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Intelligence Briefs

Dump the single channel sell job - it's pointless and self-serving

Industry Contributor

Lou Barrett, Managing Director, National Sales
News Corp Australia

26 August 2019 2min read

The endless debate about digital versus print, television versus digital and so on is pointless, self-serving and ignores what marketers want. To deliver outstanding results for their clients, media executives need to think and act like marketers. In many cases, that means adopting a channel or platform agnostic mentality and working with clients to create campaigns that use whatever it takes to deliver results.

Australian marketing guru Mark Ritson has a very simple response when asked his view on the effectiveness of and competition between media channels for marketers’ money. (AdWeek APAC 2019)

“More channels equals more effectiveness,” he says. “As you add more channels, there is a clear and distinct line towards more effectiveness. All this television versus digital, outdoor versus television, it’s all f**king bullshit. The answer to using all the channels is ‘Yes’.”

Ritson’s view is based on his analysis of thousands of advertising effectiveness award winners around the world. The simple takeout from his work? When a marketer adds a second channel or platform, they see a 19% increase in the effectiveness of their advertising. Add a third channel or platform and the increase climbs to 23%.


My Takeout

I couldn’t agree more with Ritson. The constant debate about digital versus print or television versus digital is pointless and self-serving. It ignores what should be our number one priority: getting the best possible results for clients. In many, many cases, that means adopting a channel or platform agnostic mentality. 

To deliver outstanding results for clients, media executives need to think and act like marketers. What does that mean? Well, for one thing it means looking across all media options to find the ones that will deliver the most profitable results for clients and the best return on their marketing investment. 

Sending the right message, to the right person, through the right channel, at the right moment has always been a basic tenet of marketing. The constant fragmenting of the time people spend with media and entertainment products has made that harder. As media executives, it’s our job to help marketers navigate an often-confusing media landscape to reach their customers when and where it counts the most. 

The power of a multi-channel approach was on full display in “Make Dinner Time Matter”, an award-winning campaign Mars Food Australia ran last year to boost sales of its cooking ingredients. 

The aim was simple: to invigorate Australia’s emotional connections between food, cooking and family, and to increase the frequency of cooking meals at home. Working with News Corp’s Food Corp network, Mars developed a campaign that included content creation, brand integration into recipes on and and tactical ads across digital media, social media and magazines. 

The results? In the three product categories that were the focus of the campaign, Mars’ sales increased significantly. Household penetration of its products also increased. These are remarkable results in a market as hyper-competitive as food and for a brand as well-established as Mars Food. 

Mars’ award-winning campaign and many others which are often exceeding our clients’ expectations are increasingly a reflection of the way in which we’ve reshaped our business over the past two years to provide innovative media and marketing solutions. 

We’ve put our clients front and centre of every business decision we make. Our sales teams have become client marketing teams.  

Our customers now have one point of contact, one person who can stitch together the various products and marketing services to provide seamlessly integrated campaigns – with one aim in mind and that is to drive ROI for our clients. 

As Kristin Naragon, director of product marketing at Adobe Campaign, wrote in Harvard Business Review earlier this year: “More communication is a good thing, as long as brands offer seamless transitions between [channels]. 

“Companies that want to survive in the coming decades won’t make it by focusing on each channel separately. They have to think more holistically and put customer experiences at the heart of their marketing strategy across every channel.” It’s simple advice and advice that all media companies need to take to heart.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Lou Barrett, Managing Director, National Sales
News Corp Australia

Lou Barrett is responsible for managing News Corp Australia’s national sales and key existing network client relationships, and is focused on strengthening the company’s commitment to our advertising clients.

Lou was the former executive general manager of Network 10. She joined Network 10 in 2013 as its chief sales officer and was promoted to the GM role in September 2015. She has previously held senior sales roles at Bauer Media and Nine Entertainment Co.