Social media platforms are connecting hard-core fans to TV shows and movies in massive numbers, helping build a durable base for success for the programs smart enough to harness it in creative ways. But measuring what that superfan is worth, and how best to connect that superfan to a show and to broader audiences, in a way that everyone in Hollywood can understand is and advertisers will pay for, well, that’s a very different challenge. That’s the takeaway from the past three days of the PromaxBDA conference, which brings together marketing, publicity and promotion execs from throughout entertainment. As the show wrapped Thursday in New York, I took the opportunity to talk with the conference co-chairs, all top execs with NBC, Fox or Warner Bros. and all struggling to figure out what that fan is worth, and how you can consistently reach that fan.
“It’s a challenge here in the U.S. and it’s a global issue, which never before have we faced as marketing executives, where the viewer is so empowered,” said Lisa Gregorian, president and chief marketing officer of the Warner Bros Television Group. She also ended her term as PromaxBDA co-chair Thursday. “We’d craft the message and there was no dialog coming back (from audiences). Now we’re dealing with social issues, measurement issues. Really what viewers have is choice and voice.”