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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
digital Australia a safe market for digital-savvy brands Geoffrey Handley MD, The Hyperfactory Tell us about The Hyperfactory We work with brands and agencies to help them understand the mobile landscape and pull together various components of the mobile channel. It’s really about understanding the channel, and then fi nding the technologies to plug-in as part of a strategy to incorporate it into their overall communications plan. The channel is mobile, the product is not mobile. The campaigns we come up with are different. In addition, we are always looking for the “best in breed” specialists in mobile. You were quoted last year as saying that mobile marketing was at a “tipping point” in Australia. Has it fi nally “tipped”? Absolutely. I started this company in New Zealand, but it has taken eight years to make our way here because now is the right time. The economic situation hasn’t hindered digital at all. If anything, it’s going to help smart digital companies, as well as digital-savvy brands. For a lot of the brands we are working with, Australia is a really important market – it is a really safe market. Previously, a lot of the growth had been centred around India and China, but with the economic situation, Australia is considered safe. We are seeing, with a lot of the brand strategies of our clients, Australia is second to China in terms of importance. How does Australia rate globally in terms of the growth of mobile? When we started the company in 2000, there were a lot of companies in Australia doing what we were doing. A lot of them are still around today, if in name only. Some of them lost their way in the last few years – the founders left, the company got taken over – so there was a lot of knowledge lost and it left a void. The last few years has seen the biggest change and as a result, the carriers stepped in and pushed their own agenda. Looking at other markets where the ecosystem was strong, you have a more balanced view of what the growth should look like. The local market has been driven largely by the carriers because the players weren’t in a strong position two or three years ago. Are there enough people with good mobile knowledge in Australia? Absolutely. There is a lot of really talented, really smart people. There are a lot of startups that are doing amazing things. Some of them don’t do anything locally at all. There are some great campaigns. We have got to where we are because it has been driven where the carriers wanted it to go. It’s not perfect, but it is going somewhere, every carrier has it’s own commercial interest at heart, so they need to make decisions on what is going to provide a good return for them, and what is good for them – isn’t necessarily good for a brand or for the industry. What sort of innovations and development can we expect to see in the mobile channel in the next 12 months? On the media side, I think it will start to be regarded as an actual discipline – mobile media marketing strategy – and not something that you can just let somebody at a carrier, who has no experience, pull together for you. From a mobile communications point of view – applications. It got a huge shot in the arm from the iPhone, but we have been developing and using apps for four or fi ve years now. We’ll start seeing a lot more applications getting incorporated into a brand’s activities. Social media and advertising – an open debate Paul Fisher CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau What direction has the IAB been moving in since you came on board? Previously we had a GM who was in just a few days a week and the board wasn’t really represented by the CEOs or COOs of the founding members, that has all changed. Now there is a tremendous focus on what the IAB can and should be doing as an industry body both for the members and the broader industry. We have embarked on a very ambitious program of works that is centred around an umbrella goal of making it easier to plan and buy online advertising. Our goal is to grow online advertising’s share of the advertising pie and I think that despite the downturn we are clearly a growth industry. We posted $1.7 billion revenue in the 2008 25 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 24 p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 24 3/7/09 11:56:45 AM 3/7/09 11:56:45 AM calendar year, which was up 27% on the previous year. A lot of pundits are forecasting that we are seeing a migration of dollars to online. Where it’s coming from, no one is really saying but I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to fi gure out what is really happening. Budgets certainly aren’t being increased. How are you working with agencies to achieve the goal of making it easier to buy and plan online campaigns? We work very closely with the MFA’s digital sub-committee and we have established three councils. One is the measurement council, which addresses audience measurement, one is the research council, and one is the standards and guidelines council. Each council has a representative from the MFA digital subcommittee, and we have also invited the AANA and the AFA to come on board. These three councils give a very clear idea of where our focus is, and in 12 months time, if we have tangible outputs from all three, together they would have made it easier to plan and buy online advertising for agencies and clients alike. What are the big trends for the next 6-12 months? Migration to performance is going to continue whether we like it or not. Targeting is going to become more prevalent and probably more in demand by the smarter agencies. Video is always going to be on the list of what’s next because we are still trying to fi gure out what the value proposition is. I think it is quite clear what it is for consumers, but what it is for advertisers, we are still trying to fi gure out. How should advertisers be approaching social networks? I wish I had an answer for that. I would make an absolute fortune! It is an interesting conversation because what I see happening is that advertisers are working with some smart agencies to use social networking as part of their PR and marketing strategy and yet no one is really working out how to use it as part of their advertising strategy. It is an essential marcomms tool but when you then talk about advertising, the conversation gets a little bit blurred. My view is that beyond standard display, beyond search there is still an open debate about what the proposition is between social media and advertising. It’s clear what it is in terms of marketing and PR, but not for advertising.
MT Resource 2010