“Digital Think Tank” looks at latest trends


Following the Opening Address at NAB Radio Show yesterday (see related story), Peggy Miles, President, Intervox Communications moderated a fresh panel session with radio’s top digital leaders to discover the latest trends in that space and which digital platforms generate the most revenue. The newest focus seemed to be user-generated content and what social media applications are beneficial to the industry.

Present at the session were Mike Agovino, COO Triton Media Group; Deb Esayian, Founder /Co-President, Emmis Interactive; Paul Krasinski, COO Ando Media (recently acquired by Triton); and Rich Lobel, EVP/CBS Radio Altitude Group.

Miles asked the group which digital trends were the hottest right now: What’s hot; what’s not?

Lobel said from a client perspective, the trends are almost overwhelming, but streaming music; mobile; social apps like Facebook and Twitter: “The trends that take people into deeper engagement, and down a path of brand engagement.  [But] it’s only worth money if it’s popular and people are engaging with it. We look at our own streaming media numbers and we’re seeing triple-digit increases. So therefore, that becomes more relevant to an advertiser if they can reach those people.”

Ago said the biggest trend affecting everything is that 5-10 years ago, 80% of the marketing/advertising world was about art and 20% was about science. “I think we’ve recently crossed the 50 yard line where there’s a balance of the two. We’re now quickly heading toward the red zone of where 80% of it is science and 20% art.”

So the challenge and opportunity today is to deliver an engaged audience for advertisers that leverages our new ability to get detailed, real-time numbers and microtarget.

Esayian noted that this all speaks to our ability and technique to use these new ideas in the right way. “In other words, for example, how are you deploying social networking? Do you sell packages where people can be featured on your Facebook page? Or do you sell packages where you use Facebook to bring people back to the advertisers’ proposition? I think you have to learn how to do that properly—to experiment and make some mistakes.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Indeed, experimenting is key. Your audience and your market are unique. Your station’s talent is unique. You have to try—sample—from the spectrum of digital opportunities and combinations of them that are out there. Some will be done and hatched in-house; some will be outsourced from companies such as these on the panel. Do your homework and trust your own and your hired talents’ instincts. As Ago said in the session, digital audience engagement is how the world is heading today—it’s not going to go the other way, ever again.