As agency, brand, and media executives arrive in Las Vegas to take in all the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show designed to transform the consumer media experience, Joe Hogan has a different mission. Hogan, WarnerMedia's executive vice president of sales and marketing, is focused on how his team will help clients to address all that newness — using solutions enhanced by the unique capabilities in parent company AT&T's portfolio of businesses.
Xandr and WarnerMedia, for example, are coordinating their approach to brand and agency meetings at CES this year. "We're going into CES together with Xandr — strategizing on clients we're seeing and finding solutions that meet customer needs," Hogan says. He notes that some of those meetings might be more about Xandr's depth of expertise in addressable advertising, or they might be more focused on WarnerMedia's ability to use content from Cartoon Network, TBS, or TNT in conjunction with that addressable capability. He even expects discussions at CES about possible corporate partnerships with AT&T Communications, citing marketers' interest in 5G and AT&T's leadership in its rollout.
"It's not just about what [your business has] to sell," Hogan says. "It's about how we can use those assets, in whatever combination is most appropriate, to partner with our agency partners and our advertisers. We look at it like a master chef would look at a list of ingredients."
That list includes Courageous, for clients that want help crafting branded news content opportunities, as well as agency Fullscreen and Ignite Studios for clients' branded entertainment needs. "We also have CNN and Rick and Morty, which just returned for a fourth season," Hogan adds. "And a whole litany of assets for kids with Warner Brothers."
He sees the upcoming launch of HBO Max as an opportunity, too. "We can reaggregate or find new ways to add to our existing entertainment reach, in addition to our news reach and our sports reach, with huge marquee properties like the NBA and NCAA, and MLB postseason."
Hogan notes that his team will be coordinating with Xandr on scatter business at CES and beyond. (AT&T has announced that WarnerMedia and Xandr will be doing a joint Upfront presentation in May.) And both companies will participate in the Advancing a Diverse Work Force MeetUp at CES on January 8.
Hogan leads agency and client relationship and digital, direct response, and content partnerships across WarnerMedia's ad-supported networks. He points out that the company has undergone a transformation over the past three years, going back to when AT&T acquired the legacy Time Warner businesses. All of the changes benefit the advertisers and brands they serve, as well as the agencies his team partners with so closely. "There's some sentiment in the marketplace that we're just going to the clients. That's incorrect," Hogan says. "We want to work with our agency partners and our client partners together in the same room."
Today, Hogan is more optimistic than ever about the company's ability to bring solutions to clients. He cites the potential audience and data synergies between WarnerMedia's AudienceNOW products and Xandr's data-driven linear products and addressable expertise. "For example, we can work with advertisers to reach the lighter TV viewer," he says.
Hogan notes that he and his counterparts within WarnerMedia are focused on solving clients' biggest challenges — not just from a marketing standpoint, but overall. "We put them at the center of all the tremendous assets that this company has," he says. "All the ways in which this company can aggregate audiences, interact with fans, create content, amplify content, and amplify advertiser messages. Those are the traditional things we're known for."
For Hogan, the ideal approach to serving WarnerMedia's clients is to blend its and other AT&T units' assets to create tailored solutions. "The best way isn't to say, 'Oh, we have this particular tool or piece of content, just go sell it to the client.' The best way is to create the perfect menu for each client, one client at a time, in whatever proportion of those ingredients they and their agency partners need to help solve their marketing objectives," he says. "It's an ecosystem of choice, and a long-term, partnership approach."
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