NBCU's Marshall: 'Fragmentation Is A Good Thing,' Ads Should Be 'Welcomed'

Amid ongoing and significant digital disruption, Mark Marshall -- now the interim chairman of advertising sales and global partnerships at NBCUniversal -- reminded TV/video advertising executives at the NBCU upfront why TV/digital video still works for his legacy media company: Its advertising clients' sales continue to grow.

Much of this comes from NBC’s cross-media ad-selling effort, One Platform, which uses its first-party data from its platforms and marketers to achieve these results.

“These advertisers have seen an actual sales lift of 16%. And if you think of that -- and that we reach 227 million people every single month -- that’s how you grow your business.”

Marshall credits marketers who are resolved to change the business model. “You’ve broken free from legacy dayparts. You’ve traded genre and age demographics, for actual audiences that want to buy your product.”



Going forward -- even amid the augur of some potential tough marketplace news -- Marshall says significant advertising business is on the way this season from key TV ad categories:

“There are 32 pharma launches, 60 auto releases -- with 46 of those being electric electric vehicles.” He adds that there will be 100 movie releases, “which puts us back to pre-pandemic levels.”

Overall, he says: “This is going to be a very competitive marketplace -- which means you need every single impression to work harder than ever.”

In a slight of sorts to Nielsen and some of its problems -- and giving credit to NBCU’s efforts so far -- Marshall emphasizes that advertisers “not only need measurement that counts correctly but actually ties to your sales.”

Marshall then riffed on that last point to the event’s live, in-person audience: “Everyone is supposed to clap on that one. It is important.” The audience heartily agreed.

“And most importantly, your ad should be welcomed as part of the family, not looked at as a last resort of an un-welcome guest.”

Marshall left the attendees on this positive note: That media “fragmentation is a good thing. It’s not scary.”

He used the example of “Saturday Night Live,” citing that it was the number-one entertainment show on broadcast, on YouTube, and on Peacock.

And in that regard, he reminded media executives that although the NBC logo can be found in other platforms and presentations, “you can only buy ‘Saturday Night Live’ through us.”

The bottom line, he says, is that in one month, NBC -- combined with streamer Peacock -- reaches 160 million people with only 10% duplication of ads.

“This is what every media mix model has looked for, forever: The ability to find massive reach with low duplication. And unlike some of our other big-time competitors, it is actually in content that you want to be part of.”

1 comment about "NBCU's Marshall: 'Fragmentation Is A Good Thing,' Ads Should Be 'Welcomed'".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, May 19, 2023 at 10:05 p.m.

    A very interesting post.

    It is very impressive that "There are 32 pharma launches, 60 auto releases -- with 46 of those being electric electric vehicles.” and "These advertisers have seen an actual sales lift of 16%."

    However the 'potential universe' has not changed one iota and has not fragmented.   In essence the market potential hasn't changed but it is being shared around in smaller parcels (which is of course is good if you are selling advertising rather than product).

    So I wonder if those 227 million will be able to sustain that 16% increase.   Also, what was the starting point of the 16% increase.   Was it (say) 100 widgets that went up to 116?   Was there a notable blip in the economy ... well the pharma, auto and EV sectors at least?

    Rome wasn't made in a day.   I wait to see that the success continues into the future and not just a blip, and I will gladly admit my wariness was wrong.

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