Inside look at Time Warner Cable Media’s approach to social TV

From Lost Remote:

Time Warner Cable, the fourth largest MSO has a national footprint that helps define the TV ecosystem. There’s often a hunger and feeling of hopeful inevitability that social TV startups will plunge into the billion dollar business that has helped create what we know as TV today for the past fifty plus years. The truth is that TV ad prices are continuing to rise and what was once just a thirty second spot is now a launching pad for a massive social TV campaign.

We were invited to interview Joan Hogan Gillman, the EVP of Time Warner Cable, Inc. and President of Time Warner Cable Media. Gillman and her team of over 1,600 work with advertisers to help them reach their marketing goals with traditional TV at the center complimented and augmented by the social TV world around it. The company’s Superbowl ad is a spot everyone in the social TV world should watch closely. CollegeHumor poked fun at them for putting an ad about TV on TV, but the ad was truly about social and how it affects TV:

The fact that an executive at Gillman’s level gets social TV, wants to talk about social TV and is working social TV into the solutions they provide their advertisers is a good sign for every startup in this space trying to bite off a piece of the billions. Even today, they released a new “Enhanced iTV” offering allowing their advertisers to target time of day and demographics more thoroughly. We interviewed Gillman about her role within Time Warner Cable, how the thirty-second spot is an anchor for their clients and how TV is driving social more than the other way around.

Lost Remote: What’s your role at Time Warner Cable?
Joan Hogan Gillman: I’m the President of Time Warner Cable Media. We’re the division responsible for working with 30,000 plus businesses of all sizes, meeting their marketing needs. Roughly 1600 employees, 600 are interfacing everyday with clients who are commission sales people. We operate in clusters in the US. This has been a Time Warner Cable strategy to cluster our communities and markets. We roughly cover 20-25% of the US footprint in terms of households with really key markets like NY and LA. They’re anchor markets. They’re very, very important to the entertainment business. They’re important to Madison Avenue. They’re important to constituents and consumer groups.

LR: How has the way you’ve sold media to your clients changed?
JHG: Historically the company sold advertising to national, regional and local clients. Today, we talk to a client about what they’re marketing objectives are and we have a portfolio of services we can put together as a solution: online, traditional television, interactive television, long-form advertising, and we can package a solution to reach a very clear segment of the population geographically or demographically to meet that marketers’ needs.

The range of case studies across our footprint is vast. In some cases we have clients that we’ve staged flash mobs for and used social media because the ad went on Time Warner Cable and the ad went on YouTube. There’s nothing that’s stopping us from using all forms of media – mobile, social, to compliment TV, the anchor product. TV still is the anchor in this world of lots of conversation hype around internet advertising, display advertising and social advertising – brand awareness is the anchor. When you think about what’s important for the marketers, the first thing they need to do is connect with the consumer and make that consumer feel different. Its a fiercely competitive market out there.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Lost Remote