How Has Video and TV Convergence Affected Agency Culture?


While most if not all digital and TV departments have merged on paper, behind closed doors the reality is often quite different. In this second part of VAN’s look at how video and TV convergence has been affecting agencies, we look at the cultural impact. Four agency staffers – one of whom left their agency within the last 12 months – the following question:

Culturally speaking, is there a difference between the type of people who buy TV and those who buy digital?  Are those more familiar with TV comfortable with with the move to a more technical, data-driven industry?  Are their more perks when working on one side or the other?

Anonymity was granted to all participants on request.

Agency Staffer A

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.08.55There is a difference in approach from TV teams and from digital teams, but this is not a barrier, simply a hurdle, and something which in fact should be turned in to an advantage.

It is a fact that the majority of video budgets have and will come from TV budgets, from this perspective it is extremely valuable for those in control of TV budgets to understand themselves and educate clients of the value of video, but all video not just 4oD and ITV Player.

The core skills of TV buyers mean that they will not be as familiar with the data available to us online, as digital buyers.  And as we know, one of Video’s key strengths is the environment which you consume it (online) and the accountability available, which offers more than simply impacts figures from BARB.

However, what digital buyers must learn is that video should be measured by all the available measures available to us, and particularly measures that they may be familiar with across other online formats, this is no doubt where the initial issues with CTR came from.

Agency Staffer B

Agency Staffer BYes there is [a difference]. This is not a blanket statement but true in many cases. When talking to sales houses you get the distinct impression that digital teams are less negotiable/sociable, and just expect as they (a lot of them being young) have been born in to the “new media”. They therefore get the perks and attention from new companies wanting their “new” money.

In our case TV buyers probably could do with a little more digital data confidence but at the same time it is becoming more and more part of their job. More training would always be welcome.

Agency Staffer C

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.09.03Culturally, departments are different – but traits are slowly being adopted by the other. For example, digital teams don’t answer phones whilst TV buying culture dictates you have to pick up your phone. I’m not sure there are more perks for one overall, just different. However, entry level digital team members will get more perks from media owners than those in broadcast. Digital parties are better, they have to push the boat out more. TV teams are slowly getting to grips with data and are far behind their digital counterparts.

Agency Staffer D

Agency Staffer DYes and it is changing, simply digital needs to open up to ‘old media’ and TV buyers need to embrace digital data and processes. Sharing knowledge is important from both sides.

Digital data is a new for TV buyers and I think it has been miss-sold or not fully explained so there have been many misunderstanding on what is possible with it, such as it isn’t 100% perfect.

Perks are perks and I think digital get more but I think the issue around perks is more about workload. Digital folk saying they are too busy to help but have tome to take a 2.5-3hr lunch is what annoys others.


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