SalesTechStar Interview with William Offeman, Chief Product Officer at WideOrbit

Sales and marketing teams should focus on the convergence of linear and digital advertising and selling to gain more traction from their multichannel campaigns, William Offeman, Chief Product Officer at WideOrbit weighs in with some tips:

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Hi Will, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years at WideOrbit…and how the platform has evolved over the years?

I’ve been with WideOrbit almost from the very beginning, starting as E.V.P. of Engineering in 2000. Our platform has seen an incredible evolution since then, broadening from a focus on TV and radio ad trafficking to a suite of products that encompass the entire media ecosystem, both digital and linear, from pitch to payment, local broadcast stations to national and cable networks, including programmatic marketplaces for spot TV and digital audio and video.

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Can you share a few thoughts on the latest trends you’ve been observing in adtech and salestech and especially how marketing and sales today are aligning on these fronts to drive better ROI and revenue?

Two trends we’ve been watching are digital/linear convergence and programmatic buying and selling.

Convergence is managing linear and digital inventory and ad sales together, within the same systems, using the same workflows.

Programmatic refers to using software to automate ad transactions. Programmatic has long been the standard for digital display advertising but it has also made inroads into digital audio and video, advanced TV, and even over-the-air, broadcast TV.

We’d love to hear about a few highlights you’re observing in media technology and the way marketers and marketing leaders are revisiting their processes and use of technology today?

As promising as programmatic technology is, the fact remains that most deals for local spot TV are still transacted manually. And those traditional deals have long been at the core of WideOrbit’s business. So one highlight we’re particularly excited about, and one both broadcasters and advertisers are embracing, is automation for many of those manual processes. I’m talking about automation for things like the handling of electronic material instructions, order validation, airtime reporting, makegoods, accounts receivable, payments, and more.

As more and more marketing teams and salespeople rely on different online mediums (ads, other digital channels) to drive engagement, what do you feel leaders responsible for advertising ROI need to optimize and measure to ensure better traction for the business and team as a whole?

Marketers should consider relying less heavily on online mediums and explore the value of local TV. The reach, effectiveness, and brand-safety of TV is unmatched in the digital world and buying spot TV is easier and more affordable than many marketers realize. And a multi-channel campaign that combines digital advertising with spot TV can provide an incredible boost to ROI.

How according to you will the future of customer engagement start depending on how end users interact with a brand’s content like video / podcasts / online ads, etc?

The future of customer engagement is multi-channel, cross-channel, omni-channel… whatever you want to call it. Brands who engage in a holistic approach that meets customers wherever they happen to be, through whatever medium or channel they happen to be engaged with, those are the brands who will succeed. They’re also the brands who are already embracing the technologies they need to make planning, purchasing, and executing omni-channel campaigns efficient and cost-effective.

A few thoughts on what you feel today’s sales and marketing leaders need to do differently (and suggestions on martech / salestech) to help them stand out from the crowd!

A customer is not big data. Make one’s message as relevant as possible and maximize the unduplicated reach of broadcast TV. Rather than a custom message, to a custom audience, at a custom time, think about a common message, to a common audience, at shared times. Consider programmatic marketplaces that offer access to inventory that may have been previously overlooked as too difficult or too expensive to engage with. By mixing old-school (‘broadcast’) and new-school (‘unicast’) tactics and technology, they may be surprised by the results.

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WideOrbit makes it easier for media companies to buy and sell advertising.

William Offeman is the Chief Product Officer at WideOrbit.

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