Saturday, May 10, 2008

09 and beyond #3: Tony Faure, CEO Ninemsn

So what are the big issues we face moving forward in digital ... and all media? Well, we've asked six respected industry people to give us their opinion.

Week 3 we have Tony Faure (pictured right with Collingwood Football Club chairman Eddie Maguire), CEO of Australia's largest digital display media player, ninemsn.

Tony is undoubtedly one of the most respected members of the digital community. He was the first employee of Yahoo! AUNZ and went on to become Regional Vice President, South Asia of Yahoo! before leaving in 2002 to pursue his own investments, including online movie rental business Homescreen. He has been leading ninemsn since 2006.

The one thing that strikes you about Tony is he has no ego. He is open to his staff, agencies and clients, which is an invaluable trait.

So what does he see as key issues in the digital space?

1. Differentiation

Marketers will focus on the really hard problem (how do I persuade a consumer to prefer my brand to someone else’s?) rather than the easy problem (how do I run big volumes of risk-free search and performance ads?). Publishers will need strongly differentiated products to win consumer, and so advertiser, loyalty.

2. Retargeting and Behavioural Targeting at scale

Targeting will become much more sophisticated, but there will be tension between the precision of the targeting and the size of the pool of target audience. To win here publishers need to be able to offer both..

3. Mainstreaming

Digital is a mainstream medium for a mainstream audience. It will increasingly be bought and sold this way. Publishers will sell the people we reach, not UBs, PVs and UUs. Agencies will treat digital as mainstream, not specialised.

4. Images not words

Consumers want images. Video and other image products will show the most rapid growth. Marketers will use digital broadcasting as the best way to use the power of digital to differentiate.

5. Last click is not necessarily the most valuable

Smart digital marketers will focus on understanding the impact of all the different ROI touch points in their advertising campaigns rather than just the last one.

6. Big creative ideas

This is the period where great agencies will have to stop blaming the limitations of the medium for poor creative. The arrival of decent broadband means that there’s nothing you can do in another medium that you can’t do in digital – and you can do a lot more.

Next week, Liam Walsh of DrivePM

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