REVOLT Audience Insights & Strategy VP On Engagement in the Digital Media World

Next up, in The Media Insights Interview Series brought to you by The 2015 Media Insights & Engagement Conference, we were lucky enough to catch up with Jake Katz, VP, Audience Insights & Strategy at REVOLT. He shared with us some of his key insights into audience engagement strategy in the growing and evolving digital media landscape.

This year, The Media Insights & Engagement Conference gives you an up-close, contextual view on the changing media experience to create better engagement strategies informed by actual viewing behaviors. This event gives you an opportunity to explore the new world of multi-platform, hyper-viewing in the post-disrupted media landscape, advance new insights and create future partnerships. This event is playing host to companies with some of the highest purchasing power in the industry, many of which spend more than $2.5 billion annually on advertising.

IIR: What has been your most successful audience engagement strategy?

Katz: Make your consumers owners. In building a TV network from scratch, some of the biggest strategic challenges fall within understanding how a content brand lives and engages across screens and platforms. When launching this brand, REVOLT launched on Twitter almost a year prior to the channel actually going live on linear. We had a constant dialogue with our target audience on Twitter, that leading up to our linear launch, built advocacy. Many folks call our 15-29 target narcissistic, but what is often less celebrated in the press is that by asking for their input, the Millennial/Post-Millennial audience then has a shared responsibility of your success. That said, REVOLT was a top trending topic the first night it launched the actual network on TV.

IIR: How has the new 2-screen environment affected TV advertising?

Katz: Historically the TV business drives off of presenting itself as a reach vehicle within the advertising community. The reality of our target audience is that TV content continues to drive the pop culture conversation, but is watched across many different screens at many different times around its actual premiere. Our vision at REVOLT is that in a world where viewers value social media as much as they value traditional media, TV is where you spark "engagement" and when your content creates dialogue in social, digital is where you check the box of "reach" and "frequency." Multi-tasking media behaviors are an opportunity, not a dilemma.  

IIR: How do you synthesize data to make it more meaningful?

Katz: Given that our world now moves at the speed of social media, no matter what category you play in, we are now in the business of understanding "why" not "what." By the time you have identified "what," it is too late. Consumers are super-served, if not overwhelmed with messaging and content, so marketers must understand how they can tap into relevance subconsciously but project a POV in their positioning. This means my job as a strategist is not to inform what the audience wants through a series of PPT charts, but study in to and strategize around the psyche, motivations, and drivers of the culture + conversation we are seeking permission to enter.

IIR: What does the always-on shopping trend mean for your business?

Katz: It used to be that you would engage a target a consumer a certain number of times so that when they were in purchase-mode, your offering would be top of mind. The rise of online shopping has made it so that now your target consumer is always in purchase mode, and furthermore, expects a shorter distance between discovery and purchase. The always-on shopping trend means that our ad-partners must message to our target audience as if they are in research mode, subtly prompting them to continue the journey of consumer curiosity online. 

IIR: Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect at your session, “Post-disruption, the New, New Media Landscape: How to Do it”?

Katz: To launch and build a TV network for 15-29s in 2014, I cut to the truth of the Millennial conversation and uncovered actionable new rules of consumer engagement through our insights initiative, Road to Truth. As we kick off 2015, I have just launched our next insights project called Code of Content. Why? Because the evolving media landscape demands more than just traditional media placements, and as a result, compelling content marketing is king when it comes to engaging the Millennial audience.

If "the medium is the message," we need to understand how brands live in a world of many screens and platforms – not just for our brand, but to answer questions throughout the industry and across categories. Through Code of Content's expert interviews, surveys, and ongoing mobile 
ethnographies, we are decoding these four Ms of content marketing:

1.       Motivation: Underlying emotional and functional content needs among 15-29s
2.       Medium: Pushing culture through the lens of various distribution platforms (e.g. TV, social media, digital, apps)
3.       Mode: Content format (e.g. A tweet, pic, gif, video clip, episode)
4.       Message: Content purpose, tone, and characteristics

Want to hear more from Jake? Don’t’ miss his session, “Post-Disruption, The New, New Media Landscape: How To Do It” at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference at 10:00 am on Thursday, February 5, 2015. To learn more about this event or to register, please visit our website:

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Amanda Ciccatelli

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