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A Message From the Mark Awards Chairman

7/21/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

For more than two decades CTAM, in partnership with Multichannel News, has honored the best marketing in cable by featuring the Mark Award winners. Indeed, the past 22 years demonstrates a remarkable evolution in the cable industry. But, as the pace of change accelerates it requires our marketing efforts to evolve at an equal speed. Without a doubt, the importance of marketing has never been greater, and the stakes never higher. For that reason, we have focused on elevating the stature and prestige of the Mark Awards to reflect this increasing significance.

This year we increased production values of the award ceremony to elevate it to true “event” status, and redesigned the award to reflect the prestige it represents. Perhaps, most importantly, we have increased the experience level of the judges, so that our industry’s most seasoned determine which entries represent our best marketing practices.

None of this would have been possible without the Mark Awards Committee, among the most involved and dynamic group I have worked with. They guided us in reshaping the Awards, as well as adding and eliminating categories. As we wrap up this year, I want to mull on how dramatically things have changed, and why marketing has never been more vital for our industry.

Only 50 years ago we lived in a prehistoric three channel universe, and even the No. 3 channel had an audience share any network would welcome today. The proliferation of choices is due largely to the cable industry’s investment, a pillar of the NCTA’s current campaign. But just as we were getting used to a landscape populated with hundreds of channels, now we need to embrace increasingly diverse technologies including HD, VOD, DVRs, Slingboxes, podcasts, broadband, wireless, IPTV and digital multicasting, creating both new challenges and opportunities.

Even as consumer choices proliferate, the biosphere is changing for advertisers. Not long ago they relied on a more primitive system of sweeps, ratings and diaries, but now we are wrestling with meters, engagement, branded entertainment, out of home viewing, live, live plus same day, live plus seven — the complexity is increasing exponentially. Just look at this year’s upfront to witness the seismic shifts. As a result, the importance of evolving our marketing efforts has never been more critical. And the value of the CTAM conference and Mark Awards has never been greater.

Through CTAM we have the greatest opportunities for cross pollination. We exchange ideas and best practices, absorbing traits that help us compete and discarding those that no longer provide an advantage. And, within this context, the most effective and innovative marketing is recognized with our most prestigious honor, the Mark Award.

Congratulations to the 50 Gold and 109 Silver Mark Award winners whose work graces these pages. In the coming weeks, I urge everyone to view the strategy behind them at www.markawards.com. I hope you find them insightful as we all push to flourish in this “brave new world.”

Steven Schiffman

Executive VP, Marketing & Digital Media

National Geographic Channel


23rd Annual Mark Awards Committee


Steve Schiffman — Chair


Executive VP, Marketing & Digital Media National Geographic Channel

Doug Hurst — Vice Chair


Senior VP, On Demand & Affiliate Marketing
Scripps Networks

Jennifer Ball


VP, Affiliate Marketing
A&E Television Networks

John Barker


President
DZP Marketing Communications

Erin Breen


Senior Director, Marketing
NBC Universal Cable

Gary Brockman


Director, Marketing
Turner Network Sales

Matt Brown


VP, Marketing & Research
Adlink

Jennifer Caserta


Senior VP, Marketing
Independent Film Channel

Christine Cassano


Director, Affiliate Marketing
Lifetime Entertainment Services

Terry Dagrosa


Executive VP, Business Development
Behavior Design

Larry Dunn


Publishing Director
Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable

Lynn A. Finamore


Director, Affiliate Marketing
Home Box Office

Marie A. Kennedy


Ingrid Laub


Partner, Executive Account Director
MK Advertising

George Lima III


Director, Field Marketing & Affiliate Ad Sales
TV One

Nelson Martinez


Partner, Creative Director
Union

Tim Nolan


Creative Director
The History Channel

Cynthia Pawlowski


Senior Marketing Communications Manager
Motorola Connected Home Solutions

Randy Rovegno


VP
Image Factory

Ken Saji


Senior Copy Director
MTV Networks

Jennifer Schaknowski


Advertising Manager
Cox Communications, Inc.

Todd Schoen


Senior VP, Affiliate Marketing & Ad Sales
Fox Cable Networks

Anthony White


VP, Marketing
Hallmark Channel

John M. Zamoiski


Co-CEO
NMA Entertainment & Marketing

September