Denise Shrivell

Digital People - James Simmons

Welcome to Digital People where this time we profile James Simmons, Partner/Director with Aust's largest independent media agency - Match Media. James offers us insights into the fast changing digital media market & discusses some key challenges. He also highlights - as he says - a somewhat 'dull' prediction regarding Google & Facebook & talks about the importance of developing agency talent.

James Simmons

Name:  James Simmons   
Works: Match Media
Job Title: Partner / Director

1.  Please highlight your industry experience and how, where and when you came to digital media?

I now feel like a veteran of media.  I have been in the industry for 16 years, starting my career as a TV buyer in the UK before moving into planning and then 12 years ago I began focusing on digital.  I worked my way up the career ladder in the world of the big agency groups before becoming a partner at Match

I came into digital media due to the passion I have for all things new and the undoubted excitement that a new medium was having on what had been a “traditional” media landscape.  The changes that I have seen have made it a great ride and a fulfilling career, so far…

2.  Can you outline your role with Match Media - what do you actually do?

My role at Match is very broad, I am responsible for driving the digital product forward ensuring that we are ahead of the curve and deliver all our clients the best possible outcome for their investment. 

I really enjoy working on clients business as well as in our business.  I sometimes think that as we climb up the ladder you can forget the joy of having great campaigns that not only break barriers but most importantly deliver business results for clients

3. Can you offer a brief insight into Match Media - your market position and forward plans?

Match Media is Australia’s largest independent media agency.  The last two years have been amazing. We have won a raft of global and local clients including Pepsi, Pfizer, Western Union and Nandos, we have also diversified our services to include specialisation in PPC, SEO, Social and Analytics.  This has seen the agency more than double in size on all key metrics.  Most important to us as we have grown is that we have not lost any major clients in that time, meaning we are still delivering great campaigns for our clients

Our core strength is strategy, so it was great in the recent Mumbrella survey to be recognised by our peers and media experts as the No.1 agency for strategy.  We also have digital at the heart of our agency with half our agency staff experts in some form of digital marketing.

4.  Please share your general views on the current state of the digital media market?

The industry is in a good place at the moment.  There is so much change happening at a faster speed than it has ever happened before, so keeping up with it is crucial. 

I think clients and agencies are really focusing on their digital output, rather than it being the poor cousin and delivering in some cases, great results and campaigns.

5.  Is there any one person, digital business or sector you think we should be keeping an eye on?

It is a dull answer I am afraid but there are two companies I always follow very closely; Google and Facebook. 

The brainpower, scale and in Google’s case balance sheet, still mean that when these two companies make any sort of move, it has to be worth watching.  They both have so much data on their user base it is scary and are in great positions to dominate the sector for some time to come - It is fun and intriguing watching their efforts.

6.  What do you see as the key challenges and opportunities in the digital media market in the coming 12 months?

As a communication industry the key challenges will be managing to interlink all the different channels so that the consumer understands what brands are trying to communicate.  It is getting harder and harder as more channels require more attention and indeed traditional media digitises itself.

Managing and motivating talent is also crucial but that has always been the case.

7. How do you see digital and other media evolving in the next 5+ years?

Quickly!

8. What does the digital/interactive industry need to do better right now?

I still believe it needs to validate itself better, in a lot of areas such as research, data and of course understanding ROI.

9. Where do you get your industry information from?

Blogs, twitter feed, Linkedin and trade press

Thanks for your continued support and interest in Digital People.  If you have any comments please feel free to get in touch - denise@mediascope.com.au 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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