Simulmedia’s John Piccone Applies Web Techniques to the Scale of TV

John Piccone is the SVP of Sales at Simulmedia, the digital ad targeting platform for linear television. John has extensive experience in digital ad sales, having spent time at  24/7 Real Media and HealthiNation. We recently spoke with John about his current role and Simulmedia.

The Makegood: John, can you tell us about your role and responsibilities as SVP Sales at Simulmedia?

JP: I am responsible for revenue and client delight.

The Makgeood: What would you say is the greatest challenge you are facing with current and prospective clients?

JP: The greatest challenge is changing human behavior. Even though we’ve run over 200 successful campaigns, introducing new techniques requires getting the industry comfortable with the value we’re bringing. The television industry has been using the same techniques for the last 30 years. This is mostly because the tools for understanding what works had not yet been developed and audience fragmentation wasn’t bad enough to require new approaches. In the last two years, we’ve seen a shift to a place where advertisers and agencies are actively seeking new techniques to re-aggregate these fragmented TV audiences, similar to what was done on the web.

The Makegood: Simulmedia believes that the TV and online ad worlds will be getting a lot closer over the next few years. Can you tell us about the changes marketers can expect to see and how they can stay ahead of the curve?

JP: The “TV is dead” argument resurfaces every 5 or so years. TV is not only “not dead” it is getting a bigger slice of the advertising pie every year. The problem is that there are also more programming choices and more ad inventory every year now. This opens up the opportunity to apply web techniques to the scale of television advertising, so it becomes even more effective and efficient.  The marketers who stay ahead of the curve and embrace this change will see huge short term competitive advantages over their competitors.

The Makegood: Are there any campaigns that you can tell us about that were especially successful in 2011?

JP: We’ve run over 200 campaigns in the last 18 months. One of our travel clients was promoting destinations. Through our anonymous data, we were able to identify viewers who had preference for one destination over another. Models were created for look-a-like viewers for targeting similar to the way you’d do it on the web. We were able to find prospects for the client in places where inventory was less expensive than where they might have bought using traditional TV media planning.

What’s been interesting for us to see is that the people who know TV advertising the best, the networks, are our biggest clients.  They know that these techniques work, they’ve just been waiting for someone to put all the data together, apply the right kind of science and make it actionable through inventory relationships.

The Makegood: Thanks, John.