Media Insights Q&A With Sprout's Jim Multari
Below is a short excerpt from the interview. Direct links to the full interview videos can be found at the WeislerMedia blog.
Charlene Weisler: Behavioral targeting is a big subject now. Some people think that it is terribly important and others are saying that it is not. What do you think about the importance of behavioral targeting?
Jim Multari: I think that it is very important when I think about our business and particularly the three platforms that we use to deliver our brand. It is important to understand how and why our audiences are using each one. Knowing who they are and how they respond is key. It is interesting to think about video-on-demand service that is hugely popular in the kids' space. Often it is a very different function or role in a preschool household than in a linear service or a website. So you really have to understand how those are being used and considered when thinking about program strategy and the things that we do, so that it is being offered in a way that people understand. So you have to look at things from all angles, and I think that targeting is one way of doing that.
CW: DVR use in Sprout homes versus other homes: What are the differences?
JM: Time-shifting is a huge deal now, and we are lucky in that we know that time-shifting among kids is a lot less than with other networks. Kids and news appear to be the least time-shifted cable channels. So it is a challenge and a blessing. It is a challenge in that if you tell that to an advertiser or an agency they ask how we know that someone is engaged with the brand or is it just on in the background. I think we have been able to use a lot of our custom research tools to counterbalance that. But time-shifting is certainly something that is on our radar.
CW: How do you best target preschoolers?
JM: While we target parents, preschoolers are our primary audience and we are doing a lot of research to try to understand that audience segment -- what preschoolers like, dislike and what they are into. We have partnered with daycare centers and preschools in Philadelphia, where we are based, to inform our programming strategy, to inform our strategy as a whole.
I think it is very interesting that when you sit down with a three or a four year old, they can offer you a great amount of information that helps guide strategy. One story that comes to mind - we did some testing to understand our video-on-demand product, and we've seen kids who are three or four showing their parents how to access content. They are not able to read but they know the placement on the screen. I saw kids actually find what they are looking for even though they did not know how to read what was available. That really speaks to really understanding your entire audience.