The dog ate my media brief

Simon Conyard, Pearman digital media executive
By Simon Conyard, Pearman digital media executive | 19 October 2015
Simon Conyard

I’ve worked in the media industry just over a year now as a digital media assistant and more recently a digital account executive. I often read articles from senior people in the media industry talking about their opinions and views validated by their experiences in the industry, but yet to see many thoughts shared from the young people in the industry. So I’ve decided to share my top fvie outtakes based on my first year experience in an agency role.

1. Relationships matter:

Building strong relationships with all parties involved has been one of the most important learning curves for me. I can count on one hand how many media owner reps that are still my reps one year on.

The reality is everybody is going to move around but that brief moment that you do strike up a working relationship you need to make the most of it so that you can rely on these people in the industry for years to come. One way or another we’re all trying to provide the best solutions for our clients to communicate effectively with their intended audience.

2. Adapt or fall behind:

In the past year more things have changed then actually stayed the same. I’ve seen media spend move away from the more traditional digital performance networks to programmatic. I’ve seen the growing influence of content marketing and native content and many more changes. People are changing their viewing habits, targeting capabilities are more sophisticated, and people are embracing new technologies.

For us to get the most out of a campaign we need to be there at the forefront of finding new ways to connect our clients with their desired audiences as opposed to constantly playing catch up. For example we embraced Instagram advertising in August instead of sitting on the fence and waiting for results and statistics to influence our decision and seen great results for our clients in driving higher social engagement.

3. Consider the marketing campaign as a whole:

There are so many different moving parts and different agendas when it comes to putting a marketing campaign together that are not communicated to publishers or agencies alike. From conversations I’ve had with marketing managers it is clear to seethat in the day of the life of a client the advertising component makes up a very small percentage in most cases.

For some companies there are multiple agencies involved in the process including a creative, digital, media and PR agency not including all internal parties that need to sign off on a plan. So the lesson is to make it clear to our clients that we understand our roles in marketing campaigns and being a resource as opposed to a nuisance. 

4. Brands don’t take risks in the Australian market:

I attended the recent Cannes Download presentation hosted by News Corp it was great to see all the best marketing campaigns on show and the great talent we have in Australia. The concern for me is I believe there is a considerable gap in the quality of award winning work versus majority of advertising campaigns.

There are multiple reasons hindering us including creativity, budget constraints, pre-determined media channel selection, lack of time and the simple fact that most brands are very conservative. There is nothing worse than having risk averse brands approach you for an ‘out of the box’ idea or ‘media first’ only to receive feedback to re-buy the previous media plan.

In saying this, big brands are using Australia as a test market with excellent results but are often too few and far in between. I feel there’s a good opportunity for more brands to take advantage of a robust Australian market before launching campaigns in the US or UK.

5. As media agencies we should be more influential on dictating good audience experiences:

Too long have we been flogging disruptive and irrelevant messages to people creating a negative experience. As a child there was nothing worse than watching your favourite TV show and getting increasingly more and more frustrated with the amount of ad breaks. Similarly in the digital world the amount of interstitials and over-the-page activations which don’t add a pleasant experience is worrying.

As a result we’re seeing audiences move to services who do offer good experiences that fit the consumer’s needs. The emergence of subcription video on demand (SVOD) such as Netflix in the market and ad blocking technology are good examples of how the media landscape is becoming more fragmented and harder to achieve advertising cut through. To stop the trend of people disengaging with advertising we need to be the initiator of educating and encouraging clients to orchestrate more relevant experiences for their audiences.

I look forward to another year in the media industry and am sure that one more year under my belt will see even more big changes in the media landscape.

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