Advanced Advertising: Microsoft's Porter Says Industry Is Ripe For Such Methodology

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New York -- With the economy and the stock market in a constant state of flux, marketers may become wary of deviating from standard advertising practices. But David Porter, Microsoft's video advertising evangelist, says that now is the time to push these advanced methods.

That's what Porter told the audience during a question and answer period with Multichannel News technology editor Todd Spangler, during B&C/Multichannel News's "Advanced Advertising 4.0 event" here on Tuesday.

He said that the latest Nielsen data shows that TV viewership still continues to grow (The measurement reported that the average person spends four hours a day in front of a television). "That's a real testament to America's love affair with TV," said Porter. "As long as the viewer is there, TV is a fantastic business." Porter also said that TV spending is up, with cable leading the way with 12% growth.

One of the things Porter explained that Microsoft does is crowd-source from more than the standard demographics, instead targeting viewers based on lifestyle, behavior, and purchase-based activity. Porter argues that this method helps them find "pockets of viewers in unsuspecting places," thus the commercials are seen by a higher viewing percentage of the target audience. "Targeting does not have to be addressable, it can be more precise than mass media," said Porter.

MSOs have taken flak for still using what many consider to be an out-dated advertising method. "We need to stop picking on the cable operators," said Porter. "They have a lot of different priorities that are fighting for their attention."

Porter, who exited the cable industry in June when he left Cox for Microsoft, said that with the amount that cable operators have on their plate (retaining their subscriber base, inking carriage agreements), they need to partner with different participants in order to move forward. "They don't have to have a ‘build-it-ourselves' mentality," said Porter.

He argued that there will always be the primetime, mass-appeal content on TV, but what goes overlooked is the leftovers. "We'll always have the premium, primetime content," said Porter. "But then there's all the rest of the content on TV."

"You have to decide," said Porter. "Are you looking for scale, or are you looking for one-to-one?"