Three ways video is evolving for consumers – and marketers

Don’t talk about platforms to Bloomberg Media Global Chief Revenue Officer Keith Grossman. “Platforms are becoming increasingly irrelevant,” he says. “Experience is becoming increasingly more relevant.”

Grossman expanded on that idea last week at MediaPost’s OMMA Video conference during Advertising Week New York last week, joining a panel discussion centered on unraveling the complexity that surrounds video ad campaigns in an era that offers more opportunities to watch than ever.


L-R: MediaPost’s Ross Fadner, moderator; Patrick Bennett, EVP, Creative, iCrossing; Caitlin Bergmann, Director, Content & Creative, MediaCom; Keith Grossman, Global CRO, Bloomberg Media. 

Here are three ways Grossman sees video evolving to deliver a better consumer experience  – while simultaneously simplifying the challenges faced by brands, agencies and publishers:

1.  Strategists will increasingly focus on the consumer experience.

Grossman believes that the complexity of an ever-expanding universe of platforms and devices has created a disconnect between the way people watch video and the way media is planned, bought and created.

An example of that can be found in OTT – video content streamed “over the top,” without a cable or satellite subscription. “We have a tremendous amount of consumers engaging with us on devices like Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire,” Grossman said, but there isn’t a standard way of looking at it among brands and agencies. “Half think it’s digital, and the other half think it’s television.”

“But what is the experience, over the device?” he asked. When you think in those terms, about video as well as other media, the problem disappears: “You’re either viewing it, reading it, or listening to it.”

“There will be an evolution in how content is strategically planned to align against experiences.” – Keith Grossman

“We have a healthy ecosystem,” he said, “but I do think there will be an evolution in how content is strategically planned to align against experiences.” And that helps marketers, creatives, buyers and media companies work in concert to make content people want to watch.

2. Data will yield insights that spark new ideas.

“It’s a wonderful aspiration to have ad campaigns go to the right person, on the right device, at the right place, at the right time, in the right mood, in the right weather, at the right temperature,” Grossman joked, as the panel discussed how data can sometimes limit creative.

But using data to understand real-world trends can effectively support and inform creative efforts, he said. At Bloomberg, the media group can tap into the company’s research division, Bloomberg Intelligence, that provides objective industry and company analysis for financial decision makers.

Grossman talked about one advertising client who wanted to know more about the future of retail. A Bloomberg Intelligence analyst found that the CEO and CFO of one of the client’s key competitors used the word “mobile” five times as much as the competitive set in earnings reports. That pointed to a real-world trend: the competitor’s mobile app, which has the capability to suggest something you might like from a nearby store in real time, via text message.


The company “is not advertising that they’re shifting retail to two-way communication – but the data show that’s what they’re doing,” Grossman said, adding:  “If you can take intelligence like that and hand it over to a creative and say, ‘think about this transformation,”  that’s when things become really powerful, and really successful.” Deeper understanding of how evolving technology is changing human behavior fosters better storytelling – through video and other media.

3.  Everything that can be bought programmatically, will be – and that’s ok.

Anything that can become digitized ultimately will be digitized, Grossman believes. “But I don’t think that means the death of anything,” he continued. “Things evolve. I read more than ever, it’s just on a device, instead of a book. It’s still long form.”  

“One of the things we can do as marketers is step back and realize that we are our best allies – and worst enemies.” Keith Grossman

And there’s a threshold when it comes to targeting programmatically. “Even if you know you have me as a consumer of one, if you get me on the wrong day – it’s the difference between Tuesday and Wednesday – it means nothing. So if you have limited resources  – and everyone has limited resources! – you have to create video content that can go to the largest target of a niche audience that you can get,” Grossman said.

Breathe deep: “One of the things we can do as marketers,”  Grossman added, “is step back and realize that we are our best allies and our worst enemies.”

Read next: The digital era has put consumers firmly in control of their experiences. What does that mean for you?

Watch: MedaPost OMMA Video conference panels

– Jen Robinson | October 6, 2016