Pet Circle’s CMO Jon Wild Says Linear TV Is “Inflexible”

Pet Circle’s CMO Jon Wild Says Linear TV Is “Inflexible”

Speaking at “The Future Of TV Advertising” event in Sydney yesterday, Pet Circle CMO Jon Wild criticised linear TV for being inflexible and slow in providing marketers with feedback data. 

Wild, who heads marketing for online pet food retailer Pet Circle, was speaking on the panel “What CMOs need from TV today to drive effectiveness”. He was joined by fellow CMOs Susan Coghill from Tourism Australia and Stuart Tucker from HiPages (a platform that connects homeowners with tradies). The panel was hosted by Mi-3’s Paul McIntyre. 

When asked for his position on linear TV, Wild said he was going to give his opinion “on the things linear TV needs to do better”.

He began by saying “it’s very inflexible.”

Whilst you might get feedback on TV spot runs “three weeks after the run” it’s “crazy” that “you [marketers] don’t get it immediately”.

“As a marketer, you want to get them as soon as you possibly can.”

He went on to compare the reporting to e-commerce platform Shopify, saying “I don’t quite understand why the industry hasn’t embraced that kind of technology.”

Later in the panel, Wild clarified why quick data was so important to Pet Circle, saying “we share a monthly report with our VCs on our marketing [activity]” and attempt to show that there is “nothing to hide”.

 “You try to create confidence in what you’re doing through using data,” he said. 

Tucker was more positive about linear TV, saying “we literally built our brand, at least on the consumer side (the homeowner side) off the back of linear TV. More specifically – a very big move we took on The Block a few years ago”.

Linear TV formed less of HiPages strategy when it came to reaching tradies, however, he said – “its less around linear and more getting targeted on channels like YouTube to reduce waste”.

He added that he was “ambivalent” about whether the viewer came from linear or streaming, saying a viewer from BVOD is still “a viewer”. 

Tucker did go on to say that, due to the “infrequent” nature of homeowners needing the services of tradies, quick feedback was less of a pressing factor. 

“Unlike John, I don’t have to prove our return on every spot, which is great”. 

“When I joined the company five years ago, I was a bit horrified that we were sitting around about 27 per cent for prompted awareness. We’ve lifted that to 66 per cent in five years.” 

Tourism Australia’s Coghill said linear TV was “still incredibly important.” 

“It’s still a key part of our mix, I wouldn’t say it is the largest part of our mix,” she said. 

“We’ve never had the luxury of big budgets to have big TV campaigns around the globe. We operate typically in 15 markets around the world. For a short time through the pandemic, we were active here in Australia and we did spend a lot on TV. About  40 per cent of our budget was dropped in TV during that period here domestically.”

As Tourism Australia needs to get its brand message out there in 15 markets it has to be very targeted with its TV spend, Coghill said. 

In some markets, such as India, linear TV is becoming increasingly popular, however Tourism Australia looks at it on a “market by market basis”.

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