CMAmedia Recap: Answering Key Questions

It’s a wrap! The first CMAmedia event is officially complete – and it hit a home run with great insights, industry news and bold ideas.

It’s no secret that the media landscape – digital and traditional – is changing. This change makes our industry an incredibly dynamic and exciting place to be, but it also carries a host of unknowns and uncertainties that make it challenging to navigate. In exploring these unknowns, a key question emerged, which we should all ask ourselves as we take our clients, businesses and industry into an uncharted future – what do audiences really want?

Each session addressed a different aspect of this fundamental question:

  • Sean Stanleigh, managing editor of Globe Content Studio, demonstrated, through a series of successful campaigns, how audiences are engaging with the Studio’s carefully curated, multi-media campaigns that value quality over quantity and shift the focus from page views to meaningful engagement.
  • David Phillips, president and chief operating officer of NLogic, took us through a thoughtful journey to examine the intangible drivers that inform people at their core. He discussed how tectonic shifts, like person to platform and plan/post to set/optimize, are changing our industry’s landscape – and how we interact with it. Fear, he said, in all its forms, is the “nugget” that can cause us to focus too much on ROI and too little on creating meaningful campaigns for TV and radio.  He was assisted in his presentation by Spencer Charters, vice president of data and advanced advertising for Corus, who shared innovations in data analytics of audience demographics.
  • Lorne Solway, Carrot Rewards’ chief marketing and strategy officer, explained how our shifting landscape is impacting consumer behaviours around loyalty and rewards. From pay-to-play, to influencer marketing, to segment and platform diversification, it was clear that that the commonality among audiences is their desire for engaging – not just great – content. Carrot Rewards’ Lauren White, research associate, also shared a glimpse into the behavioural science behind Carrot Rewards, and how the “predictably irrational” can be a receptive to a behaviour-changing “nudge”.
  • Claude Galipeau, chief revenue officer, Torstar Corporation; Jeff Vanderby, senior manager of product marketing for global markets, Cision; and Kirsty March, senior producer, CBC, participated in a panel discussion on the future of the newsroom. Moderated by Matt Roth, senior director, Kaiser Lachance Communications, it was clear that “fake news” will continue to be an issue for the industry, increasing the importance of quality reporting, honesty, transparency and diverse content. These key takeaways are what tomorrow’s reader will demand from their media content.

After listening to these high-calibre speakers and panelists, it’s clear that delivering what audiences want is not a question with one, neat answer. Our audiences are diverse, and the solution must be just as multi-faceted. What is also clear from this session is that there has never been more data at our fingertips to better understand our consumers. The industry is making great strides to accurately understand and deliver what consumers want – not simply what we think is best.

A marketing campaign, in whatever form it takes, is only as good as our understanding of who we are trying to reach. We must invest in the time, tools and talent which allow us to listen thoughtfully, learn meaningfully and move forward understanding our own drivers a little better.


About the Authors: Maggie Hall is a manager at Kaiser Lachance Communications (KLC). Janine Allen is senior vice president and partner at KLC. She is also a member of CMA’s B2B Council.