Speaking at Variety's 2011 TV Summit here, Kerry Trainor, senior vice president of entertainment for AOL, who heads all entertainment platforms, says key in inking television marketing partnerships is "how do we build custom distribution systems."
Trainor says it's not only about AOL's big home page -- which pulls in 15 million users a day -- or just its network of entertainment sites. Efforts will also focus "off our networks, like with social. It's really that type of partnership that is going to define success."
The challenge for TV marketers in the digital arena, says Trainor, is "how do you break out of the world of the tiny destination sites?" This includes expanding into the big footprints of Twitter and Facebook, as well as pushing content in other contextual areas, "even pedestrian areas like emails."
Trainor says AOL will continue to be a complementary product to television. "It's not a pure placement for TV program at the moment. We are about a deepening relationship people have with television."
Debbie Menin, head of entertainment marketing at AOL, said while the Internet is vast and growing, consumers are targeted about their wants and needs. She said 70% of consumers have just 20 sites in their core Internet mix. About 16% of the average Internet consumers are trying new sites.
A typical path for a consumer in experimentation starts with 'reach,' which is the discovery phase. Then comes the trial stage. How easily sites are navigated. How personal it is. Finally comes "stickiness." Is the site credible and trusted? Does it have a quality narrative? Does it command loyalty?