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‘Media agencies need to speak the same language as CMOs’

Jane Schulze, Debra Fox, Kim Portrate and Mark McCraith at Mumbrella’s Marketing Summit

In response to criticisms television is struggling to deliver marketers and media agencies the availabilities and audiences brands require, Think TV’s CEO Kim Portrate has said media agencies and CMOs need to start speaking the same language and refocus on audience impact.

Speaking at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit on a panel about where marketers are splashing their cash, Portrate said while availabilities of ad spots can be an issue in television – “once the spot’s gone, it’s gone” – audience delivery was often misunderstood.

“I think most marketers, most clients are interested in: ‘What’s the impact?’ So $50 spent that delivers us nothing is worth nothing versus $50 spent delivering a new customer,” she said.

“And so a cautionary tale for all agencies – because I’ve been the CMO, what you want to know is: ‘What’s the impact on my business? What sale is it driving?’”

She said instead of focusing on television’s 1% drop in audience, conversations between media agencies and CMOs should be looking at return on investment.

“[Return on investment] from a sales point of view is still a really solid argument, and certainly convincing to a CMO, irrespective of where you put your money,” she said.

Mark McCraith, CEO of Maxus Australia, said part of the problem media agencies are facing with television advertising availabilities comes down to networks selling their inventory too cheaply.

Comparing television to airline seats, he said: “I think you could say the TV networks have sold themselves too cheap… They haven’t got the yield management right.”

McCraith said the industry was likely to see a resurgence in television advertising as it is the medium that best connects with the ageing population and consequently drives e-commerce sales.

Portrate too was confident about the immediate futures of both the travel and televison industries, as the world recovers from a tumultuous 2016.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” she said. “I think last year was a really interesting year at a macro level with Brexit, with Trump, and I think there was a lot of disruption. So I think people probably sat and waited, particularly in the travel category.

“I think we’ve probably become a little bit immune or desensitised with some of those macro changes, so people are re-engaging… I expect to see a resurgence in investment in television because without new customers, you can’t grow.”

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