TruthCo’s Linda Ong

What’s the biggest secret to truly understanding a particular TV audience?
Now that viewers can get the same content from many different providers, psychographics—the  way they think—are a better indicator of potential audience than demographics, which are based on Census categories. Viewers that watched “Breaking Bad,” for example, likely have more in common in terms of sensibility and behavior than age, income or geography.
How does psychographics come into play when trying to maximize tune-in?

Today’s advertisers are far more interested in reaching consumers who are inclined to buy their products than infeffectively amassing eyeballs. Understanding the common attitudes and sensibilities of viewers can help marketers better target their brands and products to like-minded consumers.
How can cable networks better integrate platforms to drive more tune-in and engagement?
The consumer doesn’t want the same  content on different platforms. They want networks to provide a robust, vibrant and holistic experience where every platform plays to its native strengths—and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Brands like ESPN do this really well, providing a dynamic and cohesive through-line that adds value in consuming across platforms.
You talk about building audiences slowly and making them last longer. Can you explain how that works?
Like the film business, networks became fixated on opening big and seeing immediate results. And we’ve all seen how the “Blockbuster” mentality has backfired on the studios. In the New World of Television, shows need to cultivate fans—more niche than mass—who become evangelists invested in the success and longevity of a show.  Shows like “Scandal” have proved that investing in long-term success not only pays off with viewers, but allows creators to commit to a vision that may not immediately resonate with a mass market, but actually has legs.
When you talk about niche driving mass, what does that mean and how can TV nets leverage that to drive tune-in and engagement?
Viewers today have so much choice. And studies prove that the more choice consumers have, the fewer choices they actually make. So they’re making choices that speak to them personally, that feel hand-crafted and unique, not a mass-produced product that’s designed to appeal to as many people as possible. Today, something that’s highly rated doesn’t mean it’s very good—and is often just the opposite.

To gain more insight and network with Ong as well as other industry experts, register to attend CableFAX’s Cable Business Boot Camp on March 13 in NYC!

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