Jermaine Roseman is a digital product thought leader who oversees Advanced Advertising Solutions and Operational Strategy at A+E Networks. His team is responsible for all dynamic ad insertion efforts on and off domain as well as A+E’s addressable and programmatic operational strategy. Previous to A+E Networks, Jermaine was a Platform Manager at NBCUniversal, supporting their affiliate TV Everywhere launch, and prior to NBCUniversal he held project manager roles at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and multiple e-commerce companies.
Here are his 3 Tips for media businesses to #RecoverStronger over the next few months.
Q. What is your advice for the media industry to Recover Stronger from the current turbulent market?
Tip #1: Make sure your team is okay!
2020 has been the year of challenges and transitions; from parents who now have to home-school their children or care for their elderly or sick parents/family members, to the abrupt shift from working in an office to working from home. Normal individual and team dynamics have been completely uprooted by all things 2020. Managing all of this has increased employees’ stress and anxiety levels, which will inevitably impact how work gets done. In order to help alleviate some of the stress our team members and staff feel, leaders should ensure they are having conversations with their team on an individual and group level to ensure their team is managing this change.
In order to face these headwinds, A+E leadership extended some of our holidays to show thanks for the hard work the team has done. Personally, I have continued my weekly one-on-ones with the members of my team, during which we discuss their projects, but also their well-being and how they are managing this change. I encourage everyone on my team to schedule time during the work week to get away from the computer, go for a walk and get out of the house. I also, encourage my team to use our mental health benefits, group talk sessions the organization offers, and to use their holiday time throughout the year so they can get away from the day to day. Further, we have virtual happy hours, to catch up on life and we have continued our monthly team meeting to maintain our culture.
If you haven’t already done so, schedule individual one-on-ones with your team; not only inquire about work, but also the well-being of them and their families. 2020 has been rough and the more organizations can do to support their workforce, the better it is for both the company and its people.
Tip #2: Consumption has increased, and so have the errors. Follow the data
The top headlines in the media industry since the beginning of the pandemic have surrounded the increase in video consumption due to Covid-19. Overall, this is a great thing for the industry. Audiences get the opportunity to explore new content due to the “extra” time on their hands. But on the flip side, increased consumption can also increase errors and exacerbate issues on the player and ad server, exposing issues that were not previously known. So, follow the data.
Following the data can mean many things for your organization or tech stack. At A+E, the increase in consumption allowed my team to review new VAST errors that were occurring; which would not have been identified without the increase in viewership.
We used our analytics tools, including Watching That, to dig deep in the data and find trends and correlate them to content, to programmatic partners, and even to the devices we support. By following the data, we have been able to make adjustments to our ad stack and improve our ability to monetize content on all points of distribution. Increased consumption is great, but an organization’s ability to improve its product during this time will pay dividends in the future.
Tip #3: Turn lemons into Lemonade – Right size your business
2020 has been a tough year for many industries, especially the video and advertising industry. However, we should use this time to make the best out of it. One way is right sizing your business by introducing continuous improvement projects and audits of your operations and processes.
This has been a prime opportunity for A+E to right size our business, by investing in A/B testing and continuous improvement activities. Due to the larger audience we conducted multiple A/B test on our ad and user experience. As a result, we are better understanding how our viewers react to different ad experiences and engage with our sites and apps. In addition, in the spirit of continuous improvement, we performed audits on our ad operation processes to ensure we are prepared for the future and that we are using industry best practices.
As the saying goes: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In this case, use this time as an opportunity rather than a threat. Invest in projects that will right size your business for the future.
Q. How has this period been for you? Any positives or negatives that you would like to share?
This has been a period of unprecedented change. The great thing about times of change is that you can use them to review your vision for the future by trying different approaches to reach your goal. The biggest highlight this period has been challenging organizations to work differently by leveraging technology. A+E has been working from home since March and my team has been as productive as ever. I am really proud of this. This change has challenged us to think and work smarter as an organization. Covid-19 has shown us that we have a reduced need for formal meetings. In fact, to me, the greatest positive has been my team’s effective use of communication tools to manage our projects and get things done. In kind, executives are learning that the water cooler conversations are still happening, but now they are over Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
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