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Cadent Virtual Upfront: Marketers’ Discuss Priorities for ’21-22, Need for Accountability and Transparency

By Cadent Staff
04/08/21 3 MIN READ

Yesterday, Cadent held our Virtual Upfront, bringing together experts from across the industry to discuss how TV media buying will change in 2021 and beyond, as well as the evolution of CTV. The event was moderated by MediaVillage’s Jack Myers and produced in partnership with Brand Innovators.   

Catch a replay of the full event here and read our 5 key takeaways below. 

1. Flexibility Will Incentivize Long-Term Investment

Rapid change, accelerated by the pandemic, has ricocheted throughout the TV industry. However, it is these changes that have enabled a new level of flexibility that would have been unheard of just last year. Cathy Shaffner, Chief Investment Officer of Empower explains, “What we’re urging our brands to do is resist the fear to go back to the way things were a year ago and realize we have a great opportunity to expand how we’re purchasing video, just as consumers are expanding away from the living room and how they’re consuming video. And so I think we have to be very careful that we don’t fall back into the old stigma of ‘got to get in early, got to lay down a lot of dollars, got to lock myself in with limited flexibility.” 

2. Efficiency & Automation Are the Industry’s Driving Force 

Fragmentation across TV has resulted in many challenges for buyers, most notably in terms of scale. Maureen Bosetti, Chief Investment Officer of Initiative emphasizes, “You can’t reaggregate the scale we used to have… so you have to go outside of it to get that reach.” As Cadent CEO, Nick Troiano states, “When I think about the future of TV and the complexity of fragmentation of devices and platforms, from Cadent’s perspective, it’s not just about providing solutions and flexibility, it’s about providing automation from a suite of technology and platforms.” That is why Cadent’s platform is designed to establish a new type of efficiency for TV buying—beyond the upfront. 

3. Strong Partnerships Are Empowering Both the Buy & Sell-Side 

Agencies and brands are ready for more transparency and accountability from their partners, with Amplifi’s Mike Law saying, “Clients are definitely motivated and are being held to more performance-driven metrics, so [agencies] need to focus more on business-driven outcomes.” This has encouraged agencies to explore the different offerings in the marketplace and build stronger relationships with their tech partners. In speaking about her experience working with Cadent, Inna Kern, Vice President of Media Strategy and Planning for ESPN shares, “I feel like the more transparent, the more I can empower you, the more information I can give you, the better plans you can turn around for us. One of the things I appreciate most about your business is that I see [Cadent] very much in the partnership lens. When money was tight or non-existent, you still gave us a level of service that hopefully now money will open up and we will be in a different place.” 

4. Attribution Will Continue to Guide Decision-Making

As TV continues to grow and evolve, access to better attribution solutions will be critical for buyers. Carrie Drinkwater drove this point home saying, “At the end of the day, attribution will tell you where your money needs to go. Attribution will be our media mix modeling and our true north of how we move forward… Every client needs to understand what they’re trying to achieve and what attribution models will help them get there.” Yet attribution still faces several obstacles in light of new streaming services. Gibbs Haljun, Total Investment Lead for GroupM’s Mindshare argues, “You can utilize Cadent to replicate all of the Disney cable networks…but I think then the onus comes to them to help us with different replacement options and push measurement further.”

5. Opportunity Abounds In Video Advertising

The experts agreed—the consequence of change is that video is ripe with opportunity! Mike Law, President of Amplifi says, “The opportunity that sits in front of us is great – consumers have proven that they want great content, and our advertisers and brands are recognizing that there are a lot of changes happening in the market.” Carrie Drinkwater, Chief Investment Officer for Mediahub Global goes on to say, “We are being forced and encouraged to have this shift. Forced due to the supply and diminished erosion. And encouraged, because of the opportunity with data and content.” 

Click here to learn more and watch individual sessions from our 2021 Upfront event.