CTAM Feeling the Economic Pinch

Nov 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

When cable and television marketing executives gather in Boston for the CTAM Summit that was slated to begin Sunday, the slumping economy will be felt and heard.
CTAM’s Summit was scheduled to kick off Nov. 9 with attendance estimated to reach 2,200 to 2,400, a drop from last year’s 2,700. That’s not unexpected, given the belt-tightening at nearly all businesses.
“It’s no surprise that companies are cutting back on all their expenses and that the Summit will be impacted,” said Char Beales, president-CEO of CTAM. “[However, we] know that higher-level executives and decision makers from cable companies, networks and suppliers will be there.”
The issue top of mind for those attendees likely will be the worsening financial conditions. “Sharing playbooks on surviving—and maybe even thriving—in the economic downturn will fill the sessions and hallway talk,” Ms. Beales said.
But the summit won’t be a conference on the economy. The goal of CTAM is to offer takeaways on subjects such as advanced products and new platforms that will compete with or complement cable and programming, she said.
Among the keynote speakers will be Cammie Dunaway, executive VP of sales and marketing of Nintendo, and David Droga, the creative chairman of New York advertising firm Droga5.
Ms. Dunaway likely will focus on the success of the Nintendo Wii and lessons other businesses can learn from that popular consumer electronics product. “She believes in charting your own path rather than focusing on responding to the competition,” Ms. Beales said. “[Ms.] Dunaway is getting ready for the future with experiential marketing that allows Nintendo users to transform the platform into a two-way communication and product-delivery system.”
David Droga’s session should offer suggestions for marketers on new thinking and execution that’s needed to convert consumers into loyal fans of a brand, Ms. Beales said. “Droga will share how to marry the message with the medium and lay out the new world order for agencies and clients.”
On the new-media front, look for CTAM to offer discussion of topics such as the impact broadband is having on traditional cable business models, key broadband opportunities for cable TV networks and the role of companies outside the cable industry, such as Google and Amazon, on the video business, said Will Richmond, analyst with Video Nuze.com who’ll attend and also spearhead a session on broadband video leadership.
In general, the five themes at the Summit will be product development, creative innovation, multiplatform marketing, viewer engagement and business services, as selected by CTAM members during the Summit planning.
Sessions will include “Marketing to Boomers in a Multiplatform Media World,” “Make Geek Speak Consumer-Relevant,” “Managing Digital Rights,” “Social Media Crash Course,” “Consumer Control of the Video Experience,” “Mobile Video: Tiny Screen, Big Impact,” “MSO Branding—The Competitive Edge,” “State of the Digital Transition: Are You Ready?” and “Unleashing the Power of Social Media Technology.”


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