We Need Both Right Brain and Left Brain Experts

It’s not every day that you get to sip a glass of wine while listening to NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino and Starcom’s Tim Spengler talk about their college days. But Simulmedia’s Salon series offers such an opportunity. However October’s event was not all waxing nostalgia. Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan also wanted to know how media companies recruit and retain new talent. And that is the $64,000 question today.

View video excerpts of the panel here:

Both Yaccarino and Spengler are industry veterans who have seen the media landscape evolve at an ever increasing pace.  “Technology is impacting our everyday life,” says Yaccarino. It is “on our #1 to do list for the company and it changes every day. It drives viewership.” But seamless company roll-out is difficult. Silos have to be broken down so companies can offer their content to the consumer across all platforms. 

The media landscape has changed dramatically over their careers. Spengler remembers the days when the one company fax machine drove client communication. Now he reviews everything to see that every dollar his company spends to drive the clients’ business through “the digital play.”

Yaccarino explains, “At NBCU, we believe that investing in technology and data mining is a key to our future. It will not only help us be more successful in continuing to aggregate and push this incredible scale that we have now from the high ranking head of data to the secret keys of Comcast set top box data and start to figure out what are those insights and how can that influence what we do internally as well as offer opportunities to our clients.”

The analytical, tech savvy aspect to media is critical to thrive in the new media environment. And that is different from 20 years ago. “We have made a big bet. We have committed to driving 50% of our client’s spend through an automated channel, whether that is an exchange through buyer and seller or how we manage the inventory internally” says Spengler.

So how does this transformation and technology impact the hiring decision for new talent? You need to emphasize the importance of both the right and left brain functions – to blend the data analytics and the creativity of the content. “To answer your question about who do we hire, we need more people who have left brain strength but you will only go so far if you are pure left brain and don’t have any right brain strength.”

Seems like the golden age of liberal arts educated researchers….

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