NBCU Introduces Advertising Automation for TV Media Buying

We’ve seen automation rip its way through the newsroom. Now, it looks like it’s hit the sales department.

NBCU announced the introduction of Advertising Automation, enabling companies to purchase TV ads on network shows without needing to talk to a real salesperson. Just log online, click a few buttons, and the ad is placed. According to the story, nearly all of NBCU’s ad inventory will be available, with the exception of ads in future marquee events like the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup.

What this means for Advertisers: Marketing departments have become accustomed to being able to directly buy targeted ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more from an online dashboard. By not having to go through a salesperson, a marketer can treat their ad buys like a fantasy football game, customizing campaigns based on their customer data, and plugging the request straight into the network’s ad system.

What this means for Networks: If this is successful, and becomes standard practice across all networks, then the very idea of “Network” becomes even less important than ever. A Marketer can simply search for shows that match their customer data, and make the purchases. They don’t even really need to remember the name of the show they bought, they’ll simply be looking for the demographics.

What this means for Salespeople: If you’re making your living waiting for the phone to ring and then placing the order, then you are about to be replaced. The account executive will still be important for Tier 1 advertisers. But the value a salesperson brings to their network may become their ability to identify a a new advertiser trying out the automated system, and upsell them into extended sponsorship packages.

Thoughts or feedback?