A new partnership between Talbot Digital and Screen Strategies Media is helping further blur the line between types of ad buying.
That line is what had led to a long-running feud between digital and traditional media consultants over commissions.
As online marketing became a larger share of campaign budgets, traditional media consultants started bringing digital in-house to cut out their rivals. Now, Chris Talbot’s self-titled firm is offering digital consultants their own way forward: give clients the ability to synchronize their TV and online ad buys.
“I honestly think there’s not a lot of history with a combined media planning approach,” Talbot told C&E. “A lot of folks, unfortunately, will take a TV spot that’s going up in traditional media and shoot that over to the digital team, and there’s really nothing more to it than that.
Campaigns are lucky if there’s even a conversation about the TV schedule and what’s going on with digital; looking at how many points are touching your audience and how digital can amplify that message, or figuring out how digital can make up the difference.
Really what you should be doing is looking at the schedule, the content — looking at it holistically.”
This holistic approach, Talbot says, could help save clients money.
“You get better results every time with an integrated plan,” he said. “There’s no additional fees to the client. It’s actually going to save campaigns money and get them more efficiency in the buy. The difference is that when they had a line item for TV in the past and a line item for digital in the past, those were separate line items.”
Now, Talbot’s digital shop isn’t about to start producing TV spots, which have their own creative and production challenges. Talbot Digital will remain focused on online, but the firm will partner with traditional media consultants to produce TV ads and then share the commission on the buys.
That shared commission structure disincentivizes the consulting team from pushing a campaign’s ad dollars into one channel over the other.
“In the past the experts have had a conflict of interest between their bottom line and what might be best for a campaign,” Talbot said. “Is it a shock that the TV firm says you should do a lot of TV, and the digital firm is going to say you should do a lot of digital?”
Commissions won’t need to go up, Talbot argued, and in some cases may even be lowered.
But commissions, which clients abhor, won’t go away any time soon, Talbot said. “To do digital and traditional television placement there has been a fee structure that is commission based, that won’t change.”
While Talbot plans to partner with TV ad makers, he sees a future when the line between content types is also erased – a future many in the industry view as inevitable.
“When you look four, six, eight years out, you’re going to see a blurring of what that means,” he said. “The challenge is going to be creating advertising that does not look like that advertising.”