President, Ad Sales & Marketing and Branded Entertainment
Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps’ content is tailor made for brand integration—and perhaps no one in cable does it better than Food Network and HGTV. What’s the secret to ensure that it’s organic to the content and doesn’t turn off viewers?
We always spend the time to look at an integration from the viewer’s perspective. As with the rest of our programming, we always want there to be a solid benefit for the viewer, a “take away.” For example: We might have a designer discuss the goals of a specific purchase to advance the design of a room. The designer might suggest we need color, shape and texture and on a budget when choosing accent pillows. Then we might show the designer and their client in the retailer’s store choosing pillows.
How has social media and the proliferation of mobile devices affected your relationships with advertisers? It’s certainly more complicated, but how have you leveraged that to create win-wins?
HGTV and Food are super brands in the media space. As we migrate content to the digital space, our Websites, our apps, our mobile and TV Everywhere, we are seeing audience acceptance and engagement. Our advertisers are very interested in adding these touch points to the multiplatform Scripps partnerships. Social—again, these super brands have extremely loyal fan bases. Many have been fans for several years. Because our content combines entertainment and information, we have cultivated an informal audience. These informed viewers and users have developed strong POV, and the social platforms are perfect for the expressions of those POVs.
What’s your view on measurement—especially time-shifted viewing. How soon do you see Nielsen and the rest of the industry adopting C7 and other ways to better measure on-demand and DVRed viewing?
As an industry, we have demonstrated our willingness to embrace change. C3 became the newest standard after dozens of years of “no change.” What is critical is accuracy and a clear understanding of the scope of each measurement. Not all advertisers can use C7. Dynamic ad insertion allays the concern that impressions will be delivered after they are needed.
What’s one thing that’s surprised you in terms of how advertising has evolved in the last 3 years? And why?
In the brave new world of digital, old rules still apply—branded, digital content that carries the same engagement, draws the same upscale audience and continues to emerge as the safe haven for advertising brands.
If you were giving advice to a young sales exec just out of school, what would be the one thing you’d tell him to always do?
Listen, listen, listen. When you think you understand what your client needs, ask questions and then listen again. If you keep that process up, you will quickly be regarded as a high-potential asset to your company. Never be afraid to say “I made a mistake… here’s what happened; here’s what I did.” If, as a young salesperson, you don’t make a few mistakes, I would question how hard you are pushing the envelope. (I did say a “few” mistakes).
What’s the number one trait that every sales exec needs to succeed?
Be curious! Knowledge is a differentiator; a game changer. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of media assets you represent. Knowledge of the competitive marketplace. Knowledge of client, client’s customers and client’s competition.