CES 2015 panel: Marketers, agencies need to focus on live media

iHeartMedia, Scout and Newscred point to the importance of live media and integrated creative and content in consumer engagement

From left: Talenthouse's Amos Pizzey; Scout's James Heckman; panel host; iHeartMedia's Gayle Troberman; Time Inc's Priya Narang; Newcred's David Ives
From left: Talenthouse's Amos Pizzey; Scout's James Heckman; panel host; iHeartMedia's Gayle Troberman; Time Inc's Priya Narang; Newcred's David Ives

Marketers need to stop chasing fads and instead focus on tapping into live media with integrated creative and content if they want to reach consumers.

That was the view shared by several media industry spokespeople debating the impact of technology on creativity during a recent panel at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

According to CMO and executive vice-president of digital radio network iHeartMedia, Gayle Troberman, chasing the sexiest headline or social platform audience in order to get the most clicks for a piece of content doesn’t contribute to long-term brand loyalty and success.

“As marketers, we chase fads…. It’s meaningless in building your brand and in the way you come across to the consumer,” she told attendees.

Troberman also said a lot of focus from marketers and agencies today remains on the pros and cons of different types of media channels, such as radio versus digital. What they’re not thinking enough about is live interaction.

“Live media rules today,” she claimed. “If you can connect what’s live and niche, to what’s live and mass [media], or you can see instantly what’s hitting [with consumers], that’s the key.

“Where agencies and margins get killed is trying to scale that creative to 80 different platforms and formats in order to leverage what’s resonating with people before it becomes old news. That is a new creative muscle we’re still only just learning about as agencies, publishers and advertisers. But if we just focus on the idea of creative being live, it would change the way our margins look, how we organise and how we co-create.”

Fellow panellist and chief revenue officer of Newcred, David Ives, said a big component of achieving live interaction is serialising creative and content, adding that the capabilities to do this are now more sophisticated than ever.

“Taking it [creative] live and serialising it is a tremendous opportunity for the agencies,” he said.

Founder and CEO of niche sports publisher Scout, James Heckman, said the reason why live and integrated creative is so important is because of the rise of on-demand content, and the fact that users are smart enough to avoid advertising.

“In the old world of consolidated media, you could force users to sit through the ads, or see a half-page ad in the newspaper; you could control the audience,” he said. “The audience has the control now.”

Heckman claimed significant inroads had been made over the past year to tap into on-demand audiences through integrated advertising units.

“Facebook has done an incredible job of this – a video unit, photo unit, story unit, user news feed unit, and an ad unit are all the same. And they flow the same across your desktop, tablet, phone and laptop,” he said. “While you’re consuming, you’re seeing advertising.

“The old model online was a 300 x 250 and leader board, and you just swept it out the way. Even the pre-roll – people skip the ad or move on if it’s on-demand content.

“The future is working with the agency to build integrated content that the user can’t avoid. I don’t mean it in a negative way – it does have to be good quality – but because the user now has control, the secret is integrating the advertising and marketing with content. That’s the only way you’re going to survive, because the live stuff is commoditised.”

More on marketing from CES: Mastercard, Microsoft marketers debate data versus creativity

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