Nat Harvey on making the jump to Mamamia from Seven

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 21 March 2024
Natalie Harvey

Nat Harvey made the jump to Mamamia to be chief revenue officer after eight years at Seven, most recently as network sales director.

What excited her about joining the media brand was the purpose of the business to make the world a better place for women and girls, she told AdNews six weeks into her new role.

“I wouldn't have gone just anywhere, and I wasn't looking for another role, but the purpose of the business, the diversity in what we do and the opportunity to grow and have a personal impact was just too good to say no to,” Harvey said.

“Being able to feel like I'm having an impact gives me the biggest motivation and I could see that the business had been built so successfully over the past 15 years that there was a real opportunity to step it up quite a bit and I believe I can be a driving force in that.

“I loved television and what I was doing, but that opportunity to have a real impact and grow myself at the same time was too good to turn down.”

Harvey said Mamamia is currently having conversations in market around how to build an authentic connection between audiences and brands, with a real craving for gaining a large audience but being able to connect in an authentic way due to everyone searching for reach but reach becoming harder to find.

“We've got that sweet spot of reach and high engagement because we reach 7 million women a month, which is enormous. People are often surprised, because I think they still put us in a little bit of a niche, but we're absolutely not, plus we've got 2 million men on top of that too,” she said.

“We have got a job to do to keep educating the market around just how big we are.”

Harvey said the broader publisher landscape in Australia is “really healthy”, and perhaps outperforming the rest of the ad market in her view, because publishers are in a more mature stage than half a decade ago.

“I think agencies and clients are using local publishers for longer term partnerships - it's not just campaigns or tactical work,” she said.

“Most of these publishers started in digital, so they've got much more nimble systems that have been created more recently. There’s no legacy systems or headwinds to deal with. Digital isn't an add on - it's what we do and it's how we connect with audiences.”

It isn’t just traditional publishing that Mamamia is focused on, podcasts are a key part of the content strategy.

With four podcasts in the top 20 of the most recent Podcast Ranker, including Mamamia Out Loud at #3, Harvey said part of the brand’s success in that space comes down to the fact that it doesn’t take traditional ads on podcasts with everything done as a talent read instead, helping to build trust with the audience.

“I've had people saying we need to use programmatic for advertising in our audio space to see really strong growth, but you do that and you diminish the audience experience which diminishes the impact on the brand,” she said.

“We don't want to just put a really jarring ad in what I would say is the most intimate media experience there is in podcasting.”

Although they play in two different spaces in the ecosystem, Harvey said that one of the things that television has in common with publishing is a connection to culture.

“There's that complimentary experience around how you leverage cultural moments for brands,” she tells AdNews.

“Television is very fast paced, - daily ratings, daily revenue - and I was pleasantly surprised to see that our world is the same and I think that's probably because we still have that type of an entrepreneur startup mentality where we're just making decisions really quickly.

“It's a different type of work, but the pace is still the same.”

Along with making sure that the public knows just how “big and effective” Mamamia is, due to “probably having been a little bit too quiet in market”, Harvey’s other focus for 2024 is looking at how the publisher builds out more ecosystems.

“We work with clients across a lot of categories, but we've got so many women that we talk to on a daily basis and they are the main purchase decision makers for pretty much everything or they play a shared role, so we have permission to play in so many more spaces,” she said.

“We're putting on a couple more strategists because where we win is in strategic insight and being able to leverage our ecosystem, so making sure we've got a really strong team that can talk about that balance of reach and engagement and effectiveness and cover more ground.

“I've just made a change down in Melbourne and moved our head of audio to heading up indies and direct [clients], because that space is growing so quickly and we can do some great partnerships there. We’ve been working with the IMAA for the first time this year and we've already done a couple of events with them and there's so much more we can be doing to support what they're doing as well.”

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