JWM Opinion Piece, April 2018

James and Wilkinson Media (JWM) work with broadcasters across the globe with one aim – to help them unlock the power of their owned media space to drive audiences to consume content and engage with broadcaster brands. Since its formation in 2011, JWM have worked with broadcasters in many countries across five continents. Each market has its unique challenges and outlooks, however many similar issues exist in markets that undermine the ability of broadcasters to maximise their marketing activities across their own media. We hope that we have been able to help those broadcasters that we have worked with to address some of these issues.


Digital Disruption: A Blessing not a Curse?

As individuals, we have embraced digital so much into our day-to-day lives, but when it comes to our work and business lives, we all too often see it as a disruptive experience, challenging everything we know that has worked successfully in the past.


Although we won’t deny that digital disruption brings challenges, when it comes to marketing broadcast content, there is an increasing realisation of the opportunity it can deliver, engaging audiences with our content and brands across our owned digital spaces.



However, currently for many within the broadcast marketing community, unlocking their digital potential falls into the ‘way too difficult’ box! Often complicated further as siloed organisational structures mean ‘digital’ becomes a separate function in the business, with little understanding of the value that integration with marketing could bring to our audiences, channels and content.


Sadly, this often results in content marketing in the digital space being left to a media agency delivering paid digital campaigns, on increasingly pressured budgets, through technical giants such as Google. Although a crucial part of the marketing mix, it fundamentally neglects the need to future proof ourselves and grow the potential of our owned digital platforms and media, which could hold much more value.


So why should Broadcasters focus on unlocking their owned digital marketing potential?

Broadcasters that have made this a priority, not only deliver more viewers in their digital space, but ultimately are building more loyal viewers and future-proofing their business. As well as audiences consuming more of your content, you can maximise ROI on that long tail of rich library content. It’s about increasing your owned marketing inventory, which allows you to support more content and it’s about gaining better insights into not just who are your viewers, but understanding what content they love and hate and when they want to consume.


By personalising conversations with viewers, so improving their brand experience, and if you are funded by advertising it can ultimately increase the value of your media space too. The key to doing this is unlocking the digital data you own and can control yourself.


When it comes to promotion in the linear world, we are limited to working in viewer groups largely based on demographics to build up pictures of our ‘typical’ viewer. Promotional campaigns are a fine balance between finding our target audience with specific communication, whilst trying to limit that exposure to audiences that are unlikely to respond to that campaign.


In the digital world, there is no such thing as an identical group of viewers. We have many individual viewers that all have different behaviours, passions and interests that influence How,What, When and more importantly, Why they engage with our brands and consume broadcast content.


Data can help us understand this and make our marketing more effective. This level of insight can drive our ability to deliver personalisation in our marketing to audiences.


Unlike many other industries, the main purpose for Broadcasters is the production of all types of wonderful content that consumers want to engage with. By using actual viewer data and insight to inform our marketing planning, we can deliver a more personal experience across all our viewer touch-points. This more personalised approach to self-promotion has been proven to bring significant uplifts in overall engagement with content and brands. For targeted advertising, it can also deliver an impressive rise in viewers finding advertising relevant, increasing value for advertisers and the advertising rates that you can charge.


This same hierarchy of messaging can then be integrated across other channels such as email and social media. The beauty of making social a more personal experience is that it’s also more likely to be shared amongst friends, a trusted source.


From an internal resource perspective, personalisation of our digital marketing enables a valuable increase in our owned promotional inventory, helping to reduce the pressure on linear promotional inventory to support all marketing requirements. Although this may bring creative concerns about ever increasing make-lists, we would suggest that it’s not necessarily about increasing the size but more about optimising the exposure of those assets.


Unlocking your digital capability is not just for larger broadcasters with large portfolios; all broadcasters will have some form of digital data. Unlocking that data doesn’t have to involve investment in expensive technology as often perceived, although it may be required to help bring your data together so you can capitalise on it.


It may not be readily accessible and it may be in silos across the organisation, but it does exist. Not only does data exist from our own websites, social pages and any owned VOD platforms, but also from across the wider business, whether that is competition entrants, interactions with live shows or viewers signing up for content and alerts.


These platforms not only provide a valuable opportunity to engage with our fans, but crucially for many broadcasters it provides access to younger audiences, as it is these viewers that often spend as much time in this digital space as they do in the linear TV space.


It therefore becomes critical that we as broadcasters act now to leverage our ability to communicate in a relevant way to our audiences in this space. The sooner you can unlock your digital data from across your organisation and utilise it to inform, shape and deliver your marketing activities across both your digital & linear spaces, the better prepared will you be to turn Digital Disruption into a Blessing rather than a Curse.


We recently presented at PromaxBDA Europe in Rome on this topic. Our session entitled “Digital Disruption: A blessing not a Curse” is available to view below or via the PromaxBDA website. If you'd like to explore further how to leverage the power of your digital capability then please get in touch



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