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The Future of Media Buying and Selling

By John Broadbent


Thanks for tuning in again to another episode of Make Your Mark Monday. Today we’re going to talk about advertising. Specifically I’ll talk to two different groups. I’m going to call out the media in terms of how they are delivering or how they’re selling space in their advertising, as well I’m going to talk to, at least a little bit, talk to the advertisers – businesses that are trying to promote their products through media and what they should expect from media and the space that they are purchasing.

Traditionally, marketers have three steps that they go through, or at least that marketing kind of takes in. You’ve got the stimulus, and that’s when people are first exposed to the product. Then you have the purchase that happens, and that’s the first moment of truth to determine whether the stimulus actually worked. And then you’ve got the experience, which is the second moment of truth, to determine, you know, whether the purchase was a good purchase, and people are actually consuming whatever it is that you’ve got the product or service that you offer.

A little while back, Google, with the help of Jim Lisinski, added a fourth step to that traditional marketing approach. And the fourth step they call the zero moment of truth, and it’s that moment after the stimulus, when consumers go and they start researching a product or a service, and they go out and start doing all of this.
Now, the stimulus and the zero moment of truth are essentially both advertising or at least opportunities to advertise to clients, and marketers traditionally, and advertisers, have looked at these two steps as “push and pull” advertising.

Push advertising is where you take a specific idea, or you – it’s essentially the stimulus: You are exposing someone to the idea or to the concept of whatever the product or service is for the first time.

And then you’ve got pull advertising where they go out and they start doing research to determine whether or not this is a product they want to purchase or service they want to engage in.
Google has done a phenomenal job with pull advertising. I mean, they’ve really monopolized the space in a lot of ways in terms of people researching and then you being able to get your products and services in front of people while they’re researching their, researching the products or services that they’ve had a stimulus to already in the push advertising. But that, the push advertising, the stimulus, is one area that is just, it’s amazing – it’s this extreme, like, gap in advertising and within marketing, is that we’re still trying to do things, even though the internet has come so far we’re still trying to do things in a way that they worked clear back in the early days of even television.

A really good example of the media not really understanding this, and I’m going use CBS: CBS really does not “get” how to sell media today, in today’s economy. The way they’re doing it is the same way they’ve always done it, and it’s dying, and they know it. They know that something’s wrong, but they don’t really have a handle on what it is, and let’s just take a look at their model and then I’m going to apply that to other media sellers on that side of advertising.

CBS, as they sell their media, they’re still creating shows that correspond very closely with a demographic, and so, they’ll say, “I need to sell more” of whatever “it” is. I need to sell more Quilted Northern toilet paper or I need to sell more of this, so we’ve got to have some commercials or some TV shows that kind of lend themselves to that specific demographic. Which is ok, but you run into this issue – you’ve got a lot of fat within this industry that just needs to be cut off. You’ve got a lot of media out there that’s being created to attract a little bit of attention “here,” and a little bit of attention “there.” Or, in other words, you’ve got some viewers who are watching shows that are well beyond the demographic.

So one of the things that is dying in terms of media and how they’re setting it up is they keep creating shows and keep creating media based around a demographic if you’re trying to sell to this specific group, and we thought that this was the best way to do things, but it’s not anymore. It just isn’t.

There are people out there, lots of people, who like to watch shows that are just, they’re not quite catered to their demographic. There are weird guys that really like hot rods that also may be watching chick flicks with their wives, kay, or they may be watching, whatever the show is, that just seems outside of their demographic.

So, with that said, the best thing for us to do is to figure out how we can get better demographics information from our media viewers at that ground level. How can we advertise to Bob, who really likes those hot rods, while he’s watching the chick flicks with his wife?

Facebook has provided us a fantastic example for this – they provide demographic data that’s just insane in terms of advertising. But, again, if we’re looking at kind of the moment of truth, it’s not really relevant, and it’s not really timely. Now, the relevance is fairly easy for us to take care of. The timely thing, that may be a little bit more difficult.

Relevance is something that can become fairly easy for us to figure out, but it requires a lot of work. Let’s take for example CBS again, and CBS has essentially, they’ve set up all of these TV shows, but what they don’t do is they don’t require any demographic data before you get going so I continue to see commercials that are not related to me. And most people, you may not admit this, you may have some people who don’t admit this, but I believe that most people who view media would be much much more impressed, or they would have a much better experience if they having the stimulus of advertising that was closely related to whatever they are concerned with, or whatever they like.

