Cable Television, Social Media & More…

Cut showing the composition of a coaxial cable.
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We’re just back from the CTAM Summit in Denver, CO, and it was a worthwhile and educational experience for Savvy.

Having not been to the CTAM Summit in quite a few years, it felt vaguely similar to many of the Summits we had been to in the past, but had a slight newness to it.

It felt similar in a way that it was nice to see friends of Savvy from our previous tenure at VH1, MTV, USA and HBO who have all moved on to different networks like Retirement TV, Here, AMC and other networks. What also felt similar was Cable’s continuing challenge to develop new, interactive and advertising technology that’s agnostic enough for multiple networks and providers to leverage at a speed that 1) satisfies the consumer, 2) outperforms the competition, 3) generates multiple revenue streams and, 4) brings value to their current offering. With serious increased competition (and we mean serious) from Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse and satellite providers like DIRECTV, now, more than ever, Cable has its work cut out for them.

The newness had to do with the passion brewing throughout the industry. Even though the industry is probably in more trouble than its ever been, it really is exhibiting a drive and commitment not currently seen in a long time. It was actually quite exciting!

On flip side, what was also apparent is the reticence that exists to break outside the traditional marketing model…using cross-channel spots, bill stuffers and direct mail has been the way of marketing in the world of Cable since we can remember. What we were somewhat surprised at and rather disappointed, is that the cable industry has been really slow to adopt community engagement marketing a la Social Media — both within consumer and B2B. And, out of 1900 attendees, we can literally count the number of people tweeting on 2 hands! (But we have to give credit for CTAM for a stellar integrated effort of promoting and engaging the audience through announcements at the sessions, use of questions from Twitter for Q&A, signage, conference materials and social networking.)

During the Summit we attended a panel (for which we should have been included in as the official Social Media agency of the CTAM Summit) that included a media analyst from CSMG, the CEO from iWidget and the infamous Frank Eliason of Comcast Cares on Twitter (who really gets it actually). It was informative as a basics presentation, but what was lacking were real case studies that were relevant to the industry and real examples on how to monetize social media. There’s a lot of myth out there around the fact that it’s not a measurable medium or that an ROI doesn’t exist for the medium. Simply untrue. See our comments on yesterday’s Multichannel News article about the panel.

All in all, we were also pleased to be a part of the 19% uptick of registration over CTAM’s expected goal. Now, that’s a measureable success.

Stay tuned to hear more about our work in the Cable industry. Servicing our clients in this industry certainly presents us with an adventurous and challenging ride!

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