The 2013 Marketron Fall Symposium In Review

Mediascape: The Brand of the Future For Radio, The Resilient Medium

TDGA, 11/18/2013


What does the future hold for Today's Radio Broadcaster, The Traffic Professionals, The Data-Hungry Sales Team That Will Be Marketing Multiple Content Delivery Methods?







The Marketron Fall Symposium offered an open, honest evaluation of Broadcasting today... and tomorrow. Locating the Fall seminar in Los Angeles helped  all the attendees focus on the advertising aspects, being only a few miles fro some of the largest Advertising Agencies, west of New York's Madison Avenue. Our observations of the agenda, the pre-planning and the program has to give high marks to Marketron. One might imagine one of the earliest traffic software companies still in business would reflect an "old time" feel. But, while the company and some of it's products are in that 'legendary' framework- they are ready for the demands of tomorrow's trends in traffic, make no mistake.

But, our impression  was quickly confirmed that it may not be in the person of DeltaFlex, or VT(Visual Traffic) and even the earlier versions of Marketron. To literally capitalize on the new era of multimedia delivery, consolidated buys of over-the-air radio, audio streaming, TV streaming, mobile, websites, sub-channels all claiming part of the available listeners time, think of the new buyers, the new audio consumers as programmatic consumers. A blend or mix of all the delivery methods.

Our mention of DeltaFlex actually might be the only time the name was mentioned. Granted some die-hards love it. Hey, I do, too. But remember there are fans of Datacount, too. Eventually, it's going to be Marketron for this company transitioning many of its features into the product known as Mediascape. Mediascape is where the pooled data will be processed, and yes-- it will be in its own 'Cloud."  Don't reject the Cloud- that will make the entire concept financially viable, flexible enough to roll-up; or drill-down each individual component or give corporate the bottom=-line numbers needed to efficiently study the analytics that will combine your station, your cluster, region or entire coast-to-coast corporate complex. 

As Jeff Haley, President / CEO of Marketron explained in his opening remarks on Day One, a company with the customer base the size of Marketron is highly able to learn from their clients, just as effectively as the stations learn from Marketron. They claim approximately 7,000 customers in the broad scope of the Radio Industry. So the sharing, the learning, the strategies literally are an effective two-way street.  Mediascape is the recipient of the data from Marketron systems all over the country (or the world, for that matter).

Absorbing all that Marketron has going in its rapidly developing arsenal takes a lot of attention, as each new product is filtered into the mix. And as listed on the Agenda- one quickly starts realizing the day of enter orders, producing a log and reconciling the post-broadcast "as played" log for Invoicing is literally only going to be one small ingredient in a very complex recipe for what the future of Broadcasting is already becoming.

Cases in point:

  • Network Connect
  • Pay Now Electronic billing and Invoice paying
  • Electronic Proof of Performance on a Daily, Weekly or you design it basis
  • Electronic Orders, Confirmations and Processing literally in a paperless society.

In covering various User Conferences, Symposiums, etc. it's not TDGA's duty to try to sell products for the various software suppliers- but it is definitely one of our member benefits to keep you in touch with what products do, why it's important, what needs it covers and definitely to alert our members to some highly creative, high revenue potential products that will make your responsibilities more productive and your station's revenue flow ever on the increase.

I see such features at almost every such conference we attend. This Marketron Symposium was definitely no exception to that trend. It was refreshing to see, hear or watch as the presentations touched on easily understood such monetizing. Monetizing is one of the decades buzzwords and if I was looking for example[le - this two-day session obliged by helping me fill several tablets with creativity and cash-producers for your Sales teams.

Some are still very much in the developing stages, others are ready-to-roll, but as Erica Farber noted in her address in the final day - the Day of the Salesperson that only sells 30's and 60's is rapidly coming to an end. Erica says one or two years at best-- maybe that's true in the smallest markets with only a modest number of stations. But if competition is present in your markets- that salesperson survival on selling spots only is going to be very limited.

I obviously cannot cover to full days of sessions in just an article or two. So allow me to use the Reader's Digest approach of condensing to include a few key points, and suggest you follow-up on the Marketron Website, or talk top your Sales Reps to get more printed brochures or materials.  The ones we checked out were brief, easy to follow and to quote another buzzword-- they were spot-on.

