Can TV Product Managers Win The Fight Against The Internet?
Advertising is the king of television. Advertising is a powerful tool that can make you more money and allow you to broadcast more programs. Television product managers were the kings of the world back in those days. They could reach so many potential customers that no one else could match them. But, the terms of their product definition have changed. With ubiquitous internet connections at high speeds, potential customers can now view content from other sources. Perhaps television is no longer necessary.
Why is the Internet so attractive?
The Internet seems to have everything, darn it. Intelligent people who spend their time writing computer code for the Internet have found that they can tell a lot about every visitor to a website. This means that advertisers can identify who is viewing video content on a website by simply putting it up (“white women with two children who drive Lexus”), which helps them reach particular audiences.
This laser-like focus Internet providers have for advertisers is what sets them apart from television product managers. It is clear that more people are switching to online TV and broadcast TV, which makes it easier for them to spend more money on Internet advertising. This sounds great for a product manager’s resume.
Online video content offers many advantages. The viewer can stop the video and restart it whenever they wish. This is in contrast with television broadcasts, where the viewer cannot see the ad during commercials. This is in contrast to television broadcasters, who have historically only been able to tell advertisers the gender and age of their viewers. The Internet video providers clearly have an advantage.
How television product managers are fighting back
Managers of television products realize they have a problem and aren’t going to take it lying down. They are instead getting creative. Now that they have seen the details of their audience that Internet video providers can gather and share with advertisers, they realize that they must up their game. They will need to provide new data and analytics tools.
These product managers tap into large, external databases to learn more about their customers. They combine the data from their cable set-top boxes with data from loyalty cards to create a picture of viewers’ viewing habits. This allows them to tell advertisers which products viewers actually purchase on a regular basis.
Advertisers are also being shown that the television product managers will go to great lengths in proving to them that their data may be more accurate than that of the Internet content providers. Advertisers are being pointed out by television product managers that some online sites are experiencing problems with fake traffic generated by automated “bots” and that sometimes the ads displayed to users may not be easily seen.
What Does All This Mean for You?
Because the Internet is a love affair, product managers in television have a lot to do. This is a difficult situation to manage. There is no job description for product managers that explains how to do it. To stay in business, they must find ways to convince advertisers to pay for broadcast video ads rather than transferring it all to Internet video sites.
Television has traditionally been unable to reveal much about the viewers of its programs, other than their age and gender. The internet providers can access more data about past searches and other data items to get a better picture of their audience. Television product managers now have access to large databases to get more information about their audiences.
Television has one advantage: its vast audience. They have plenty of time and a large audience to work with. Internet providers are expanding their audience. Television product managers must act quickly. We will have to monitor and watch to see if more data allows them to attract and keep the advertisers they want.