Multiethnic TV Awards: Nets, Distributors Need Marketing Partnerships To Serve Viewers

New York -- Distributors and networks have to continue to work together and make better use of demographic and viewership data to target multicultural viewers with marketing messages and programming content, according to executives speaking at Wednesday'sB&C/Multichannel News Multiethnic Leadership TV Awards event here.

Executives speaking at the session “Promoting Programming Intended For Multiethinc TV Audience” said that its imperative for both distributors and networks to utilize demographic and viewership data to better serve a diverse multiethnic audience. “By looking at our demographics and multiethnic home we’re better able to make decisions and target our advertising a little better,” said Adrian Adriano, vice president of marketing for Comcast Cable. “We can also better package our programming to consumers.”

Time Warner Cable vice president of multicultural marketing Alessandra Otero-Reiss added that data mining also provides distributors with information on what networks should be offered to various diverse communities within their respective footprints. While such data mining is important to cultivate information on bilingual viewers and other internationally-based ethnic groups, Verizon director of content strategy and acquisition Joe Lawson also said such focus should be used to reach an important and influential, English-speaking African-American audience.

Otero-Reiss said that when looking at potential multiethnic themed networks to launch, she looks at programmers that bring a well-rounded marketing plan to the table that directly target specific ethnic groups. “The most successful partnerships we have are those networks that come to us with the data and a marketing plan,” she said.

From a network standpoint, Telemumdo Media vice president of affiliate relations Ellen Politi said that distributors that partner with networks on community-based marketing efforts enhance all brands involved among viewers.

“Our viewers expect us to advocate for them in the community much more than the general market broadcaster and we do that very well,” she said.

Added Marlene Braga, vice president of programming for Azteca America: “We can’t get this done without the relationships. Taking the time to build and to learn about each other’s businesses and each other’s needs adds value to what we do.”

The industry however, still needs to use find a way of utilizing data on audience viewing habits to better target content to multiethnic viewers. 

“With 40,000 assets on VOD and more than 300 channels there’s so much content that people don’t even know is on,” Lawson said. “We have a great opportunity to establish a go to relationship with our customers if we use the data that we have on their viewing preferences. If we don’t use those tools effectively, we’re going to find ourselves marginalized with a lot of content and not as many people utilizing it as much as they should.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.