TV disrespects the viewer, said Jes Santoro. It hammers viewers with the same ads. Santoro is the head of sales for Adobe Ad Cloud TV,  and he spoke today at the Advertising Research Foundation’s OTT conference in New York City explaining to advertisers and marketers how to create great experiences and reach target audiences.
Great experiences—which don’t disrespect the viewer—are compelling, personal, relevant, and everywhere, Santoro said. “The whole point is to create an experience,” he said. “Let’s focus on bringing it back to that consumer experience.”
To reach the right audience with the right content at the right time, Adobe advocates a TV-first approach. Use an index-based TV buy to find the highest concentration of the target audience, but recognize that this will only provide a slice of the desired demo. Cord-cutters and -trimmers, for example, are a challenge to reach. Supplement that TV buy with over-the-top (OTT) advertising. While there are still challenges with online targeting, today’s identity graphs lets marketers zero in on households and target a specific consumer.
When advertisers buy TV, they inevitably blanket a small percentage of viewers with high frequency. Heavy watchers sees the majority of the ads. Meanwhile, a large part of the desired audience doesn’t see any of the ads. OTT buys help advertisers reach parts of the defined audience that get content in other ways.
It’s never been easier to reach an audience, Santoro said, and it’s never been more difficult. Thanks to media fragmentation, an explosion of data sources, and the digital disruption of companies reinventing themselves, marketers have more ways to reach viewers but that all adds complexity to the process. It’s worth it, though because as Santoro pointed out cord-cutters and -trimmers have the same purchasing power as anyone else.
In 2016, viewers were presented with 455 new scripted programs from broadcast, cable, and online channels. More content leads to more choices, and 28 percent of TV viewers get their content from OTT devices. The days are over when marketers could rely solely on TV. Traditional TV and OTT are additive, Santoro said; it’s not about using one or the other.
The audience is in charge, Santoro added. To be heard, advertisers need to go where the audience is going, which—increasingly—is online.