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Dany Lannon : Shares His Experience as Creative Head at InsightTV

Daniel Lannon, InsightTV

Tell us about yourself and Insight TV.

I’m Danny Lannon, and over the past 17 years I’ve had the pleasure of managing digital for companies like Live Nation, Ford Models, Rdio (which was acquired by Pandora), and numerous others. We at Insight TV are an Amsterdam-based entertainment network. My primary responsibility in my role as Sr. Global Director of Digital and Creative is to ensure that all of our creative elements adhere to our brand standards and have the polish we require as a global TV network. Additionally, I developed our 6-figure digital strategy by collaborating with brands on original content series, online productions, and performance creative campaigns that generated over a million dollars in brand revenue in their first year, 100 million organic views per month across our owned channels, and other key performance indicators.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten? 

The best praise for me really revolves around any creative strategy or production that my team and I complete. When I hear that this hasn’t been done before or that we really adore this campaign. It really puts into perspective the effort and struggle involved in producing something artistic that performs. It confirms that I’m on the right track and gives my efforts real credibility.

What does your morning routine look like?

I typically have a few calls with the Amsterdam team starting at 5 a.m. until 10 or 11 a.m. I then pause to play with my son for a while and assist in setting the table for lunch. Following that, I take calls, speak with brands about tailored campaigns, review content for our broadcast channels, come up with concepts for digital campaign ideas, and wrap up the day with a few more calls. I make an effort to schedule alone time so that I can think clearly. I regularly practice mindfulness through breathing exercises or meditation, and I never skip dinner with my son at 5:00 p.m. I typically finish work around 9 p.m. and switch to Yellowstone before leaving.

What do you attribute your success to? Is there a trait you have or a person who helped you along the way? 

I always try to look at what’s new and uncover new tactics and strategies. I think my successes so far have been due to the fact that I’m always willing to learn. The digital landscape is constantly changing and in order to stay on top of the latest trends, platforms, and opportunities you have to be a sponge and open to change.

When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.

Honestly, my family. I see my son everyday and I want him to be proud of what I’ve done and accomplished. If I can achieve that I think I’ve found success and a reason to push forward everyday (even when it gets hard). 

Employees are one of the most important players in success in business. What do you look for in an employee?

I look for people that are hungry for knowledge and that have a strong understanding of how to be scrappy. I don’t care what your experience is or seniority level is. If you’re resourceful and not stuck in your ways – you can do anything. 

What is unique about your business? Is there a competitive advantage that you have over the rest?

We’re unique in the sense that we have a focus not only on broadcast but digital. The content industry has become heavily focused on ROI and performance. Gone are the days of vanity metrics and campaigns just for the sake of impressions. We focus on the true value behind everything we do or we don’t do it.

Of course it’s nice to do creative work that moves the needle but we like to be able to say we’ve achieved this lift in sales or saw this increase in TOF traffic while working through the fun creative components. I think those two things combined have really not been the norm for the past few years. But it’s changing fast.

Have you ever gotten a disappointed client or customer? If so, how did you handle the situation?

This is something that happens regardless.The biggest thing I’ve done is to try to educate as much as possible. Often times when you’re pushing a new strategy through that a business hasn’t tried our heard of there is that educataional component that is extremely important.

It’s also important to have everything in writing and documented. We stay true to our word and we try to educate and point back to original suggestions as much as possible. At the end of the day the client/customer is the one purchasing a service or campaign so I do always try to do my best to both educate and have perspective. Usually we find a path forward even through the toughest moments. 

Is there a type of marketing that has worked amazingly for Insight TV? If so, how did you stumble upon it?

I’ve brought a lot of ecom and dtc digital strategy to Insight TV. This is often reserved for ppc and social platforms but through the intersection of broadcast, connected tv, and digital we’ve been able to push things together that just aren’t normally done.

Working with creators in ways that drive ROI, creative tactics that require mass testing and immense planning. Things like that aren’t usually applied to TV as the quality of production historically has been harder to access. But with new tools and tech we’re able to achieve a lot of the same results and get things pushed to broadcast and digital much faster.

These are things that I’ve created myself so fortunately for us it’s something unique and not something that we’ve stumbled upon. But we have built this by combining strategies from other ares of marketing and bringing them into our channels. 

What are the three best pieces of advice that you would give to someone starting a business? What do they need to know from the very beginning?

Don’t be afraid to test everything or be too afraid of failure. The only way you’re going to learn is by trying. Just make sure you’re learning and working smart and you’ll be ok. 


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