Media Buyers and Planners Need to Go Wherever Audience Is #NYCTVWk

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New York — Spark chief investment officer John Muszynski and managing director Shelby Saville say the future of media buying will all be in the numbers — numbers that add up to success today as opposed to last year.

“On the digital side you never start with a year ago. We start with today’s market place and with audiences today on the digital platforms,” said Saville during the duo’s keynote speech at NYC Television Week. “As an industry I think we all have to think about the audience, every single year, every single quarter. Because at the end of the day, it’s changing quickly and will continue to change quickly.”

Muszynski echoed Saville’s focus on the audience saying “If [companies] want their dollars to be up, go get more audience. And we’re going to follow the audience wherever they go, whether that’s in linear television, digital or advance television — we are going to follow the audience.”

Saville’s advice is for networks to not think of themselves as linear TV. “You’re a content provider, you’re connecting brands to content,” she said. “We’re saying ‘this content is valuable’ because it’s good, high quality and has a lot of engagement. Now I want it everywhere the consumer finds it.”

Smaller audiences can succeed with media buyers if they demonstrate genuine value. “If you can effectively communicate to me and prove to me that the audience that you have is more relevant to my client and to their business, than we’re going to take advantage of that,” said Muszynski. “You may have less audience but you’ll have a higher quality audience. But you can’t just say that, you have to deliver on that.”

Muszynski explained that Spark uses up to 24 different criteria to determine whether a possible client has a “relevant” audience.

“All of this data that’s pouring in, we’re trying to use this information to the best of our ability to become smarter about our investments,” said Muszynski. “We’re just trying to make our dollar work that much harder.”

Because each dollar Muszynski spent this year was influenced by a data point, he said, “You’re not going to get our dollars if you’re not going to play in the new world. There’s just way too much information and way too much data to ignore that or to not consider it.”

Other highlights from the session included:

—“Right now the folks that are creating the bots and all those things creating fraudulent impressions are actually focused very heavily on video because that’s where a lot of the money is. We’re spending a lot of time with the technologies that sniff out that fraud,” said Saville. “As inventory managers it should be one of the No. 1 things on your list is to understand [your] fraud level so you can demand a premium for inventory that is verified.

—“There’s always going to be some conversation, some dissatisfaction with the [ratings] measurement,” Muszynski. “It’s what we have right now — we have to deal with that.“