On July 17th, FreeWheel hosted our first annual Publishers User Summit, geared specifically towards bringing together the power users of our platform with the FreeWheelers who support and educate them. These are the people who are on the front lines of the converging media landscape, making daily decisions that deeply impact how the industry is evolving. But as the ecosystem gets more complex, so do the needs of their businesses. FreeWheel is focused on ensuring these critical stakeholders have the software, service, and support to navigate such a complicated landscape.
The day was thoughtfully planned to speak to the needs of those who use our software every day and included platform insights, best practices and plenty of networking opportunities, capped off by a keynote presentation by the indomitable Neen James.
Starting with Strategy
I was proud to kick off the day sharing FreeWheel’s core areas of focus with our users. We have a vested interest in the growth of the entire television ecosystem, and we have undertaken a responsibility to help television as a medium continue to thrive. We think the best way for that to happen is for television to act as a platform: bringing together the automated and hyper-targeted nature of digital with the high quality and massive scale of TV.
We want to make it easier for buyers and sellers to connect, and we believe we can best achieve this by enabling TV as a Platform. In order to execute on our vision, we’re focusing on three key areas:
Scale: TV needs to be able to re-aggregate quality reach at scale, i.e. enable advertisers to reach their target, however they define that, no matter what screen they’re watching.
Sophistication: TV must enable marketers to leverage data, both first and third party, to more intelligently reach their specific consumers.
Simplicity: And all ecosystem players want to do this all easily. Television, historically, has been complicated and cumbersome to buy. In today’s new media environment we need to focus on removing transactional friction from the ecosystem.
These three themes were interwoven throughout the afternoon into our conversations and breakouts, as every initiative and every product we build works towards enabling these concepts for our clients.
A Level Deeper
The bulk of the day was spent in smaller breakout sessions, diving deeper into many of the challenges FreeWheel clients face. Our goal was to provide our users with tangible takeaways that they could immediately put to use, in order to make meaningful change in the industry. Our breakout sessions included industry hot topics and solutions to the business-critical obstacles that many of our publisher clients are grappling with:
Strategies for monetizing premium inventory
A client panel on the challenges of Unification
Strategies for delivering on LIVE events
How to most effectively leverage the FreeWheel Academy
How to unify creative management workflows
A roundtable discussion on the state of measurement in the industry
We wanted to leave our power users with something they can apply that stretches beyond FreeWheel. As a seasoned leadership expert who challenges her audiences to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters most at work and in life, Neen James was the perfect fit. Neen energized the entire room with her engaging keynote that gave us practical and actionable advice on how to differentiate and elevate yourself in an industry flooded with complexity and rapid change. Her session helped us all rethink how we value attention and also how to craft our professional story using her “attention matrix” to better advocate for ourselves in our personal and professional lives.
FreeWheel is only as good as the value our software and service provide to our clients. We understand that our success runs parallel to the success of our clients, and we keep that at the heart of our business strategy. Not only are we committed to pushing the envelope of innovation—but also to making sure that the genesis of these innovations are rooted in solving the problems our users face every day.
We think constantly about how we can optimize our platform to make our users’ jobs easier, more efficient and more impactful—in turn generating a success engine for the businesses we support. This summit wasn’t just a one-way street, our team is energized and excited about the feedback we received that will continue to push us to be an even better partner to our valued clients.