For more than two decades CTAM, in partnership with Multichannel News, has honored the best marketing in cable by featuring the Mark Award winners. Indeed, the past 22 years demonstrates a remarkable evolution in the cable industry. But, as the pace of change accelerates it requires our marketing efforts to evolve at an equal speed. Without a doubt, the importance of marketing has never been greater, and the stakes never higher. For that reason, we have focused on elevating the stature and prestige of the Mark Awards to reflect this increasing significance.
This year we increased production values of the award ceremony to elevate it to true “event” status, and redesigned the award to reflect the prestige it represents. Perhaps, most importantly, we have increased the experience level of the judges, so that our industry’s most seasoned determine which entries represent our best marketing practices.
None of this would have been possible without the Mark Awards Committee, among the most involved and dynamic group I have worked with. They guided us in reshaping the Awards, as well as adding and eliminating categories. As we wrap up this year, I want to mull on how dramatically things have changed, and why marketing has never been more vital for our industry.
Only 50 years ago we lived in a prehistoric three channel universe, and even the No. 3 channel had an audience share any network would welcome today. The proliferation of choices is due largely to the cable industry’s investment, a pillar of the NCTA’s current campaign. But just as we were getting used to a landscape populated with hundreds of channels, now we need to embrace increasingly diverse technologies including HD, VOD, DVRs, Slingboxes, podcasts, broadband, wireless, IPTV and digital multicasting, creating both new challenges and opportunities.
Even as consumer choices proliferate, the biosphere is changing for advertisers. Not long ago they relied on a more primitive system of sweeps, ratings and diaries, but now we are wrestling with meters, engagement, branded entertainment, out of home viewing, live, live plus same day, live plus seven — the complexity is increasing exponentially. Just look at this year’s upfront to witness the seismic shifts. As a result, the importance of evolving our marketing efforts has never been more critical. And the value of the CTAM conference and Mark Awards has never been greater.
Through CTAM we have the greatest opportunities for cross pollination. We exchange ideas and best practices, absorbing traits that help us compete and discarding those that no longer provide an advantage. And, within this context, the most effective and innovative marketing is recognized with our most prestigious honor, the Mark Award.
Congratulations to the 50 Gold and 109 Silver Mark Award winners whose work graces these pages. In the coming weeks, I urge everyone to view the strategy behind them at www.markawards.com. I hope you find them insightful as we all push to flourish in this “brave new world.”
Executive VP, Marketing & Digital Media
National Geographic Channel
23rd Annual Mark Awards Committee
Steve Schiffman — Chair
Executive VP, Marketing & Digital Media National Geographic Channel
Doug Hurst — Vice Chair
Senior VP, On Demand & Affiliate Marketing
VP, Affiliate Marketing
A&E Television Networks
DZP Marketing Communications
Senior Director, Marketing
NBC Universal Cable
Turner Network Sales
VP, Marketing & Research
Senior VP, Marketing
Independent Film Channel
Director, Affiliate Marketing
Lifetime Entertainment Services
Executive VP, Business Development
Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable
Lynn A. Finamore
Director, Affiliate Marketing
Home Box Office
Marie A. Kennedy
Partner, Executive Account Director
George Lima III
Director, Field Marketing & Affiliate Ad Sales
Partner, Creative Director
The History Channel
Senior Marketing Communications Manager
Motorola Connected Home Solutions
Senior Copy Director
Cox Communications, Inc.
Senior VP, Affiliate Marketing & Ad Sales
Fox Cable Networks
John M. Zamoiski
NMA Entertainment & Marketing