CTAM: "From Chaos to Control"


Cable marketers confronting a cornucopia of change are setto converge in Chicago for the annual CTAM Marketing Summit.

The "From Chaos to Control" theme of this year'sgathering of network and operator marketers reflects the desire of the marketing group tomake sense out of the profound shifts that have swept through the cable industry and theconsumer marketplace in recent years.

"Their whole world is changing," said CharBeales, president and chief operating officer of CTAM. "They have to sell newproducts at the same time that they're facing tough competition. Within the industry,companies are consolidating, and systems are being clustered and swapped. And consumerbehavior is also changing all around them. With all of this going on, they're seeking morecontrol."

On a macro level, the conference is addressing some ofthese concerns with speakers from outside of the industry who are renowned for masteringrapidly changing markets in their own businesses.

  • Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Co. is in a business that can offer CTAM attendees a number of marketing lessons.
  • Scott McNealy, chairman, president and CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc., has industry executives wondering whether he will discuss the sizable investments that his archrival, William Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., has made in the cable industry.
  • Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp. and chairman and CEO of The Fox Group;
  • Kay Koplovitz, founder and outgoing chairman and CEO of USA Networks Inc.;
  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School.

The conference will also spotlight two of the cableindustry's most promising new products -- digital television and high-speed access tothe Internet via cable modems.

Cable's link to the Internet will be analyzed during atwo-hour closing brunch moderated by Cable News Network's Jeff Greenfield. On that panelare Julian Brodsky, vice chairman of Comcast Corp.; Avram Miller, vice president anddirector of corporate-business development at Intel Corp.; George Bell, CEO ofsearch-engine company Excite; Scott Teissler, senior vice president of media strategy andchief technology officer at CNN; and Scott Kurnit, CEO of The Mining Co., an Internetcompany.

The conference's workshops and seminars will also tacklenitty-gritty issues for cable marketers, including marketing plans, customer-retentiontechniques, direct-marketing, research, segmentation and target marketing and, of course,branding.

CTAM will also induct Home Box Office and CNN into itsMarketing Hall of Fame at the conference.

And eight members will receive "TAMI Awards" fortheir contributions to the organization. Along with Kurnit and Rooney, they are:

  • Jim Braun, director of new-product development for Time Warner Cable;
  • Bruce Friend, vice president of worldwide research and planning for Nickelodeon;
  • Pete Gatseos, vice president of strategic research for Tele-Communications Inc.;
  • Karin Henderson, creative director for MK Advertising Partners;
  • Frederick Livingston, business-development consultant; and
  • Diana Ritchie, senior vice president of new-media development for Disney Televentures.

CTAM officials said they expect to match last year'sattendance in Orlando, Fla., of 2,495.

Also, Monday, June 29, at 5:15 p.m., Cablevision magazine (asister publication to Multichannel News) will co-host the annual "MarkAwards." In a departure from its usual ceremonies, the awards will be presented witha comedy-club theme. Comedy Central's Ben Stein and Jimmy Kimmel(Win BenStein's Money) will perform. Two networks -- HBO, for its marketing prowess, and CNN,for its Gulf War coverage -- will be inducted into the CTAM Hall of Fame that night.