How NBCUniversal Became a Tech-Driven Content Company and Earned New Fans

Time to read: 5 minutes

Learn how the media company is reinventing fan experience ahead of the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

If delivering 100 billion hours of content to 700 million people every year wasn’t enough, NBCUniversal is simultaneously building the ultimate digital fan experience for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (LA28).

For fans, data-driven personalization will enable them to follow their favorite events and athletes and consume content in their channels of choice.

For advertisers, LA28 provides an unmatched opportunity to reach new audiences. The Games are the latest enhancement to NBCUniveral’s product portfolio, which revolutionized the industry with a single, scaled advertising offering. Relying on digital tools for data visibility and productivity, a 1,500-person ad sales division works across departments to customize ad solutions and gain valuable insights into audience behavior. The division generates $12B in annual revenue.

The changemaker behind the scenes of NBCUniversal’s revenue engine is Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships. One of the most powerful women in TV, according to Adweek, Linda was the first chief in network history to combine broadcast, cable, and digital assets into one unified organization, dubbed the "One Portfolio" strategy. Linda is known for breaking down barriers for the next generation of female leaders, inspired by her strong-willed Italian American mother.

Here are five ways Linda and the team at NBCUniversal use Salesforce Customer 360 to create a single view of their advertising customers, transform how sales and marketing work together, and lay the groundwork for an unrivaled experience for Team USA fans.

 
 
 
 
 

In Their Own Words...

NBCUniversal doesn’t want customers to dread ads. That means selecting the right ads — with smarter data. In this video (1:33), Linda Yaccarino shares how all the NBCUniversal content you love is powered by strategic advertising decisions using smarter data with Customer 360.
 
 
 

1. Unify data so sales teams work from one version of the truth.

Today, the Global Advertising and Partnerships division easily connects advertisers of all types with their target viewers. This requires sales teams to create customized ad packages across a large product portfolio — from NBC Sports’ channels and NBC News’ channels to affiliate cable channels and the organization’s Peacock streaming service.

To deliver this single, scaled advertising offering, NBCUniversal had to first unify disparate internal teams and improve visibility over clients’ data. Leaders implemented a sales CRM solution to provide a 360-degree view of advertisers’ activity across the organization. As a result, sales teams can now manage advertising spend and performance more effectively.

Next, NBCUniversal app developers customized this integrated platform with low-code tools to improve productivity. This includes unifying sales and revenue management systems to efficiently capture sales estimates and actual revenue in local currencies, enhancing collaboration between sales and finance divisions.

Salespeople will also soon be able to consolidate important account data — including account plans, close plans, opportunity strategy, and meeting notes — into a shared collaboration tool embedded in the CRM.

“This single source of trusted value and truth is the cornerstone of everything we do," said Yaccarino.

 
 
 

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2. Execute targeted communications — in half the time — to increase sales pipeline.

NBCUniversal adopted Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform so that marketing and sales teams could work closely together to drive growth.

The unified platform lets the company’s marketing team quickly create automated, personalized email campaigns for potential leads, based on interactions like page visits or email opens.

Intelligent notifications let sales reps know to follow up once a lead hits a certain threshold of engagement. Sales reps can then personalize the next interaction using insights from an account’s buying activity.

Personalized messages have improved open rates by 100%, which helps the company build a stronger sales pipeline and close more deals.

“With Salesforce, we’re building a unified information source to help us reimagine collaboration across our entire platform," said Yaccarino. "This will enable NBCUniversal to continue delivering the highest level of transparency, insights, and results for our customers.”

 
 

50%

less time to create
a campaign audience

 

100%

improvement in
email open rates

 
 

Behind the scenes: Accelerating Time to Value with Salesforce

NBCUniversal partnered with Salesforce Professional Services for strategic guidance and implementation support. The team was able to modernize legacy technology and data platforms faster than anyone at NBCUniversal thought possible. Here’s how they did it:

  1. Aligned on NBCUniversal’s goals based on in-depth interviews with the organization’s users and stakeholders.
  2. Defined the organization’s vision and key outcomes by workshopping areas of opportunity and solutions.
  3. Designed a roadmap to deliver long-term value, including concepts to manage organizational change.
 
 
“Salesforce helps us democratize our data and capabilities in real time. We couldn’t accomplish that on our own.”
Linda Yaccarino
Chairman, Global Advertising & Partnerships
 
 

3. Extend reach and impact with partners through AI-powered analytics.

NBCUniversal’s partners also rely on data to make decisions. To serve them, NBCUniversal has adopted an AI-powered marketing intelligence platform that will allow both internal teams and the company’s agency partners to easily track ad delivery and campaign performance, helping them to optimize campaigns across divisions and channels.

The company also plans to use a data analytics and visualization tool to analyze data across different business systems and make insights more accessible to employees.

Having a greater understanding of how ads perform unites team members around common goals to optimize impressions for television and digital audiences through targeted or broad-reach advertising campaigns.

4. Deliver the ultimate Olympics fan experience using data-driven personalization.

Traditional sponsorships create brand recognition by slapping a company logo on a product or television screen. By deepening relationships with its advertising customers and viewership, NBCUniversal now has the ability to connect advertisers and fans through more authentic and personalized experiences.

Data gathered across multiple touchpoints can be used to customize digital experiences for Team USA fans so they can more easily follow their favorite events and athletes and consume content in their channels of choice.

Personalized content delivered across multiple platforms will help connect fans — including existing fans of the Olympics and a new, younger demographic — with the athletes who will be competing on behalf of the U.S.

This will help to create deeper engagement with fans in the lead-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic games and allow advertisers to control their narratives.

 
“Salesforce is a key partner in our own transformation, and we’re so excited to transform the next five Games together. For the next seven years, we’ll combine fan engagement and content to deliver a personalized experience for every Olympic and Paralympic fan in the U.S. The biggest stage for athletes and brands is now the biggest engine of innovation.”
Linda Yaccarino
Chairman, Global Advertising & Partnerships
 
 

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