Perspectives - Andrew Burke at Outbrain - Trust in premium publishers

By AdNews | 14 December 2021
Andrew Burke

AdNews is following the WFH Diaries with a series of Perspectives, asking two questions: What did you learn in 2021 and what are you looking forward to in 2022? We've also encouraged the industry to glam, dress for the best, and face next year with optimism. 


Andrew Burke, APAC Managing Director, Outbrain  

This year I learned a lot about myself and my capabilities as a manager, teacher, dad and husband. Given the scope of my job I spent much of my first three years at Outbrain travelling for work. And it's been amazing to spend a lot more time at home with my family - but we are all very ready to get back to schools, offices and a little more day-to-day variety. 

While I'm looking forward to some business travel returning, I think we've also learned that we don't need to be on planes three weeks per month to make regional and global roles work now.

The biggest challenge in 2021 was the lack of face-to-face — we're a people business and so much of our intelligence and culture is determined through our relationships with others, which you just can't experience online. We’ve grown at a massive clip over this period and it's been hard to connect properly with so many new starters across the APAC region, let alone in Sydney. Team bonding is definitely a top priority for 2022.

From an Outbrain perspective, we’ve seen and helped fuel the tremendous growth of e-commerce in a range of expected, and surprising, businesses. But with so many companies competing for the same customers the businesses which diversify their channels and use artificial intelligence to find new audiences will get the edge. Especially as more marketers get to grips with the need to adapt for the cookieless future.

We also came to see that the digital industries are growing at a rapid pace, fuelled by more spending from the 18-35 age group who have had more discretionary spend over this period and developed new habits. These customers are the early adopters and will be the people to send your brand into the mainstream (if it’s not there already), but they’ll also let you know if they don’t like what you are peddling.

In addition, a recent study by Outbrain showed that Australians rank speed of delivery highly in their purchase decisions. The main consumer need is to not be stuck waiting for anything. When consumers want something, they want it now.

As digital marketing evolves, marketers need to be mindful about their relationships with customers and where they are showing up. Premium publishers have been such a powerful source of information for people their stock has rarely been higher with consumers in terms of trust. Taking advantage of this halo of goodwill and showing up in content the customer wants to read is a great way to push your product up the consideration set and grab attention. 

What are you looking forward to in 2022? 

Many things - many changes. I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family. I'm looking forward to crafting a new and more balanced way of working and taking the accompanying ups and downs that come with this level of change. I'm looking forward to exciting new businesses that will pop up, boom, and thrive in the new opportunities in the coming years. I'm also excited to find ways to work with them in order to help them grow and succeed.


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