BizRadio chats to Jo Kerwane, Operations Manager – Howzit MSN – about her personal journey into the industry and then about the blend of skills and technology needed to thrive in the changing media landscape.
Jo Kerwane in conversation with BizRadio’s Grant Jansen
Podcast | Click HERE to listen
Agencies, publishers and advertisers will need to work together more closely than ever before to drive the best possible return on investment from advertising spend in a world where different media are rapidly converging. She says that brands are increasingly looking for advertising buys that integrate the strengths of broadcast, online and print, and are looking towards media owners and agencies to deliver such solutions. This means that the skills and technology to execute cross-media campaigns are becoming increasingly important for media owners and agencies who want to stay at the forefront on the market. Today’s users flit from channel to channel, consuming a range of media every day, says Kerwane, and marketers want to follow them where they go.
The challenge for brands is to keep up with them by delivering relevant content wherever users are – something that demands that they coordinate strategies across channels, make integrated media buys, and develop the capabilities to track user behaviour across a wide range of media.
From a skills perspective, delivering on this demand means that agency creatives, media buyers, publishers and technical experts at publishers and agencies need to work together with branding and marketing experts and advertisers to create cross-channel campaigns, says Kerwane.
From a technology perspective, agencies and media buyers will need to invest in sophisticated analytics platforms that will allow user behaviour to be tracked accurately, consistently, and in real-time, she adds.
Multi-screen targeting on the Web is increasingly becoming a necessity in our business. Publishers will need to start tracking users across all connected devices, and offer advertising that is tailored to both the device and the user’s behaviour on the device. This ties in with the need for advanced tracking technology and to detect users across devices.
The key to success in publishing is still providing quality content to consumers, and powerful and flexible online advertising solutions as well as the right inventory to advertisers. But meeting this demand is more difficult than ever today, given market fragmentation and constantly changing technology. “Cclients are demanding real-time branding optimisation – they want campaign insight while their campaigns are still in flight, and want to be able to use the data accumulated to maximise brand impact,” Kerwane says.
From its perspective as a publisher, MSN has been investing heavily in its technology platforms and creating cross-media partnerships to be able to offer advertising clients solutions that synergise a mix of media, according to Kerwane. The Web property is one of South Africa’s most popular websites, with 3.4 million unique visitors a month, and also has a growing focus on the mobile Web. MSN, as part of the Kagiso Media stable, has been working especially closely with sister companies such media sales house Mediamark and radio stations East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM to package converged advertising solutions. In addition, it is partnering with the likes of eTV to create new options for advertising clients.
“Our approach is to offer clients a one-stop shop for their campaigns,” Kerwane says. “With a single point of contact, they have a better ability to plan, execute and track multimedia campaigns.”
Kerwane says that MSN’s partnerships with other media firms allow it to offer innovative, localised and relevant content that delivers meaningful engagement with consumers for its advertisers. “But we also stress the importance of data and market research for our advertising clients – they should spend time getting to know their customers and provide them with added value in exchange for their data,” Kerwane says.