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Breaking Out of Silos at The Matrix Media Ad Sales Summit

February 1st, 2019   ||    by Alan Wolk

While it can often seem like the entire industry is on board with the massive shift to OTT, conferences like the Matrix Ad Sales Summit are a good reminder that we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of widespread acceptance.

Many of the panelists—regardless of the topic—spoke of how much education was still necessary, how much handholding was still needed in order to get people across that line.

It’s not all that surprising really. Change can be scary and if you’re in a job where you feel like you’ve finally got a handle on things, it’s no fun for someone to come along and tell you that all the rules you know are out of date and there’s a whole set of new rules you’ll need to learn.

Education Is Key

That’s particularly true when it comes to local broadcast advertising. As Videa’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Archie Gianunzio, related in a very entertaining one-on-one session with Helena Stylianou, National Sales Coordinator of Detroit’s WDIV Local4, the path to getting local station ad sales teams to embrace Videa’s automated technology product has been a long one.

“It’s really about showing them how it’s going to benefit them,” Gianunzio stated. “And once they start to realize that ‘hey, these people want me to succeed and this technology may actually make me more productive’, then the whole process gets a little easier.”

The need for education was echoed in the opening panel, where I was joined by Sean Robertson, GM, Programmatic & Addressable Advertising, Dish Media Sales and Frank Friedman, VP, Local Media, E.W. Scripps. One of our goals was to frame out and define a number of the terms that attendees would be hearing at the conference, and it quickly became clear that even this sophisticated audience struggled with the difference between OTT and CTV, DSPs and SSPs, programmatic and addressable, and the various post-panel ways they’re all getting measured.

 The Silo Issue

One issue with the shift to digital is that employees with digital skills (and the ability to explain those skills) are often in one department while their more TV-focused counterparts are siloed off in another. While many companies talk about being “video agnostic” that change is often little more than wishful thinking.

That’s likely why many of the panelists talked about the need to break out of “TV” and “digital” silos, so that each side could learn from the other. It’s the great paradox of the TV industry these days that as viewers themselves are becoming video agnostic, TV companies frequently remain siloed.

That’s changing however, slowly but surely, and if there was any one single takeaway from the show, it’s that most attendees (along with the companies they work for), are slowly coming around. It’s taken a combination of education and actual results, but they’re starting to see how newer digital technologies like automated buying and addressable ad buys only serve to enhance traditional television, not detract from it.

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