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Innovation Congress 2017: A Wealth of “Bad” Ideas

July 31st, 2017   ||    by Charlene Weisler

Of all the many current innovations, which will most impact how media is brought to market—and then bought and sold? Social Fresh, a social media marketing education company, offered some insights recently at their Innovation Congress 2017, with a special focus on future influencer trends, media, content, technology, products, and advertising. Now, which are most likely to affect TV ads?

About Those “Bad” Ideas . . .

A combination of technological advancements and consumer fragmentation has made the business of ad targeting especially challenging. However, there are many innovative approaches to leveraging technology in order to better reach desired groups.

Jason Keath, founder and CEO at Social Fresh, believes it all starts with a bad idea. “Bad ideas are often good ideas, but are not yet recognized as such,” says Keath. He believes bad ideas often (eventually) lead to success. They can also work as shortcuts to good ideas—or they might even augment other ideas and expand one’s creative potential.

So what is a possible “bad” idea for automated TV buying companies? Consider partnering more closely with content providers, matching certain advertisers to specific content based on their desired segmentations by time of day.

Trust Really Does Matter

The media business always seems rosier on other platforms. (How often do we hear that digital ad spend is growing exponentially?) But the digital business is not as rosy as one might think. There’s fraud, ad blockers, too many ads, too many bad ads, and no gold standard of measurement.

Bob Knorpp, host and strategy consultant at The BeanCast marketing podcast, believes there’s “pressure to evolve quickly,” resulting in “pressure on the system.” According to Dr. Jon Roberts, chief innovation officer at Dotdash, this can lead to “consumer backlash, which is what ad blocking is all about.” Knorpp points to the tendency for consumers to block ads because of their fear of malware, “How can we build trust?”

TV, however, remains a trusted partner for advertisers—with no ad fraud, no ad blockers, and no siloed data streams. In fact, Nielsen’s standard measurement for TV is one of its strongest attributes, with the ability to target based on segments.

Keep Ahead of the Clutter

Compared to digital, TV ads (especially in advanced platforms) cannot be beat. Ad weight and quality is a huge problem in digital. Content platforms struggle with how to remove bad ads, clickbait, and too many ads—all of which detract from a visitor’s enjoyment of the content. “The second worst way to make money is to put ads on all pages,” says Stephen Loguidice, East Coast vice president at BuzzFeed. “The worst way is to take all ads off. Ad weight comes at a quantifiable cost.”

While ad quality can vary on TV, as on any platform, bad ads like those on digital are generally nonexistent. Measurable programmatic TV ads—targeted to a consumer’s behavior—tend to be received more as informational content than disruptions.

A major theme of Innovation Congress 2017 was that there’s room in the ad-supported media sandbox for all platforms. In fact, TV and digital are quickly evolving to a symbiotic advertising relationship. This is not just because many media companies own both TV and digital platforms. Technology is also forming profitable connections. Loguidice is most excited about enabling collaboration between TV and digital so brands can create an ad that’s “used for TV and can then be injected into digital, adding closed captioning.” In other words, we can all be profitable friends.

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