New Digital TV Service Can Help Generate New Business

Introducing Leap Media
by Todd Knutson

leapSmall and mid-size advertising agencies can now offer their clients Digital TV services. A low-cost, turn-key solution, which you can offer as your own, is available to drive new business.

Leap Media Group, founded by TV industry veterans, was created expressly for "smaller, and mid-size agencies looking to develop an interactive TV capability", reported Joe Mandese in MediaDailyNews at the end of September.

Mandese describes digital TV advertising as, "any ad unit on TV beyond the traditional commercial spot. Some examples include interactive TV spots, video on demand messaging, and program guide ads." (Full disclosure: Leap became a client of The List after the article was published, but we have no stake in their business.)

Says Leap co-founder Chris Pizzurro:

"Wouldn't you just love to have something on the TV set where the consumer can just press a button and enter your sweepstakes or make a request for more information?"

Leap offers agencies free planning, buying and executing interactive TV campaigns. Leap generates fees "directly from acquiring advertising inventory from cable and satellite operators and from other interactive TV platform providers", so agencies don't have to bear the cost.

When I read the article in MediaDailyNews, I immediately thought of ways that agencies can offer this service to help generate new business. First, you'll need to work out a deal with Leap so you can "white label" their service, i.e. brand it as your own. Next, your new business and account services staff will need to bone-up on digital TV: educate yourselves about what's going on, what the future holds, and what's in it for your clients.

Once you have the service in-house and fully understand it, here are three ways that offering a Digital TV capability may help you drive new business:

  1. Include digital TV in prospect conversations. If you've done your homework (as described above) and fully understand what's in it for your prospect, ask them smart questions to reveal their potential interest in digital TV, and then match their need with your new capability.
  2. Enhance your next pitch. Digital TV may provide some powerful benefits to those you're pitching, and this capability has the potential to differentiate you from the competition.
  3. Generate organic growth. As a small to mid-size shop, many of your clients won't expect you to have this capability. This could be a new service to enhance an existing relationship, or perhaps even help you retain one that's looking for new ideas. For flat-fee clients, this represents a way to charge for an additional service.

Additional insight: Chris Pizzurro provided me some additional information about how consumers and digital TV are evolving: Video On Demand (VOD) and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are expected to penetrate 50% of U.S. households by 2011. Consumers with digital TVs now know that their TV remote can do more than just change the channel. For example, consumers use their program guides many times a night, and banner ads are appearing on the guides. Same for VOD, where consumer usage numbers are growing year-over-year. Consumers are exposed to :30 second ads, but fewer than on traditional TV, so many prefer it.

I hope some of you see this as an opportunity. If you pursue it, I'd love to hear how it goes.

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