The Modern Marketer's Take On Full-Funnel TV Advertising

  • by , Featured Contributor, January 21, 2021
I had the good fortune yesterday to catch up with my good friend Robert Tas to talk about how technology is transforming TV advertising and the marketing function. Robert is as close to the archetype of the modern marketer as anyone I know, with a career that has followed the arc that now defines marketing, from technology to advertising to consumer data.

He started his career in tech sales and operations at Sybase and CommerceOne (think a very early predecessor to today’s Shopify). He ran sales at TACODA and 24/7 Media, did his own tech start-up in sports media, and then jumped to the marketer side to run digital marketing at JP Morgan Chase, led marketing at smart CRM provider Pega Systems and spent four years as a partner at McKinsey’s digital marketing operations practice. A year ago, he joined 1-800-FLOWERS as chief growth officer.

I’m sharing Robert’s background and our discussion because some of the points he made are really worth sharing.



Don’t underestimate easy. We started talking about Facebook and Google and the publicly stated desire of so many marketers to have other alternatives to the “duopoly.” Robert matter-of-factly called out that while many espouse those hopes, the big tech platforms aren’t going away because “they are big, have lots of data for targeting and make everything easy.

TV should be bought and measured like digital banners. Robert doesn’t buy into the notion that TV and premium video should be split into branding and performance buckets.

Nope. He believes that video should do both branding and performance, and TV campaigns must be tracked at the spot level for everything from target audience to reach to web visits to sales to impact on search and social and ROI, both organic and paid, and as much in real time as possible. This is a big part of what he preached and enabled in his years at McKinsey, and something he has been doing a lot of with 800 FLOWERS’ Harry & David food brand.

Control your destiny (and your advertising operations and analytics). Robert emphasized that marketers now need to own how they do their advertising, and really control key elements like analytics and data.

He’s not anti-agency. Robert, in fact, touted the great work his company gets from partner Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media out of Dallas, but underscored the importance of integrating advertising into the marketing operations, planning, product development and supply chain of the company.

Data, data, data. We ended our conversation where we started it, noting the fact that data targeting is one of the big reasons that platforms like Google and Facebook are so powerful, and that the more recent enabling of automated, data-driven campaigns on TV are making the medium much more attractive as a performance channel.

Robert’s mantra is that marketers must own and control their consumer and audience and campaign data, and the more the better. It’s not just essential for driving effective ad campaigns, but is essential to help support all of the other functions of the enterprise mentioned above that need it for fuel, planning, product development, etc.

My post begs the question on whether marketers with more traditional backgrounds (time at agencies, not so techy, not so mathematical and empirical) will be able to survive and thrive in the modern marketing world. My answer is the same I would give someone who only knows TV advertising for its ability to drive brand awareness: There is a future. But it is becoming increasingly narrow, limited and crowded.

What do you think?

9 comments about "The Modern Marketer's Take On Full-Funnel TV Advertising".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 21, 2021 at 6:18 p.m.

    He may be right for some advertisers, Dave, especially those that mostly sell direct to consumers, however to proclaim that all must do it his ---or the digital---way no matter how their products are distributed or what their product or service class happens to be or how they rank relative to competing brands or what they are trying to accomplish with their advertising is both unrealistic and, in many cases, unworkable overkill. There is no single "correct" way to advertise or to market products and services, let alone ideas such as who should be president of the U.S.  

  2. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, January 21, 2021 at 7:18 p.m.

    Ed, good points. For sure there no one size fits all, but Robert'spoints are they all marketers should be tracking the full funnel effects of their TV. Yes. Direct to consumer brands and retailers have the highest need, but anyone selling anything should care how their TV ads are doing to drive those sales, whether though partner sales channels or direct.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research replied, January 22, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

    Dave, utilising logic by extension, is it not possible that as marketing becomes more data driven, mathematical and empirical, that it will also become more algorithmic and automated?

    If so, then doesn't it also follow that the future for marketers will also become increasingly narrow, limited and crowded?

    Which recalls the saying ... be careful what you wish for.

  4. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia, January 22, 2021 at 5:28 p.m.

    Yes John, follownig the logic does point to a future will be increasingly narrow, limited and crowded for sure for those marketers that are data driven, etc. and that kind of future seems like a certainty.

  5. anne hunter from DISQO, January 22, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

    50 years ago media was easy and creativity ruled. Then with the options provided by cable and the avalanche of options enabled by the Internet, media became hard. Martech was born to try and tame the complexity unleashed by the new media landscape. Automation is critical to tame the tangle of media options, overlaps, and outcomes so we can focus again on actually exciting consumers. There will always be jobs in advertising for people who can bring a great idea to life, by executing it well.

  6. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, January 22, 2021 at 7:42 p.m.

    Awesome point Anne. Thank you! You are totally correct. There will always be jobs and opportunities for great creative folks who can execute.

  7. John Grono from GAP Research, January 22, 2021 at 8:35 p.m.

    Yep I agree Anne and Dave.

    I think that automation of execution is a given.   Programatic trading is huge and a boon for all parties.   Creative also has automation - remember when Disney made content cell by cell, now it is digital and slashes creation time and requires fewer people (some of which may even be as creative as the Disney crew).

    But I think that the centre of creativity will be the strategyn (creative and buying).   It seems to me that as the advertising options increase as both the number of channels available, and the ad-loads increase, that there is an increasing 'sameness', and fewer "WOW ads".   That is probably largely brought about by shorter time-frames.

    In fact one of my favourite ads was for Trill birdseed in London.   The client had a small budget which with traditional thinking and execution would barely shift the needle.   It is also a niche product - you won't see a Trill ad and go and buy it and then say ... gees I'd better buy a budgie as well.   So the strategy (from afar) seemed to be to make Trill the talk of the town.   They decidewd to go with with a handful of Free-Standing Units in (I think) Trafalgar Square - famous for its pigeons.   Rather than put a pack-shot on the face, they wrapped each FSU to look like a massive box of Trill with the top open.   You guessed it ... pigeons everywhere eatin the product.   A perfect proof of product delivery courtesy of the pigeons.

    From memory sales went up something like 50%.   And no, I didn't work on the campaign.   But I do I think it was the great strategy which drove the creative 'product demonstration' with the simplest of media executions (can I please book five FSUs for two weeks ... done ... thank you.)

  8. Brad Bullock from Effectv, January 25, 2021 at 2:23 p.m.

    TV & Streaming video helps drive social media as well as direct & organic web traffic. Possibly better than SEO. And video driven internet traffic is real, authentic traffic as apposed to SEO. I'd recomend putting SEO/Ad words budget into Cable TV & Streaming video investments to achive two outcomes with one (video).

    In a nutshell, Effectv pretty much addresses everything mentioned above, but you have to invest enough. There's a lot more to it, but Effectv is leading the way.

  9. Gerrit Niemeijer from Ampersand, January 26, 2021 at 5:50 p.m.

    It is absolutely true that data and data science are becoming more critical for succesful marketing and advertising, also in TV. But like any chance, you can treat this as an opportunity or as a thread, and I prefer the former.

    As far as creative goes: you can have all the data in the world, but if your creative is wrong, it still won't work. Especially in Television, which is all about engagement with high-quality, brand-safe content at a very large scale.

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