Simulmedia’s New CMO Sees the Future of TV

Says it’s all about aligning with the digital model

Headshot of Lauren Johnson


Who David Cooperstein

New gig CMO of Simulmedia

Old gig Vp, practice leader for the CMO practice at Forrester Research

Age 48

Twitter @Minicooper


Photo: Alfred Maskeroni

 How will your experience at Forrester play a role in your new job?

It was pretty interesting for me to get the call to come here because I’ve been dealing with CMOs for the last five years. I think as they saw digital starting to become fundamental to what they’re doing, there are things that still need to get done—like planning out what does TV look like because TV’s still a major medium.

What needs to change with how TV ads are bought?

TV is still handled in a very traditional way. TV needs to become a more digital business. And I don’t mean that in terms of just marketing, but in terms of the way that TV needs to operate [and] align with the way in which digital operates from a measurability, targeting and creative way of buying media.

How do you plan to pitch that to brands and agencies?

The goal will be to not talk so much about what the company does day-to-day, to [talking about] where people are actually spending their time on TV, and how [marketers are] buying ad inventory for that. The other piece of it is a conversation about what’s happening in the future of TV—not just about what’s happening right here in front of us.

If TV is still going to be dominant for marketers, what’s the opportunity like right now for other devices?

I think there’s use cases [around] understanding the context of how someone is watching something and the ability to change the way you apply advertising to that particular event. The same hockey game or baseball game that’s being aired on TV is going to have a different model of advertising than something that’s being seen on a small screen. And marketers have to understand how to adjust their message to the person that is watching and then make sure that the technology is set up so that the right ad is delivered to that particular medium.

What is the biggest difference in going from the research world to the ad-tech world?

The one really sharp piece of advice I got from one of my CMO contacts was, “Whatever you do, remain objective,” which is a delicate balance for a CMO to have because you want to be a marketer. But on the other hand, being objective will retain the credibility of the brand.

Do CMOs understand digital marketing and media?

I think a lot of the digital world stuff comes from what I call digital myopia. If you only see the world from digital, you actually don’t see the whole picture. You have to be holistic when you’re at the CMO level.

What writing will you continue to do?

I’ve been writing for Forbes for a number of years for the CMO Network, and I will need to remain objective on there. Whenever I write company pieces, I will write them on the Simulmedia blog, and I will tweet about the industry.

You’ve switched a few times between startup and research gigs over the years. Anything that’s stood out as your favorite job?

I’ve always liked to be on the inside of a company, spend some time outside to see how the world is evolving, and then go back inside. If I had just gone from management job to management job, I would probably see the world a lot differently. Having interspersed [management jobs] with working at a startup or Forrester allows you to continue to use your understanding of what is going to work or what is not going to work.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.