Understanding The Mediascape Concept

Mediascape is a platform being rolled out in separate segments. The first phases, by the way, are keyed to interfacing with the Marketron product. VT-Visual Traffic may (or may not) prove tro be effective in the long-term concept- but at present, it's advised that you consider the early segments to be Marketron only. I interpreted this to mean VT inclusion is not in the short term plans for Mediascape interfacing. DeltaFlex was not mentioned at all, which means they'd prefer their customers were thinking about upgrading to Marketron.

Among the features in the Mediascape group to consider as available now ae:

  • Automated Delivery of Spot Times to Advertisers or their Agencies,
  • Electronic Orders and Invoices, which is geared to include NTR (Non-Traditionaol Revenue) on the Electronic Invoices,.
  • Network Connect completes the Network (or Syndicatiors) Affidavits vua
    • Electronic Importation
    • Integrates with Traffic
    • Automatic Uploads of Affidavits
    • and, Electronic Revisions


This is the name used to offer you several apects on Customer Support. As Jeff ondon explained in his presentation of the 3,000 or more support vcalls, easily 70% are related top "How To" questions. (How do I find the Report for something, How can I move spots to another area, etc.)

MyMarketron was aimed at making it easier for Customers/Users (and obviously for Marketron, too). So they now offer a variety of assistance services beside the one0-on-one discissions. These, said, Jeff incude:

  • Log-In Sessions for Complimentary Live Training Webinars, conveniently scheduled.
  • Online Manuaks where you can downoad by specific  topics for quick easy to understand access.
  • A Status Report on earlier vquestions that may have required research or re-creatring your reported concern.
  • A handy list showing all features currently in your Marketron Accounts, to help you avoid searching for a feature you may not have included in your configuration.

Marketron Interactive & Digital Economics

If creativity excites you, this was a session well worth attending. Sam Caputa discussed how to literally develop not only revenues on yourv website, but also how to give station listeners reasons to head to your website for getting involved in your offerings on the web. We might point out here, that Erica Farber was rather critical of the Stations that place photos of their air staff (not always most complimentary) and then think you've given listeners a reason to visit your .com location. Sam, we're happy to say, gave a lengthy list of ideas from his "IdeaVault" and I'm already considering plagerizng one of them in search of " the Grouchiest Looking Traffic Director in TDGA." His approach was showing photos of the Grouchiest Babies and the laughter told me he has a winner. Marketron does the bulk of the work in design, layouts, etc. It's a modest per-promotion fee so might be worth looking into. He had ideas by the way for everything from webs to email, podcasts, mobile, social media and subchannels (HD2,HD3, etc).

It's an extraordinary source of data, demos, best hours and several other dara sets to pass onto your advertisers next time you're selling the vweb assets of yiour stations. I liked this one, and I don't even own any more stations right now.

Also, check out their TEXT Campaigns for mobile, as they say in Sas Meetings this one is hot, hot hot.

I Believe I'm Going To Hold The The User Group Afternoon Exchange for a Separate Article.

TDGA Member Christy Anderson, who now has become a Consultant for Marketron was joined by Davin Hanson (from Marketron's Support Services Management Team) and the two honestly opened up a wide variety of topics dealing with concerns of Traffic personnel.

If you've ever attended a roundtable where no one participated-- these two have the gift to get the discussions going. I must admit the combination of Christy who has been exposed to years of situations at he multi-station level in Clarkesville, Tennessee and Davin who is often charged with solving those concerns from the Marketron persective quickly let everyone know this was the session to ask away and if anyone was trying to stump the experts-- it was enlighening to hear questions, scenarios and situations solved using the software systems.

I'm going to ask Christy and Davin to become Bloggers for TDGA and send along some Q&A combos. A very sharp team!  I'll let you know how we so.

Having now attended several WideOrbit User Conference, two for OSI Users at Harris Broadcast and this was my second for Marketron- I'm not going to pick a winner, because ceach one proved to me this was something a station owner should "spring for" if they want to keep their own Traffic Team at the Top.  Each of the three companies do it slightly different and I must say, they all mae the trip very worthwhile.  It;s not definite, but Marketron's 2014 Symposium is being planned for a City in the mid-section of the Country, maybe Chicago or something ilke that. Keep tuned to nthe TDGA Website and we'll pass along the actual city, date, etc when he times get closer. 

While the hosts always manage to work in some geat entertainment, too; we must warn you it's intensive, fun, educational and somewhat exhausting. I was able to capture one of the attendees heading for the hotel's comfortable sofas after the final session... and we're looking for the perfect caption for the photo. Maybe something like... "Wow! At Last! This feels good!"