Innovation Is Fueling a Broadcast Renaissance

22 May, 2018 / Articles
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At the 2017 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer for Procter & Gamble, came out with some strong words about the future of media, marketing and the strategies brands must implement moving forward. After significantly cutting the company’s digital ad spend, Pritchard spoke at the Association of National Advertisers conference in March 2018 and stated that our society’s new priority on transparency is transforming the marketing industry — from “wasteful” tactics used in mass to data- and technology-based brand building.

I believe his statements strongly echo the bright future of the broadcast industry with the upcoming deployment of ATSC 3.0. The updated broadcast signal will increase the over-the-air broadcast bandwidth, allowing stations to broadcast in 4K Ultra HDTV, immersive audio and new interactive services.

By significantly increasing the content that can be distributed over the air, linear TV will have a digitally connected viewer interface, enabling local broadcast to reach viewers on tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs in addition to traditional sources. This allows the broad-reach platform to also deliver a one-to-one experience. I believe this new broadcast standard will reshape the way viewers interact with broadcast content and, thus, the way brands connect with consumers through broadcast media.

A New Frontier

The early innovations that will deploy include addressable advertising via over-the-air content with IP-based, one-to-one targeting capabilities — a concept that seemed far in the future just a few short years ago. Additionally, advanced measurement capabilities will enable better analytics for broad-reach audiences.

Consider this: The same medium that drives awareness at the top of the funnel will now have the precision to follow the viewer throughout the decision-making process and into the purchase phase. That is powerful and filled with immense opportunity. As we begin to experiment with these models today, I believe we will learn a great deal about effective mass reach and targeting strategies for brands to implement.

Historically, broadcasters focused on the communications aspect of the “4Cs” of marketing — communication, channel customer and cost — but, as the viewer-to-content relationship changes, so does our partnership with the brands we work with. From my perspective, ATSC 3.0 will firmly put broadcasters in the consumer data and insights business. We will be able to help our partners make strategic decisions about their customers and ensure they are reaching the right customers through this iteration.

Additionally, through the ATSC 3.0 evolution, broadcasters become a sales channel and source of reduced cost for brands. In this future version, I envision your local station will look more like Amazon or Netflix than a static dial position. The proximity between content and commerce closes as viewers become consumers who can immediately interact with brands through content and make real-time purchasing decisions.

Today’s largest global advertisers are demanding more from their media partners with a focus on innovation, technology and data. It is important that advertisers, agencies and media partners remain agile to shift with consumers and their evolving habits. To do this successfully, the industry needs to move beyond the typical buy-sell negotiation based on cost and, instead, include a more open dialogue focused on problem-solving and creating lasting value for both the advertiser and the audience.

The local broadcast industry’s future is bright. It holds more potential and can do more today than most realize. It’s true that what is old is also new.

The science man and innovator, Fernando Fischmann, founder of Crystal Lagoons, recommends this article.

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