywhere all the time,” said Jennifer Cooper, Adobe’s global director of industry strategy, media and entertainment, at the M&E Super Session on the closing day of Adobe Summit 2016.
According to Cooper, the television industry’s transformation is accelerating, and it is a consumer-led revolution in consumption. Viewer behavior is certainly shifting. Sixty-one percent of premium viewing takes place on Apple devices. Additionally, there has been a 102% increase in TV Everywhere viewing, and one-in-four TV Everywhere authentications are on connected devices. Cooper also noted that TV is evolving rapidly toward a personalized experience, something viewers have now come to expect.
“The road ahead is bright,” Cooper told the packed room. The M&E industry now understands it needs to measure content across every device and platform, including TV. It also knows that standardization is well on its way, and that media is becoming more intelligent, with data-driven, personalized experiences across content and ads.
Cooper then introduced Rob Roy, head of e-commerce and digital revenue at Comcast. Roy spoke about the always-connected customer, who, he said, wants more relevant and real-time interactions.
According to Roy, consumers are currently undergoing a mobile mind shift. “Our smartphones are no longer just an accessory we carry around to stay connected with friends and family,” Roy told attendees. “It has become an extension of who we are and how we interact with everyday life. How many times have you walked into a store and looked something up? Sat in a bar and looked up trivia questions? Took a drive and used your phone’s GPS?”
Marketers must be prepared for mobile activity, Roy said, because those customers embracing mobile are moving quickly. His advice to fellow marketers was to test what works and what doesn’t because that’s the only way to eventually surprise and delight customers.
“Remember that mobile is important but not exclusive,” Roy continued. “Customers and prospects require integrated, multichannel experiences. As the shift to mobile continues, the brands that position themselves well in the mobile space will continue to thrive.”
Roy shared Comcast’s five secrets to success. First, he said, companies need to ensure they have technology that evolves with marketing capabilities; second, companies need to put the customer first; third, remember that customers won’t come to you from one device; fourth, baseline your tech stack to facilitate the unknown; and, fifth, invest in human relationships that come with technology.
David Coletti, VP of ESPN digital media research and analytics, echoed Roy’s sentiments, saying that companies should be prioritizing mobile and TV Everywhere, since viewers are moving to content consumption via those platforms.
“We’ve always relied on insights, and they have driven the evolution of our property,” Coletti said. “We’re in a hyperconnected world. People have the tech that lets them consume media in times and places they couldn’t before.”
Succeeding in this new, mobile world, according to Coletti and echoing Roy, requires a mind shift for marketers. They need to move from “measuring and marketing to devices, to marketing and measuring people,” Coletti said.
Said Blandon Casanave, VP of digital media research at NBC Universal, “What we are trying to do is have the most seamless experience we can [for our viewers]. And we want to be able to measure it because if you can’t measure it, you can’t monetize it.”
But challenges remain, Casanave said. From a tactical standpoint, analytics teams face an incremental burden—digital measurement requires resources and time, he said. “It’s tough to get those insights,” Casanave noted. “If we could just get to them quicker, so we can continue to learn about our customers and iterate based on those insights, life would be easier.”
Tom Cattapan, VP of consumer insights, research, and analytics at Turner Broadcasting, said that current numbers show that Turner reaches 76% of Americans 18 years of age and older each month. But he suspects that number to be even higher. “We’re still working on perfecting measurement,” Cattapan said. “That’s the only way we can understand what offers are working for which consumer segments.”
Issues in measurement are hindering monetization, said Jeff Henshaw, senior director of digital marketing and analytics at Time Warner Cable. How is a company supposed to go down the monetization road, he asked the audience, if it is still figuring out the analysis part of monetization? But, he said, lack of measurement should not hinder the customer experience.
“Multichannel means new opportunities to engage with our customers,” he said. “It won’t be too long until we build the complete customer profile. But you don’t need a full customer profile—think of the customer experience strategy and pull in data for the incremental touchpoints. Then iterate.”