CTAM: Empowering Excellence If there’s anybody who knows what’s up (and what’s next) in the always-morphing environment of digital media, it’s CTAM Summit keynoter Jeff Bewkes. The Time Warner president and COO presides over a fascinating brew of content and distribution businesses, all linked by their resolve to satisfy consumers who increasingly are in charge of the what, when and where of modern media. Like Bewkes, who takes the Summit stage Tues morning, CTAM is serving new audiences, too. Whether it’s helping cable networks learn the new language of on-demand metadata, or working with cable companies to infiltrate the vast business-telecommunications market, CTAM is moving fast to provide vital and current resources for cable’s new era. Want proof? Take a quick look at some of the key initiatives and markets CTAM’s pursuing right now.

  • Education. It has always been a CTAM bedrock, but these days we’re adding options to accommodate different learning needs. Case in point: we’re migrating an intensive relationship- marketing curriculum from CTAM U. to this week’s Summit, where a multi-level session set—the Harrah’s case study, small study group discussions and CEO Gary Loveman detailing what really happened—will spread the wisdom further and deeper.
  • Digital transition. In CTAM’s recent Member Satisfaction Study, the message was loud and clear: Members are looking to CTAM for information and guidance in conveying key message points surrounding television’s looming transition to an all-digital era in Feb 2009. We’re working now to develop themes and supporting documents—and we won’t disappoint.
  • On Demand. Behind the scenes, CTAM’s working with cable networks and on-screen navigation providers to provide an innovative online tool (we call it The EPG Simulator) that solves some of the vexing problems of metadata authoring—and makes cable’s presentation of On Demand program choices crystal clear. That’s just one of many projects related to advanced advertising, quality, marketing and next-gen applications the Consortium is tackling.
  • Research. CTAM continues to probe the consumer psyche surrounding new media, and our hot-off-the-press Broadband Video study conducted by Nielsen is the latest example of how. Did you know online video consumption more often adds to overall video viewing rather than detracts from it? That’s just one of the many actionable findings from this provocative research initiative.
  • Network Consumer Marketing Council. Building on the "One Brand, Many Platforms" theme we introduced to a standing-room-only crowd at Promax, we’re sharing success secrets for successful network promotion this week at Summit, as well as at a dedicated half-day conference this fall. Network consumer marketers are finding a home at CTAM.
  • Mover initiatives. With HGTV personality Kendra Todd as our (very enthusiastic) spokesperson, CTAM’s expanding beyond our highly successful Cable Mover’s Hotline program to spread the word about connecting cable to people on the move.

How do we do it? With lots of help from volunteer members who are wonderful collaborators for the cable cause. Here at Summit, you’ll find out more of what CTAM’s about, and how you can contribute. Then, we’ll look forward to celebrating your contributions at next year’s Summit, when we move to a fall date (Nov 9-11) in Boston. Have a great Summit—and here’s wishing you fabulous success in empowering your own customers to get more than ever from cable. (Char Beales is pres/CEO of CTAM)

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