To be successful in sales, one must monitor where the market is going while being flexible enough to respond. For Dave Antonelli, DISH Media's director for Sling TV, that includes taking a holistic view of all the services that DISH Media has to offer, from live OTT to traditional linear; programmatic to addressable.
DISH Media not only offers all of these services, but also generates its own first-party deterministic data to better measure all sales outcomes. Antonelli's breadth of experience — from large companies such as Viacom (now ViacomCBS) to smaller start-ups such as Cognitiv (programmatic A.I.) and SessionM (mobile) — enables him to easily size up the media landscape and respond quickly to client considerations.
Responding to the Marketplace
Antonelli sees the current media market as fluid, open, and flexible, offering greater opportunity to companies such as DISH Media that can deliver across platforms. Clients, he explains, "are interested in impressions-based, one-to-one targeting or linear. The pipes by which those experiences are delivered are not as crucial as a distinction. It can come in over the internet or a satellite or over cable. It doesn't matter because it is still [the same] video spot reaching consumers, whether in a targeted or traditional linear fashion."
DISH Media technologies play a pivotal role in meeting these advertiser expectations. "Sling TV and DISH have the same overall goal of delivering video, but they are on different pipes," he says. "One is over satellite and the other is over the Internet. It is essentially the same content and a similar experience." How advertisers target or use inventory can vary, but the experience remains the same for the consumer.
With DISH Media's first-party data, privacy-compliant processes enable impressions-based targeting on a household level. "That is one of the beauties of online advertising, especially for Sling TV, which has a registered subscriber base," he says, adding that both Sling TV and DISH have "deterministic matches, which [are a] great way of targeting people with relevant ads that are more effective for advertisers."
Addressable is a huge part of DISH Media's business for both DISH and Sling TV. "It's a core function of what we do," Antonelli says. "We have the best technology that enables addressable advertising." Its addressable sales span every major vertical, such as automotive, pharma, financial, and retail. "We can match our deterministic dataset through privacy-safe crosswalks with a variety of data vendors that are focused on specific KPIs, such as Polk for Auto," he adds. This includes data such as foot traffic and sales lift for attribution assessments.
A notable advantage in DISH Media's sales arsenal is the ability to launch simultaneous addressable campaigns cross-platform. Antonelli explains that DISH was the first to market this capability. "We can run cross-platform addressable campaigns with targeting and reporting across platforms," he says.
Another valuable asset in DISH Media sales is the newly launched Reach Booster. "Reach Booster," Antonelli explains, "helps turn a traditional linear campaign into one that is positively impacted by an addressable campaign. We look at reach and frequency from a national schedule for a particular advertiser and a creative unit. We are able to determine the reach and frequency across the entire national linear schedule for that spot and then pair it with our deterministic dataset to determine the actual reach and frequency within our subscriber base."
So, if a particular household has not been reached by the linear national ad to the degree that the advertiser would like, they can then be fed an addressable ad to attain that unduplicated reach and that desired frequency. Though only launched in January, Reach Booster's results are showing substantial increases in reach and frequency stabilization.
The Team is Everything
To succeed in media sales, "You have to be someone who is curious, and you have to understand a lot of complexity," Antonelli says, adding that this is where his team excels. Selling a static product isn't an option due to the ever-changing nature of today's landscape. "You have to keep learning and asking questions, know your product, and understand the landscape."
His advice for those seeking a place in today's media sales ecosystem is to strive to be someone who is "curious, thoughtful, and has a consultative approach, who works with agencies as a resource to navigate all of the change." Good advice for other media departments today, as well.
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