Video: David Cohen on the Year Our Business Changed Forever

By Legends & Leadership Archives
Cover image for  article: Video: David Cohen on the Year Our Business Changed Forever

David Cohen has been with IPG for 17 years and is President of Magna North America. He launched one of the first digital interactive media groups in the advertising business at Universal McCann in 2001 and has been at the forefront of the integration of digital and legacy media. In our exclusive interview, as part of the MediaVillage Legends & Leaders Video Interview Series, David connects the dots between the past, present and future of advertising and media. View the full Interview series here and watch my interview with David Cohen above. THe following is a sampling of David's comments.

COHEN: Our priorities are obviously …. very mapped to client priorities.  Our priorities are drawing a clear distinction between what we put in the market and what it does for a client's business, which is very easy to say and hard to do.   How do you draw a correlation between is it the message, is it the placement, is it the data, what drew the action or lack of action?  Is it a lead, is it a sale, is it brand preference, is it brand awareness?  The measurement is clearly our biggest challenge today.  The world is very, very complicated, aggregating mass audiences is more difficult than ever and drawing a clear attribution correlation between what we do and what happens is a really vexing challenge for us and for marketers.

COHEN: This year was the year that the business has been changed forever.  We had been talking for a long time about the changing habits of consumers, and yet ratings didn't bear that out.  The decline in linear television ratings is accelerating. The exciting part that we are pushing the industry for is this idea of let's re-aggregate those audiences, let's follow the content as it takes flight on mobile devices, on YouTube, etc., etc.  There are a lot more choices for consumers and it's hard to reaggregate those audiences. View David Cohen's full interview here.

COHEN: The debate around content versus audience is one that I enjoy a great deal because it's always what's more important. Is it more important to be in the right content or right context or is it more important to reach the right audience?  Every time I will say it's more important to have the right audience.

COHEN: Clutter and pod positioning is one of the things that we've used to talk to clients about the value of digital video vis-à-vis cable as an example. Cable television, if you look at the number of commercial minutes, is like hockey-stick growth; it has grown to a proportion that is almost untenable.

COHEN: Digital is not easy. Digital is messy. Digital is more messy than it has been. It's our belief that the mess is worth it, but we need to collectively clean up the ecosystem.

Watch the full David Cohen interview here and all of the Legends & Leaders interviews at

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