@ Ad Week ’07: Cross-Platform Deals Evolving Slowly From Theory To Practice

The notion of cross-platform ad selling has gone from theory to reality, with agencies breaking down the structure separating TV, print and online. A mid-afternoon MIXX 2.7 Conference session looked at the process of matching sales between a variety of forms are evolving. So while agencies and programmers have been working to revise their structures in a more media neutral way, the challenge is turning individuals to think along those same lines. Moderator Scot McLernan, former ad sales exec at Marketwatch when it was owned by CBS (NYSE: CBS), explored the nature of the dealmaking:

Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales: In the past, the broadcast buyers wouldn’t talk to cable, and vice versa. “And that was just TV. Now, the majority of the deals we do have at least two platforms. And the mixture depends on what the marketer is. It’s evolved from streaming a bunch of deals together, it was a question of taking from one platform versus another. Now, it’s become more integrated. We find that agencies that match themselves up in teams, as opposed to client, as it relates to being able to talk about a deal. I find it important to find people who can think horizontal, not vertical.”

Tim Spengler, chief activation officer, Initiative North America: As agencies have been moving to break down the slios between different media forms, the need to develop more flexibility among an agency’s staffers becomes the next phase in accomplishing that goal. “You see agencies having someone responsible for cross platform. The next horizon is how to get our people conversant in more than one channel. Good media has a huge marketing component. It’s not just about rating points. It’s about being creative in how to think about a client’s business. It’s not about getting a cheap price.”

George Blue, VP, Fox Entertainment Advertising Sales, Fox Interactive Media (NYSE: NWS): Much of the promise of cross-platforms has been the goal of getting more media exposure for a better price. There is often too much focus on price as opposed to thinking who the advertising is meant to communicate with. “What becomes important is not the price – there have always been hard and fast guarantees on impressions and there can be efficiencies from going cross-platform – but it comes down to what the over-arching objectives you want for your product. And that’s what should be the focus for these kinds of promotions. A lot of times, people will come to us and say ‘We want to do something that’s never been done before. But then they want to see metrics for it.”

Tom Wolfe, VP, Product Marketing & Promotion, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Spotlight: Picking up from Blue’s point, Wolfe added, “Everyone wants to be a pioneer. But not without metrics.”