As a long-time admirer of comedy and aspirational funny person, I appreciate and subscribe to the rule of three. There is an elegance and humor to a list that has two things that reinforce the underlying assumption and one that completely diverges from it. For instance, if someone asked me what I like about baseball, I could respond that I love the crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd and the privilege of paying $12 for a beer.
That may not be terribly funny, but things just work well in groups of three.
At FreeWheel, our partnership with AdMonsters is one that we truly enjoy being a part of. The community of operations professionals fostered in that environment allows us to really dig in with the people who use our technology and understand their businesses, their pain points, and how they go to market.*
Reflecting on my time at AdMonsters Publisher Forum in Montreal and given that things work so well in groups of three, I focused on three key takeaways:
1. Things are converging.
And not just some things – everything. As organizations look to scale and converge their businesses, there’s also a need to converge processes that, to this point, rely on different systems, business models and strategies. The impact of that convergence is significant: it’s not just that convergence cuts across sales, operations and planning groups. It’s also that those groups may find their roles changing pretty significantly as a result.
While many organizations are struggling with how to move forward in a converged world, the right organizations are using it as an opportunity to train up their staff and find ways to get their content out to audiences that may have never been exposed to it before. At FreeWheel, we use the word “unification” to describe this effort. It’s one of the three main pillars of our strategy, and finding ways to get an advertiser’s message out to the right audience on the right screen at the right time is the single biggest opportunity we have in the coming years.
2. We need better measurement and standards.
Feedback on this subject was uniform across the board. We need better, more uniform ways to track and measure performance, and convergence and technology proliferation aren’t helping our cause. TV and digital are two media that are still reported on in very different ways, and multiple technology developments have forced companies to rely on various third party companies to track and measure what constitutes success.
3. Transparency is extremely important.
In his Monday keynote, Nexstar’s Tony Katsur said something that resonated pretty strongly: “Buy the tech, not the check”. In context, Tony was talking about one of the many ways that he evaluates his tech stack – in this case, how sometimes demand-side partners can provide you a revenue share that’s often too good to be true or can’t be backed by performance – but it’s meaningful in all contexts.
Transparency isn’t just the key to a fruitful vendor/client relationship. It’s the key to a meaningful partnership between those two parties. A FreeWheel customer that spoke at one of the sessions described it best: “The companies that tend not to stick around very long are often referred to as vendors. The ones we rely on to help us deliver our business goals are the ones we call partners.”
Fortunately, FreeWheel is completely aligned with these three takeaways and is actively working on them around the clock. And that’s why I work here: to help the New TV Ecosystem succeed, to help our clients deliver on their goals, and to eat all the free yogurt that I can.**
*You see? Three things worked, right?
**Still not funny