For example, ABC and a large brand sponsor had a long-term partnership. By deploying 4C’s algorithms, ABC saw that, prior to a sponsorship run, there was very little connection between the brand or program. There was also little overlap in engagement or affinity – the likelihood someone would re-engage with a brand unprompted.
Over two weeks, Neuhauser said, engagement with specific shows, content and talent on social mirrored the consumers’ interest in the brand advertiser. This sort of insight is particularly valuable when ABC seeks out new sponsor opportunities.
ABC’s allegiance with 4C is one of its many maneuvers designed to scale up its digital and data-driven acumen. The broadcaster recently brought on a data-driven sales chief and began unlocking programmatic reserve inventory for digital video ad sales.
And although the social beta influences direct sales sponsorships, Gerber said ABC does not isolate these initiatives from its programmatic strategies.
“Over the past 18-24 months, Geri Wang, our president of sales, has made it a mission for us to become much more ingrained in data to understand how it will change our business in the mid-to-long term,” he said. “Our programmatic initiatives are not about direct sales vs. machine buying. That’s not what we’re debating internally or even trying to pursue. … We think if we have a better understanding of the relationship between our talent and shows, viewers and advertisers, everyone wins.”
He added: “At the end of the day, our programmatic initiative is a reserve programmatic initiative where salespeople are still calling on folks at an agency talking about a strategic approach to a buy and discussing how they implement data.”