New York Interconnect Proves That a Small Sales Org Can Compete with the Giants

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Cover image for  article: New York Interconnect Proves That a Small Sales Org Can Compete with the Giants

Can one place Amazon, Google and New York Interconnect in the same breath? The answer is yes, according to The Myers Report, which named New York Interconnect the No. 3 Overall Sales Organization in the industry, right behind Amazon and Google.

We sat down with Ed Renicker, CEO of NYI, to find out how the little New York TV media buying corporation that could -- and did -- found itself at the top of this annual industry list, and what their future plans are to ensure that they stay there.

"NYI has that rare advantage of operating like a small business -- with the support and resources of major partners," Renicker said. "This gives us the ability to do two things: First, maintain close, personal relationships with all our clients; and second, to give clients access to the most innovative ad and content platforms. When we say we reach New York audiences everywhere, we mean it. So, I believe these two components quite often exceed our clients' expectations."

Innovation

NYI ranked No. 1 in Innovation, a feat not easy in a tech-heavy advertising space. Much of it can be attributed to Audience One, the multi-screen platform they launched in 2018, as soon as the joint venture was created with partners Altice USA, Charter and Comcast. Audience One integrates TV content into one holistic marketing platform, incorporating TV, digital, video on demand, live streaming, OTT and exclusive network sponsorships, all for an end-to-end media plan.

The real topper here is that unlike other media sales organizations, NYI is not limited to the inventory of their partners. They're able to integrate any new ad platform that reaches the New York market audiences, leaving them with a powerful combination of cutting-edge technologies.

"New York Interconnect (NYI) has been an industry leader for over three decades," Renicker noted. "It's really a time of great transformation in the media space, with more platforms and quality content than ever before. In this revolutionary ecosystem, NYI continues to navigate the ever-evolving TV landscape through our ground-breaking Audience One platform. Together, we continue to pave the way for the future of TV media buying across all screens."

Proactive Impact + Communications

NYI was also recognized as the leader in Communicates Value and Proactive Impact, and for Renicker, that success is no surprise.

"Being proactive has always been part of the fabric of NYI," he explained. "Whether finding the next great opportunity for our clients or recognizing an industry trend that we think our clients need to be aware of, our sales teams at NYI never stop looking for the next great move."

For those of you who read or participate in industry and trade publications and events, you can't help but notice NYI's thought leadership, speakerships and press everywhere. Their initiatives to communicate value and information to the industry are clear. "We pride ourselves for always moving the conversation forward when it comes to our industry," Renicker said. "We're always eager to share our latest research and findings with not only clients, but with colleagues because we believe that anything that advances our industry is good for everyone."

Marketing During the Pandemic

The Myers Report client satisfaction study was fielded during the pandemic in 2020. In such an unusual and difficult year, the question is, how did NYI manage to steer their clients' strategies to success, especially when New York was initially the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.?

"When the pandemic hit New York, our teams were forced to chart a new course for each of our existing clients (as well as some new ones), all without ever even being able to step foot back in the office," Renicker recalled. "Our sales and support teams all quickly recalibrated, reallocated and rebounded from this setback in a way that not only left the company reaching its 2020 sales goals, but also helped to ensure the continued success of our clients, their brands and their verticals."

NYI's Multi-Pronged Approach During the Pandemic

Renicker was quick to take the necessary actions during the pandemic to ensure success for both his clients and his team. The areas of concentration were:

Messaging. The NYI sales team saw that the environment had changed and advised their clients of the new tonality. "Many business verticals had to pull their current creative to revise messaging to be more mindful of the current climate," Renicker noted. "In addition to pulling creative to protect our clients' brands and re-allocating dollars because of pulled and revised programming, the team reconfigured schedules for the betterment of our clients and to accommodate the changes in programming."

Following the Data. Data became especially important to guide the decision-making process. "Our teams followed the data to find the desired audience of our clients now that so many cancellations were coming into play, especially when it came to live sports," he said. "Audiences were migrating to news and entertainment programming and our data allowed brands to actually follow and continue to connect to their target consumers wherever and whenever they were watching."

Business Verticals. During the pandemic,there was a notable and expected shift in advertiser categories, but NYI was ready."For every vertical that pulled back on their TV media schedules in 2020, there were more that came to the forefront," Renicker explained. "All manners of healthcare and hospitals found themselves wanting to get important information out. New verticals like online gaming and food delivery services found themselves in great demand. Our sales team fought to keep the struggling verticals visible so they would be strongly positioned when the market rebounded. They also sought the right opportunities for the verticals that were now in high demand by creating effective media plans to maximize their exposure and profitability."

News, Sponsorships and Political. Programming and advertising categories shifted in importance. "All eyes were on the news in 2020," Renicker recalled. "Daytime viewership skyrocketed and prime-time was now around-the-clock. Local cable news networks including News 12 and Spectrum NY1 found loyal viewers tuning in for hours at a time daily as their coverage spanned everything from updates on the pandemic to new healthcare protocols taking place around their local neighborhoods. We placed important healthcare ads during peak viewership hours and worked with partners to create sponsorship opportunities that would align with the new programming that was implemented by the cable networks.

"Political was also huge in 2020," he continued. "A holistic advertising approach was the key to getting the word out in 2020, which is just what our teams did. The campaigns benefited from a more targeted, audience-based approach in addition to their standard linear buys."

Digital & Multiscreen. Through all of this, a multi-platform approach was pivotal to establish one-on-one connections with customers. "Brands need to reach them across devices at-home and beyond," Renicker shared. "Digital targeted advertising acts as a primary touchpoint for smaller brands and a bolster to video advertising across platforms for larger ones. The digital arm of a holistic marketing strategy is particularly crucial to attribution. Brands can see the conversion rate of households exposed to their commercials on multiple platforms, as well as metrics like website visitation, location data, or tune-in conversion after being exposed to an ad."

The Beauty of the New York Market and NYI for Advertisers

When you are representing New York -- the biggest, most diverse global market -- you can't help but see the great importance the market has for a brand's TV media strategy. It is a must-buy. "It all happens in New York!" Renicker exclaimed. "We are the No. 1 market in the country. We have the most affluent, diversified consumers and now, thanks to data and reporting, we have the ability to target like never before and prove a brand's ROI."

In addition to the accolades NYI has received with the Myers Report rankings, their marketing team was recognized as Marketing Team of the Year by the Faxies (Cablefax), their sales team came in second place for Best Sales Organization, and they earned the coveted title of Best Event of the Decade for their launch Upfront, competing with major events like Hudson Yards Grand Opening.

"NYI always strives to maintain a blend of talent," Renicker said. "We truly work as a team with the objective of servicing our clients at the very highest level."

When asked to summarize what the secret sauce is to NYI's success, Renicker didn't hesitate in his answer. "1. Client service. 2. Client service, and 3. Client service," he declared. "Our technology is always the most current, but our philosophy is always the most tried and true. Our clients come first in everything. Keeping the best interest of our clients as our driving force has never steered us wrong."

The proof is in the Myers Report ranking.

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