Denise Shrivell

What Can We Do Better Right Now?

Welcome to Digital People where this time we highlight views from several of the most experienced people in the digital media industry. Rapid change & evolution in digital media is also raising multiple challenges. Here we focus on some of these challenges with suggested solutions. Please add your opinion - What do you think the digital media industry can do better right now?

you can always do a better jobRohan Lund – CEO at Yahoo!7

For the past couple of years the industry has been frantically trying to understand and harness the emerging social media trends.  There have been lots of trials, some successes and some notable failures along the way.  Social is not Facebook, or Myspace or Twitter – social is not the destination, rather it’s the process of engagement.  Similarly we’ll hopefully see more recognition that not all audiences are equal and marketers become more sophisticated with where they run ads.

Aden Hepburn - Managing Director at VML Australia

Integrate and measure. The industry needs to focus on positioning itself as central and core to the communications mix, not pitching itself as the only viable future! And with that, we need to find, better, smarter and more innovative ways to track and measure the performance of the multitude of media types in existence, we do an OK job now, but there is so much more we can do to show the value and ROI on the mediums and channels we use.

Alex Littlejohn - CEO of Adconion Media Group - APAC and IAB Board Member

Expenditure on training and development for talent at all levels needs to be brought into line with our lofty ambitions as an industry. There has long been a huge churn of talent from traditional media to other industries and we need to ensure that digital does not follow suit.

Ellie Rogers – National Digital Director – Ikon Communications

The industry in Australia has never been in better shape, clients now truly recognize the value of their digital specialists, spend is up 19% YOY, the talent crisis that we faced last year is getting better, even measurement seems to be on its way to getting sorted with the announcement that Nielsen has won the recent IAB tender.

However there are many things left to tackle, some easy wins include:

Transparency – Clients now spend serious bucks on digital media, they have a right to know where there ads are appearing. I would like to see ‘blind buys’ become a thing of the past, and with the ad verification systems now offering agencies transparency, there is no reason this couldn’t become a digital media reality.

Cost Benchmarking – There is lack of consistency in digital CPM’s. For example in the video space an agency could buy pretty much the same pre-roll from an exchange at a third the cost of a portal. There is also limited information around market revenue and average CPM’s across digital and particularly mobile and tablet buys. SMI data gives us some top level information about publisher revenue, and this will be even better when they introduce the categorization of video, mobile, search and display by the end of the year. But what the market is missing is vital ‘average pool’ information that will only become available when digital is audited.

Get more creative – DR guns were attracted to work within the digital industry because they loved the thrill of seeing when targets were met. This means that the majority of those in the digital industry would have been awesome at maths at school but probably flunked art. As an industry we need to get creative again – and to do so we need to employ more creative thinkers to come up with amazing ideas that work on digital and traditional channels. To do this, we also need to sell ideas into clients with metrics that are relevant for the campaign and experience i.e. not the dreaded click through rate!

Brad Howarth – Author, Journalist and Speaker

Sell itself to the outside world. This industry is often guilty of talking to itself. We need to broaden the conversation and share it with many other industries. We also have one of the single greatest investments ever made happening right here in the form of the NBN – for those of us how believe that it is the right investment, we need to be getting out there and selling it to everyone else. The NBN is an accelerant for the development and uptake of digital services and a tool that can fundamentally shift the Australian economy – we need to do a better job of explaining how.

Lee Stephens – CEO at Switch Digital

On the whole, the industry is fairly vibrant. The issues of achieving genuine integration within agencies between traditional and digital media still exist and there is no single or easy answer to full integration. It may also not be the best outcome for many businesses at this point.

Continued downward pressure on fees for digital services remains an issue. One major client is currently paying 4% for search services. To expect outstanding service for such a low fee for a labour intensive discipline is ridiculous. Occasionally the adage is true: clients sometimes get the agency they deserve, not the one they need.

Dave Gaines - CEO of Maxus and Head of MFA Digital Committee

It depends who and where. Some of the industry needs to pull itself from it's own arse and stop being so precious. Some need to become greater evangelists.

But we all need to get better and bridging the gap between those who can do it and those that will fund it - clients. This is about providing tangible evidence of real cause and effect and also making what can be very complex, very simple.

Paul Fisher – CEO of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

There is a simple answer: Simplify, simplify, simplify.  We need to simplify "how to"; standards; guidelines; best practices; planning; buying and reporting; recruiting; training and skills development; and comparing value with other media choices. We also need to reinvigorate display shapes to provide the creative industry with a better online canvass on which to showcase their creative skills and best represent their ideas on behalf of client brands, products and services.


Please add your views - What do you think the digital media industry can do better right now?

Thanks for your continued support and interest in Digital People.  If you have any comments please feel free to get in touch - or phone:  0424 100325.  I welcome your feedback.




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Denise Shrivell MediaScope Denise Shrivell
Company: MediaScope
Position: Director
Founder of MediaScope - Australia's most up-to-date & evolving directory resource connecting agencies & marketers to more than 3,000 niche, alternative & emerging media options Read Denise's full bio

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