By Sarah Sluis
Michael Zimbalist – who spent the past 10 years at The New York Times, most recently as SVP of advertising products – is hopping to ad tech, taking a post as Simulmedia’s CMO.
“I’m a change agent by career and inclination,” Zimbalist said. “TV is in the early stages of volcanic eruption of change, and Simulmedia is in a position to lead that change.”
Simulmedia’s technology gives marketers the ability to buy linear TV inventory based on detailed audience attributes instead of basics like age- and gender-focused Nielsen ratings. That, in turn, should bolster the ROI marketers get from those TV buys.
In his decade at the Times, Zimbalist witnessed the company respond to the rise of digital advertising.
“The Times went from being a newspaper company with a website to a fully digital-centric, multiplatform news and information company,” Zimbalist said. “That was the vision, and they are well underway to that vision being achieved.”
He sees TV undergoing a similar transformation and says marketers want to buy inventory and target in TV the same way they can online.
His goal in the coming quarter and year is “raising market awareness and educating the market about the opportunity that exists to buy TV in a people-centric way,” Zimbalist said.
“They’ve learned from digital that advertising can be audience-targeted and accountable, measurable and deliver ROI,” Zimbalist said.
If Simulmedia has its way, digital and TV buying in the near future will look similar.
OTT devices, connected TV and addressable TV are already disrupting buying practices. And even if (and because) TV budgets shift to digital video, Simulmedia thinks it will benefit from that switch.
“TV being a separate beast is exactly what it doesn’t have to be anymore, “ Zimbalist said.
Zimbalist will report to Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan.