This first appeared in the April issue of AdNews Magazine.
It’s been six months since Charlotte Valente left Adshel and joined APN Outdoor. We caught up with the top marketer to see how she has settled in.
What were the priorities on your agenda at APN Outdoor from day one?
My priority was quite simple: build on the strong market– leading portfolio that we have. We underwent a rebrand in my first three weeks in the role which allowed us to employ a new tone. This was a significant departure from what the market was used to hearing and seeing from APN Outdoor, and has provided us with a springboard to achieve our brand and business ambitions.
APN Outdoor has gone through some recent changes of leadership with yourself and James Warburton joining. How are you seeing the business evolve?
We have three key pillars that are informing our strategy and the evolution of the business: transformation of our business (structure, approach, solutions); innovation in how and what we trade; and ambition, which is about being more than an out–of–home business. The first clear change we have made is how we approach the solutions we provide to advertisers. Our approach was always to start with the products we offer — high quality products in exceptional locations. The currency that all advertisers relate to today is audience. Therefore, our approach needed to evolve to put the audience first. APN Outdoor has always delivered market–leading research and insights. Today, we are building on that tradition and enriching our audience understanding to ensure we deliver campaign solutions that get to the heart of the audiences our advertisers want to influence.
What role does marketing play in the future of APN Outdoor?
The marketing team is a central part of the APN Outdoor business. We have the task of taking the business strategy and chunking it down into a series of ‘initiatives’ that will resonate with our customers. More than ever before, marketing acts as the voice of the customer. In our case, the customer is advertisers and the audiences they want to reach. Understanding as much as we can about their challenges is key to providing opportunities that will impact and engage.
What are the biggest challenges on marketers' agendas?
The biggest challenge for any marketer today is the pace of change. In media specifically, it is difficult to navigate the change in audience behaviours and attitudes and to understand which platforms are still relevant.
How is APN Outdoor committed to driving transparency of the outdoor sector through better measurement?
There’s no doubt that transparency and accountability are key to our success. We’re committed to transforming systems and processes to deliver greater efficiency, heightened transparency and tailored flexibility. We have established our own market–leading reporting to deliver greater transparency to our clients on their campaigns. We also continue to work with third parties such as SeeDooh to drive consistent measurement and credible reporting of campaigns. We understand the importance of being accountable, which is why offering our clients more transparency is key to our success.
Why has APN Outdoor partnered with Cannes Lions this year?
A key objective is to ensure that we build and enrich our audience understanding. Part of this is understanding how advertisers can connect with audiences on an ‘emotional’ level. At the heart of this is exceptional creative. Partnering with Cannes Lions is APN Outdoor committing to advancing the creative agenda and putting creativity at the top. Ensuring we are pioneering innovation that allows brands to connect with audiences on a deeper level is at the core of our strategy and this partnership is a great part of that.
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