Who cares what they’re reading, who cares what they’re watching. I’m on Pinteret every now and again, especially as we’re looking for ideas for landscaping the backyard or things like that. I’m on Pinterest. Pinterest is not really my demographic, but we’ve got media space there that if they’ve got demographic data, then they can sell something directly to John Broadbent without having to worry about whatever the content is that John Broadbent is engaged in because they know me based off of who I am.

So the real answer to this is media sellers should be giving away the content, completely just giving it away so that they’ve got large, just droves of viewers. But then, they really need to do that in exchange for very very good demographic information. Then give people the option – I’d love to see a banner ad someday or even a commercial that says, “Hey, you don’t think that this commercial’s relevant to you? Change your demographic settings, or change your settings.” And then you go in, and you give them more information and say, “Look, I don’t want this.”

I know quite a few people, and I know that I haven’t done a major study on this or anything, but a lot of people really enjoy the previews at movies. In fact they feel that the experience in the movie theater is lessened if they’re not there for the previews. These are advertisements. Why are people going out of their way to see these advertisements when at home we just leave the television, and we go away. It’s because it’s very timely. It’s highly correlated to what they’re currently doing. They want to see the movies that are coming out later. They want to see all of this stuff. The movie theaters, in my opinion, are better advertisers for movies, at least, than other advertisers.

Now let’s take CBS again and look at their model. Wouldn’t it be cool, for you – let’s actually think about the viewer here real quick for just a minute. The viewer wants to be able to view everything. I want to be able to view episode one from this season. Heck, I want to be able to view episode one from season one and start the entire series from the beginning.

Think about this: If you could go to an advertisers – you sell media – if you could go to an advertiser and promise them that there will be no fat, that we are going to deliver content to the exact people who want it based on who logs in to see the information. And I don’t care, we can show shows that aren’t even running anymore. Let’s show some shows from the 80s, or the 70s or the 60s. Let’s show some of these old shows to people, and then give them the exact advertising that’s relevant to them based on the time of day that they watch. Based on their current situation. Let’s give them the option to go through and say, “Hey, this doesn’t work for me anymore.” or, “This ad isn’t relevant. I’ll go ahead and fix some of this stuff so that I don’t have to – I don’t want to see tampon commercials anymore. I’m sick of seeing them. They’re not relevant to me. I will never need a tampon, I don’t think. I”m sick of seeing commercials that aren’t relevant to me as the consumer. I want to see relevant commercials. I’ll have a fantastic experience. I’m not going to fast forward commercials. I probably won’t even leave the room. I’ll have a great experience. I’ll think that my experience with consuming the content is cheapened if I have ads delivered to me – if I have a stimulus delivered to me – that is very very relevant to what I’m watching.”

But I think that, for a lot of people in the movie industry, this has just kind of happened naturally, and people stumbled across it that just went, “Wow, people like to watch the previews.” But, when it comes to other content, I think that we just haven’t been dumb enough to stumble upon it. So, media sellers really need to be considering how they can get a better demographic sold to their advertisers, and advertisers, you need to be demanding this. The technology exists today, but media sellers aren’t selling it, and I don’t know if it’s because they’re too lazy, or if they really think that there are too many technical difficulties with going through, at least going through this route, but advertisers, you should be demanding demographic viewers, or at least demanding that your ad be delivered to people automatically.

I will gladly log in to CBS with my personal credentials, and I’ll give you demographic information about me. Great. As long as I can see ads that are relevant to my situation in life, or to what I’m going through currently, at the moment. And I think we’ve got just this huge, this gaping hole that we can capitalize on as media sellers, or content marketers, essentially, if you’ve got content that you really want people to be consuming and you’re selling advertising space, this is a huge area that I think people haven’t tapped into.

Google’s done a decent job trying to kind of fill in the gap on their end, to be able to say, “Ok, let’s do some contextual targeting; something for the advertisers,” but the media sellers, that’s where it is just messed up right now. The media sellers are still doing things the same way they were doing them back in the 60s when television was fairly new. They’re still just selling media, or creating media, that is closely related to a demographic for a target product or service.

Later this week, in Webinar Wednesday, we’ll take a deeper look at how the media is really doing this poorly right now. I’m going to look for some examples of some media sellers who are doing this well, but quite honestly, there aren’t a lot of them out there, and so we will be looking at a lot of examples of how media sellers are doing this incorrectly, and specifically, I’ll address for advertisers what they need to be looking for as they are looking to sell – or not sell advertising space, but put their advertisements on to different media sources. Thanks again for tuning in.

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