Change is Exciting - For TV, and For Me

Michael Zimbalist

Chief Marketing Officer

Originally posted on Media Village

I have some news to share. After 10 years at the New York Times Company, I am joining Simulmedia as Chief Marketing Officer. I couldn’t be more excited about this new adventure. Let me tell you why:

I love TV. Always have. And truth be told, I love the commercials as much as I love the programs. (Well, some of them, at least.) When I was a kid, each morning in elementary school my friends and I spent as much time talking about the ads we saw on TV the night before as we did talking about shows we watched.

Flash forward to today and I see this same phenomenon whenever a great TV campaign ignites social media. Why has this interaction between TV and social persisted throughout time? I believe it is because TV ads make a strong impression, the strongest of any form of advertising. And this interaction is poised to get even stronger. With media consumption on the rise, people are watching more TV than ever before. As a result, according to many analysts, brands are projected to spend record amounts on TV advertising this year.

But there is a paradox: The way we watch TV has changed dramatically in the digital age, with more devices, occasions and program selection than ever before; and yet, the way brands buy TV advertising has remained stubbornly stuck in a paradigm developed before the dawn of digital. The prevailing metric remains the GRP, the prevailing targeting dimensions are restricted demographics, and buyers are far more focused on CPMs than on measuring the business outcomes of their advertising. In digital advertising, where I’ve spent the majority of my professional career, we’ve moved to a more “people-centric” model – we can target audiences more precisely and we can measure the outcomes of advertising with greater certainty.

So here’s the connection between the exciting changes ahead for TV, and for me: Simulmedia is the leading company – I dare say the only company – that has adopted a people-centric model for transacting linear TV. It has the software and the science to find specific audiences, reach those audiences with the right frequency and prove that the buy delivered the desired results. In other words, Simulmedia has invented technology to make to linear TV advertising like digital, only better. Better, because Simulmedia applies digital advertising principles without imposing the digital advertising ecosystem with all of its well-known problems.

It’s a thrilling moment of change for TV, and for me. My passion has always centered on driving innovation and leading change in the media industry. Changing the paradigm by which television is bought and sold is a huge transformational challenge. I couldn’t be more excited to join my good friend Dave Morgan and the incredible Simulmedia team on this journey.

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