Why Joint Ventures are the New Way to Go (and Grow)

By NY Interconnect InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Why Joint Ventures are the New Way to Go (and Grow)

If you're in advertising or media planning, then you may want to grab a pen, because it's time to re-write your ad-buying playbook.  After all, we're living in a new, fragmented reality, one where we need to re-imagine how we approach, plan and measure our ad spend.

While audience fragmentation is nothing new, it's never been more prevalent, given the explosion of media platforms, and that consumers have more control than ever over what, where and when they watch content.  As a result, the industry has, rightfully so, shifted its attention towards audience-based buying methodologies.  But that's not enough.  We also need to take a more holistic view at how we connect brands to their audiences (no matter what time of day, platform or device).  That means being able to follow the customer journey across online and offline channels and allowing for more customization as it pertains to the creatives we target them with and the data we collect about them.

This begs several questions, including:

  • How can we scale efficiencies, streamline processes and innovate our product offerings for our clients in this new world?
  • How can we navigate these turbulent, fragmented waters and still deliver a seamless experience for customers?
  • Where do we go from here?

The answer to these can be summed up in two words: joint ventures.

Today, more and more media and ad players are realizing that to best serve clients -- and audiences -- creating joint ventures among all providers is the most efficient way to reach their coveted demographics.  And because no one content platform has that silver bullet, only by working together (whether it's with linear TV, OTT or ISP networks) will we start to see the best possible outcomes.

If you look around across the various other industries, you'll see plenty of examples of how different brands have formed joint ventures to better serve today's consumers.  In the technology space, for example, we have the perfect marriage between Nike and Apple's Nike+ app.  The fashion world has seen Alexander Wang's successful partnership with H&M.  In finance we can see how Apple Pay and MasterCard worked together impeccably to bring consumers a more user-friendly and secure payment experience.

Co-branding initiatives like these make sense in the B2C world.  But they certainly work well in the B2B space, too.  Recently, Viacom and Snap entered into a multi-year advertising deal in which the two work together to develop and produce shows that use popular Snapchat stars.  The result is a more attractive, accessible platform that helps marketers drive brand awareness.  Here, the customer wins.

This was one of the main driving forces that led to the creation of the (new) NY Interconnect (NYI).  To give advertisers the full reach of the New York market, three of the country's leading media providers -- Altice USA, Charter, Comcast -- expanded the existing NYI label by forming a bold joint venture, one that would also create greater cohesiveness among the audience fractions.  Today, with the addition of Fios, DirectTV and Dish audiences, the new NYI can provide multi-screen, advanced advertising to over 6.4 million households -- a veritable one-stop shop for any media-buying need.

This singular, comprehensive approach to media buying is key to delivering highly targeted consumers across linear TV, addressable TV, digital and connected video, and data will play a predominant role in its success.  As the industry seeks to become more integrated, we need to look at not just what different types of data we can collect and share, but at how these new data partnerships will shape the media planning of the future.  For some agencies and media providers, this means facing a steeper learning curve, particularly for those who handle multiple types of buys or who specialize in omni-channel strategies but are less familiar with, say, Advanced TV.  In the end, however, investing in greater collaboration and integration will prove itself to be the smartest strategy for all those involved.

Remember:  Partnerships can provide substantial value for everyone involved, while delivering all the necessary advancements and efficiencies that marketers crave.  Missing out on these opportunities could have enormous impacts on any media company that opts to stay behind the curve.  A synergistic relationship opens the door to greater innovations, enhanced capabilities and, ultimately, a more desirable customer journey.

Photo courtesy of NY Interconnect.

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