Utilizing Digital & Social: Q&A with MNTN’s Chief Customer Officer Chris Contreras | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Utilizing Digital & Social: Q&A with MNTN’s Chief Customer Officer Chris Contreras

By Leah Marshall

MNTN's chief customer officer, Chris Contreras, is a featured speaker at the 2023 ANA Digital and Social Media Conference July 17 to 19 in Carlsbad, California. ANA's senior director of influencer marketing, Leah Marshall, sat down with Contreras for a pre-conference interview.

Tell us about how MNTN is leveraging the CTV space to drive performance for marketers.

The Connected TV (CTV) space is incredible for advertisers right now. As more consumers turn from linear to streaming, brands have to follow them and meet them where they are. Thankfully, many are already making that move. One study predicts that global CTV ad spending will reach $25.9 billion in 2023, an increase of 13.2 percent over last year.

Once they're in the space, we want to drive home the importance of performance television. This isn't linear TV where customers have to hope their ad creative is reaching the right audience. They get access to detailed audience segments, precise measurement and attribution, premium, brand safe inventory on top streaming networks, and more. We believe CTV belongs right alongside paid search and social in advertisers' direct-response marketing strategies. So providing advertisers with up-to-date data, CTV best practices, and optimization tools — alongside other common search and social features — helps us solidify that spot in their marketing mixes.

As more and more CTV ad opportunities open up (Netflix, rumors of Amazon Prime ads, etc.), how are you making inventory buying and optimization decisions?

When selecting new inventory, we're focused on ensuring our clients can access spots on premium networks and apps. Of course, we're always on the lookout for new inventory placements to help our advertisers reach their audiences.

We know how important it is for ads to air alongside high-quality content and how important it is for streaming platforms to play high-quality ads. If a prestige brand starts airing low-quality content, they will lose viewers. If a brand starts airing ads on low-quality channels, they won't be able to maintain the prestige that comes with television advertising and risk ruining their reputation. So when it comes to our inventory, we really focus on quality and maintaining that quality for both advertisers and platforms.

Television advertising comes with a sense of prestige, and we want to ensure it stays intact.

Can you share a teaser of what you'll be presenting at the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference?

I'll be joined by South College's CMO, Kathleen Stockham, and we'll discuss the targeting capabilities of Connected TV. While television advertising has traditionally been focused on driving brand awareness, marketers can now be more precise with their strategies. Instead of having to air an ad across an entire city or zip code, brands can now — as we're saying — "target the rooftops." By this, we mean brands can now focus on individuals and households who are interested in the brand and messaging, instead of just sending the message out to a huge audience and hoping something sticks.

So, Kathleen is joining me to share her experiences with MNTN's Performance TV platform and Creative-as-a-Subscription. We'll walk through how these experiences helped South College reach 12 million households, drive 10,000 conversions, and improve performance across their other marketing channels.

What's your advice to brands as they think about integrating CTV into their media mix?

My first piece of advice is to get started. There's a good chance your competition is already on CTV — and if they're not, they're sitting in their office thinking about it, too. So, get ahead of them if they're not there.

Next, you've got to find the right tools and partners. If you're worried about ad fatigue or fraud, there are ways to ensure you work only with high-quality platforms.

And, finally, I'd say to focus on the video creative you're making. You have to create premium video ads to go alongside this premium streaming content. With the precision targeting available, you also know who you're speaking to, so generic, intro-level ads alone won't cut it anymore.

MNTN's had a pretty meteoric rise. To what do you attribute that momentum?

We started a company-wide initiative to gather continuous feedback that we have and continue to analyze and turn it into action within the company. Since the beginning of this initiative, customer success has been embedded within every aspect of the business and is a consistent topic of conversation between people on the team.

Plus, we have a team that drives home this and other initiatives. It's not just something we say; our culture is built around trust, innovation, and transparency. We've got a ton of passionate people who are all eager to achieve something meaningful and valuable.

The ANA's 14th Annual Digital & Social Media Conference will feature speakers from United Airlines, Unilever, ESPN, Ergobaby, Hello Bello, Hyundai, California Pizza Kitchen, DoorDash, Nationwide, Audacy, Movers+Shakers, MTailor, and more. This year's Conference will kick off with a half-day of interactive trainings on key digital and social topics from marketing on TikTok and reaching multicultural audiences on social to ambassador programs, loyalty programs, and retail media networks. In-person attendees will have 8 training courses to choose from led by marketing leaders handpicked for their creativity, track record of success, and ability to translate specific digital skills into tangible marketer actions. Full program info here.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.